For My Favorite Part of the Last Three Years

I, like many others I know, don’t do exceptionally well with goodbyes. It doesn’t take me long to become extremely sentimental about things in my life and this church community, staff, and, most importantly, youth are a perfect example of that. This opportunity kind of fell into my lap two and a half years ago; I didn’t know what I was getting myself into at all. It was 100% “a leap of faith” and my life is infinitely better for it.

So many of you have shown me what family looks like and what encouragement, support, and acceptance feels like. The youth have taught me more than I could’ve ever hoped to teach them; from radical love for every person who has stepped through the doors of Anderson to endless energy for mission work (no matter how obviously exhausted they were). I genuinely have never seen the embodiment of God so present before.

To the youth: You have shared your stories, identities, and experiences with me with such an openness and, I must say, it makes me feel very protective of each of you. When I began to feel a nagging/calling to move in a new direction, I pushed it away immediately because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to all of you. Sundays, since my first one here, have been my favorite day of every week. I don’t really remember what they looked like before meeting you and I want to hold onto that. But, that’s selfish. I, and all of you, have grown so much together. But you and I were growing before I ever met you and you will continue to do so once I am gone. In the best of ways, each of you have never been “mine.” While I have had the great pleasure of being your youth director for almost three years, you were world-changers before I ever knew your names and you will be world-changers long after any of us say “goodbye” to FUMC Hurst. I am grateful for a snippet of time in your lives, a time carved out for all of us to have each other in mind.

Thank you for that.

I love all of you so much! Stay young at heart always; you do that so well.

Elisa Anne

P.S. I am sharing our “Amazing Day!” playlist one more time with you. I added one last song to it for all of you 🙂

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