It’s a pretty big step to go from YoungLives Committee and sign on to become a teen mom mentor, but one that Nicole Vidal has been excited to take…listen to her recap from her first Club Night in Santa Ana!
It’s the first club of the year and I have been eagerly awaiting this day for over a month. In a way it feels like the first day at a new school, anxious about what to expect but excited for the possibilities. I’ve spent most of the day worrying if I was dressed appropriately, if the girls would like me, if I would fit in, if I was really cut out for mentoring teen parents. Thank goodness for the teen I’m driving. She is a club regular and I’ve met her once before so at least there will be a familiar face.
We chat a little on the way but there are both a little reserved.
When we arrive the room is full of life. The sound of voices fills the air and little ones scatter about in excitement. More familiar faces appear and I am put at ease. The teens all seem so happy to be there. We sit together and enjoy a delicious meal while catching up on summer happenings.
During the Club Talk, we heard a story about Jairus, a man who seemed to have it all… wealth, status, fame, family. One day his daughter falls ill and like any father would be, he is grief stricken. Afraid she won’t make it he turns to his last hope…Jesus.
The small group discussions that night were a little quiet. Some teens were hesitant to share and who could blame them. They don’t know who I am and how can they know they should trust me?
It’s easy to think that you failed, that you’re not good enough, or that you just aren’t enough. In those moments I take a step back and hear Jesus say to me, “You were made for this.” Jesus doesn’t ask us to be perfect, he doesn’t ask us to show up once and make a profound impact. What he does ask for is obedience, faith, and love. The obedience to take a chance and trust that God’s plans are bigger than our own. The unwavering faith that ultimately brought Jairus’ daughter back to life. The same love Jesus showed us when he gave his own life on the cross. A sacrificial love that puts the needs of others above ourselves.
That is exactly what YoungLives is about; showing up, meeting needs, and sharing the love of Jesus with those who may never have known him. I don’t view that first night as a failure. Instead, it’s a first step to lasting relationships and real impact because I refuse to give up on those teens. This is what God has called me into and ultimately it will be by his Spirit that lives are changed. Fears that may have immobilized me are defeated by the light of Christ. The car ride home with my teen was completely different. Conversation flowed naturally and without ceasing. We realized that despite our backgrounds and age difference there is a lot of common ground between us. The first club of the year is over and seeds have been planted. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the next several months.
Nicole Vidal, Mentor & Committee Member