in about 5 days i will be taking off for sacramento to volunteer at the national youth workers convention for a week. it’s been a couple of ears since i have been to a convention and am excited to return. this year, as most years that i have attended the convention have, will have a new meaning for me.
this year i will be volunteering the entire week. i have the privilege of serving on the affirmation team, affectionately known as that a-team. to sum it up, i get to go around the convention and affirm youth workers! i get to tell them that they are making a difference in the lives of youth and their church and their community. basically it will be one big party!
this year i will be seeing, listening and experiencing the convention with a new set of filters. some of them are filters of maturity and some are filters of new understanding and some are filters of new awareness. having what seems to feel like a life time of experiences crammed into the last three years, i see a lot of things in new ways, ways that i have never seen before.
and, finally this year i will be reconnecting with my tribe. quite a few years back, a friend of mine was telling me why she, after 10+ years of sobriety and no desire to pick up a drink, still randomly attends aa meetings. she said that it was her way of reconnecting with her people, her tribe. and that’s exactly what i will be doing.
in all of the different jobs, roles and responsibilities that i have had in my life, the most connection i have ever had has been while working as a professional youth worker. loving what i do, feeling like i had a greater purpose of waking up every day and going to work, knowing that what i was doing was not just impacting for the students and families, but also impacting for the community and the Kingdom. this is my call, this is my purpose.
gathering with a bunch of others who feel that same way… now that’s what i call a party! but this week is more than just partying. it’s celebrating the hard work of mind, body, heart and soul. it’s learning. it’s growing. it’s safe, hopefully. but most of all… for me… it’s my people, my tribe. a place where i can be, take a breath and know that i belong.