Our Greatest Strength
When I tell people that I'm serving as a girls dean, one of the first things they ask me is "what does a dean do?" Honestly, I still don't know how to answer this question. In a single day I can be a secretary, nurse, teacher, and counselor. It's one of those jobs that doesn't really fit into a box, the closest thing I can compare it to is being a parent, but even that doesn't encompass everything.
One of the many things I do as a dean, is lead dorm worship once a week. To be honest it's not my favorite thing, as it requires public speaking. If you were at SVA on a Thursday evening you'd find me frantically making changes to what I'm going to say and overthinking almost every word. It's no easy task trying to find things that will keep 80 teenage girls engaged for 15 minutes. While doing the weekly worships aren't my favorite thing in the world, they are important to me because I have the opportunity to share Christ with all the girls. I've quickly learned that the most engaging worships are the personal ones and that the girls learn the most when I'm raw and open with them.
People, especially youth, are thirsting for authenticity. They are fed images of so-called "perfection" when they scroll through social media on their phones or they watch the newest hottest movie. They are fed images of what they're supposed to look like, what they're supposed to wear, how they're supposed to live, and the truth is that those things aren't reality for most of us and we get frustrated with ourselves because we don't match up with what we see all around us. People don't realize that deep down inside we all have struggles, we all have problems. People don't share their struggles on social media and movies show us that all struggles have a happy ending, but that's often not how it works in the real world. Young people end up feeling alone, they feel like they don't fit in and that no one else understands how they feel.
I started being more open with the worships I did. I started telling personal experiences from my life, especially things from high school. I told stories to these girls that I haven't really shared with anyone, I told them about the struggles I had in my life, and found that not only was it relatable and engaging for them, but it helped me heal from things that I'd kept bottled up inside. I already knew vulnerability was a strength, but I didn't know how great of a strength it was.
I think one of the greatest things Christians can do to minister to others is connect with them by sharing our life stories with them, not just the pretty parts, but the parts we don't like. We all make mistakes in life, we've all experienced hard things, but when we are brave and share those hard things we draw people to us because they can relate to us and when they relate to us, we draw them closer to Christ.