Perfectly Behaved Robot Children

Today's featured blogger is Amy Walton. She is 18 years old and a member of the Decatur Church of Christ youth group.

Amy with her buddies (left to right) Marcus, Kyla, and Kori.
The pictures get sillier as the summer goes on!
This is my fifth summer at Fortress and I can assure you that I wouldn't trade those weeks for anything. Every year is different and every year God uses my week here to teach me something different. Some of my weeks at Fortress have taught me patience while others taught me the power of simply believing in someone. Every week is the same in some ways though; fun, exciting, rewarding, and exhausting. I love my Fortress kids so much and each one holds a special place in my heart. They may test my boundaries and push me until I think I may break but at the end of the week, it's more than worth it and the bond I share with my kids is so special. By the end of today I was looking for the signs that would reassure me that this year would be no different. Throughout the day I would get frustrated when one of my buddies wasn't listening or following directions. And it wasn't because I need them to be perfectly behaved robot children. It's because I love them and I want them to be safe, and I want them to learn. And most of the time they weren't behaving, it was intruding on one of those things. I just want them to see that what we are encouraging them to do is what's best for them.

It didn't hit me how much these thoughts could mean until we were in our group devo tonight. We were discussing how the day went and what we were learning from our kids when our youth intern brought up a point that hit me straight to the heart. He said something along the lines of this, "I just want my kids to realize that if they will just sit down and listen, their day can go so much smoother." Which was exactly what I was feeling. Then he went on to say, "But do you know how many times God is thinking the same thing? How many times are we just like our Fortress kids? How many time would our days go so much smoother if we just sat down and listened to what God is showing us?" This really got me thinking. God loves us so much more than I could ever love my Fortress kids or anyone else, and he just wants what's best for me. So many times I "break a rule" that He has set for me, and if only I would realize why He set that rule it would save me a lot of pain. God doesn't give us guidelines so that we'll be perfect little behaved robot children. He does it because He loves us, He wants us to be safe, and He wants us to learn everything we can.

So yes, in God's eyes I'm one of the Fortress kids who just doesn't realize how much someone loves and cares about me to see that they're trying to protect me, and so are you. I'm so blessed to be at Fortress, to get to learn from my precious kids and love them. I can't wait to see what else God shows me this week through them.