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This Sunday is the kick-off of my church youth group, and I am a leader. I have never been a leader; I have been a part of youth group, but as a member, not a leader. And I’m only three years older than some of these kids. Part of me is scared to death about this. The other half is stepping back, saying “Take a deep breath, calm down, and pray.”

Well, I’m a Youth Group leader, right?

For the first set, we are doing The Gripping Point , about Craig DeMartino’s 96 ft fall and his life after it. It’s about pain, but more about why God allows pain. And it literally cut me straight to the heart when I started watching it in preparation.

When I first went to college, I stopped talking to God, because I felt He had betrayed me. My parents were getting a divorce and I was upset about that, and I was getting ready to leave home and it was just incredibly stressful. The two years following have been increasingly stressful with financial issues and a really bad break-up and just a thousand small things. To the point that my back and neck are stiff with emotional tramua and it’s really hurting me.

So pain and the “Why me, God?” is something I’m intimately familiar with. And knowing that, I think that I can stand before youth group and lead. By example.

“Take a deep breath, calm down, and pray.”