My experience over the last year as a YoungLife leader has been one full of every emotion the heart has to offer. I have seen the highs of joy and determination, and the lows of depression, guilt, and frustration. Nothing fills my thoughts, hopes, and fears like the relationships that I have given so much to in this mission field that I have been placed in for this time. I can’t imagine my Fridays without the early mornings racing to a bagel shop on the other side of town to hang out with people half my age. I struggle to explain to friends why I would go to a middle school play or choir concert in hopes of being there for the one face on stage that I know. All I really know myself is that I care about these things and am invested in them.
To truly invest in another person is far more difficult and risky than any form of financial investment. With finances you must let go of some of your money in hopes that the numbers will grow and you can reap your gain, but in personal investment you must give away your very life and soul. You must give a piece of yourself to another person and trust that they will grow and not trample on the platter your heart rests on. There will be pain, there will be heartbreak, and you will not always see the return. But also like finances, once we have seen the truth that our life is not our own, that it has been given to us that we may give it back to God and to others, well that is when we find our true joy. A generous giver gives not only his money but his very self.
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV)