Admiration, RESPECT, Approval

Admiration – A feeling of RESPECT and approval.

That’s what I feel for every teen parent I come into contact with through YoungLives… admiration. It’s not easy to be young and parenting. Having had a baby pretty early on in life, I know this from experience. They are taking on so many responsibilities at once.

This year, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach parenting lessons at Valley Vista High School. I have been able to get an even closer look at the responsibilities these teen parents have on their plates. Every day they are making it happen for themselves and for their kids. They are going to school, dealing with family issues, raising children, worrying about grades, trying to maintain a social life, attempting to make time for themselves and SO much more. And yet, somehow, the teen moms and dads make it look so easy!

The first time I taught a lesson to the students, I was really nervous. My nervousness surprised me because I work in Education for a cosmetics company, so being in front of people teaching (sometimes for 8 hours at a time!) is kind of my thing. The lesson was only 45 minutes long. The first of a 2 part series on Stress.

I realized that my nervousness was stemming from two things.

  1. I wanted my lessons to make a positive impact, even if it is only on one of the students.
  2. Sometimes when people initially talk to me, they think I have it all together. However, my story is really messy and I can relate to a lot more than what shows on the surface. I didn’t want the students to think… “Oh, here’s this lady with this fancy job, beautiful family, and everything going right… she doesn’t get me.”

To overcome this anxiety, I knew what I had to do. I prayed about it. Every day. For over a week. Ultimately, God revealed himself to me to let me know that he would work on it; I’m just the messenger.

The first lesson went off without a hitch. The students were engaged! Two weeks later, I went back to do the 2nd part of the series and while following up, learned that someone actually used the techniques we talked about and thought it was helpful! Praise God!

I’m so appreciative of being able to be a part ofYoungLives in this way! If you are on the fence about getting involved in any way, please know that these experience will only make you feel more fulfilled! The school year is moving along and things are going really well. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for our group this year!!

-Amber Matos

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