I spend some of my time at YFC running a cooking class and then engaging in faith development conversations while we eat our creations. There was one recent moment, over dinner, where I was chatting with one of the girls that I have had the privilege to get to know over the last few years. In the time we have spent together, I have learned that she can be very shy and nervous but that deep down she has a lot of love and laughter to give. We have always tried to be loving and encouraging to her in her journey, but it felt like something was holding her back.
During this recent dinner discussion, she shared with me how in many places she feels depressed and anxious, but that at YFC, she feels like she can be herself. As she was explaining, she seemed to have trouble finding the right words in how YFC makes her feel more comfortable. So, instead, she gave a big sigh and flopped her arms down with a happy, relaxed smile on her face. This motion signified a sense of home, happiness, and peace.
This reminded me that we can never expect to be perfect or “bounce back” from every problem, but we can have places that make us feel safe. This allows us to move forward in battling life’s issues with a renewed soul and new words of affirmation in our hearts and minds. It has been a great encouragement to be able to see this youth, and many others, feel free to be themselves, enjoy life, and develop healthy relationships.