Entering a New Season
I’m struck with a loss for words. How do you describe the blessing and the impact something like TeenPact has been and has made? I entered this organization at thirteen, and now five years later, the time has come to enter a new stage of life. I honestly cannot even express how thankful I am for TeenPact and the influence it has had on my life. I only wish I could describe the love infused throughout the memories and the friendships developed in this beautiful season. It has been part of a huge tapestry of my life, woven together with moments of laughter, tears, encouragement, compassion, vulnerability, and goofiness; strengthened by truths shared, sins exposed, fears surrendered, comfort zones expanded, sorrows traded for joy, community blossomed, and death transformed to life; filled with challenges, triumphs, weaknesses overcome in Christ’s strength, beauty through brokenness, and above all, God’s glory revealed through hurt, broken, selfish, and prideful sinners like me.
My time in TeenPact contributed so beautifully to this tapestry, and took up a good portion of it. Still, it was only a season…a wonderful one…but just a season. I’ve realized that TeenPact has been impactful not because it’s a “great organization” or because it runs a great program (which it is and it does). Neither is it because I’ve met a bunch of awesome people or sung a ton of powerful songs. No, rather God has worked in and through the organization, the program, the people, the worship, and everything else that composes TeenPact to challenge me, to love me, to redirect my focus, and ultimately to mold me more into His own image.
TeenPact is unlike anything in which I’ve ever had the privilege of participating. The people are unlike any group of individuals I’ve ever encountered. TeenPact friendships automatically begin with Christ at the center. Conversations easily flow towards how God is working in our lives. It’s the TeenPact norm. It’s what is expected and therefore what is comfortable. For me to love Jesus and to want to surrender every area of my life to Him is not hard after a session of TeenPact (especially National Convention) worship.
But as I transition into a new stage of life, I’m faced with the questions, “What will it look like when loving Jesus and surrendering my all to Him is no longer the norm? How will I respond when deep, Christ-centered community is nowhere to be found?” As I consider this, I realize it’s easy for me to confuse the source of life. Being surrounded by a strong community of believers can be so encouraging. Having Christ-centered conversations and individual relationships can be so revitalizing. Yet, in and of themselves these things do not supply life and cannot bring satisfaction. Christ alone is the giver of life and the sole source of true satisfaction. I find comfort in this, knowing that while things like TeenPact and the community it brings are temporary, Christ—the true source of life—is eternal, and He shall be with me wherever I go. I may enter stages of life when it’s hard to see God and I doubt His plan for my life. But God will be with me. I may face a trial more challenging than anything I’ve ever thought I would experience. But God will be with me. I may experience a hurt more painful than I can now even imagine. But God will be with me.
Who am I to limit an eternally powerful God to an organization, a stage of life, or a certain community of believers? No, God is greater than that. He will be faithful even if, at times, I struggle to be so. I am beyond thankful for TeenPact and the many ways that God has used it to challenge and mold me, and so many others, more into His image. But more than anything, I’m thankful for a God who has promised to be with us through every season of life. So now, I can enter this next season with confidence because I know that our God is faithful through it all.
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Post by Olivia Schneider.
Olivia is a traveling staffer for TeenPact and hails from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.