Part Three of "My Calling" Series....
Tanako was my foot in the door to understanding who God really was. I remember stepping into the minivan leaving the gate of the camp and going back home thinking that I was leaving the only place that I could worship at. When I walked in the garage door of my house, I was greeted by my sister making fun of me and my family critiquing every move that I made. It was common for them to say something a long the lines of, “That’s a real Christian thing to do!” It ate me up inside for a real long time until I finally told them that one week at camp wasn’t going to be a cure for me to be a perfect Christian. I don’t think it was until I left for college that they really understood that.
7th grade was the first year that I could join in the youth group. I was so pumped! I had been waiting for this day ever since Abby started going to youth. When I wasn’t old enough to stay at home alone, I would go to work with my mom at the church. She shared her office with Mike Meeks. He was new and each day I sat next to him as he did his work and asked him a million and one questions. He showed me funny videos and projects that he was working on and got me really excited to be involved in church.
My very first youth meeting was in the middle of the summer. We had a movie night in the youth room and watched “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” I laid on the futon mattress surrounded by other youth around the room. In the back of the room was Mike sitting in a metal folding chair yelling at the TV for everything that was happening! There were only two things that I was thinking about that night. One was that this guy was even crazier than I thought he was and two was that I really had to fart. What can I say? I was in the middle school! Might as well be honest here!
The whole entire school year was filled with new experiences and some heart breaking moments. I was as involved at a 7th grader could be! My sister stopped coming to youth so I was once again alone. There were a lot of people there, but I didn’t really fit in with any of them.
One night at Wednesday Night Ignite, I was leaving Bible study and going to worship. The senior high students were still in Bible study so we ran around like the crazy fools we were. I was not feeling that well that night and stood in the back of the room before worship started. One of the 6th graders came up to me with a pen and decided that my arm was a coloring sheet. She inked up my whole entire arm as I was trying not to scream in pain. I started to cry a little bit, but I didn’t want to look like a baby so I kept it in until I got home. One of the first things I did when I got home was go on Facebook. I logged on and there it was… a message that saved my life. Laura Barito, a senior in high school told me that if I ever needed anything that she would be there for me. Well, I took her up on that offer and had an amazing friendship with her! Because my sister and I never got along, she became a sister figure to me.
A few months later, she was getting ready to graduate. The youth group sat in the youth room one day before she left for Stevens University. We had a slideshow of pictures in which we rarely saw her face! (She was always hiding from the camera!). And then Mike gave a little speech about moving on to the next steps in your life. He gave her the job of passing the torch on to someone in the youth group and she did. She gave the flame to Bobb, her brother, and the handle to me. After the party, I gave her a graduation present… a bag of purple skittles with a note. At the end of the note I signed off with “That loser…. Becca.” She read the note, looked at me and laid the paper on the ground as she ripped the words “That loser” off and threw it away. She told me to “be Becca and no one else because Becca is not a loser.”
I took the responsibility of holding on to the imaginary torch handle throughout my time in youth. It taught me one too many lessons about moving forward, getting off my high horse, and last but not least… remembering who I am. 7th grade was tough, but a few years later after I realized that I survived… I learned that my God is tougher.