This last year was the year of the top slot on the social totem pole for our 8th graders, right? As the top dogs at school and even in the youth group, 8th graders, I am sure many of you felt pretty good about it - a little untouchable, like you owned the school/ministry, and you were to be respected for it. Well, now you are right back to the “bottom,” if you will - as freshmen looking up to their sophomore, junior, and senior peers. And that can lead to a little bit of anxiety and intimidation.
Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even the youths will grow tired and weary, and young men will stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Even the strongest man at the most prestigious strong man competition will run out of strength at some point. Even the constant-moving young whipper snappers will lose their energy at some point. And even the top dog 8th grader will feel moments of intimidation when entering high school. But for those who move forward in the strength of God’s unfailing power, having hearts and hope in Heaven, will be carried above difficulty. Those who trust in the Lord will be lifted higher than any struggle, anxiety, or feeling of intimidation you could ever have.
My final encouragement to you awesome 8th graders: go out and soar! This class has so much passion for JESUS, our youth ministry, for camps, events, and for worship — do not let that die because of any kind of intimidation or anxiety. I so desperately want to see this class soar on wings like eagles, and to continue to grow in faith as you continue on into The Verge high school ministry. 8th graders, stay close to your Heavenly Father, whether in good times or in bad - as you work through sadness, difficulties, or struggles. Draw near to Him because He promises that if you do, He will draw near to you.
Love you guys and we're gonna miss having you in our ministry. My prayers for you will remain constant. For some extra nostalgia, check out our 2015-16 video recap below: