One of our core goals with the IMPACT blog is to grow the ways that First Baptist Hartselle communicates with its members and with the community at-large. Working towards this common effort, we will oftentimes have guest posts. We hope that our guest bloggers connect with our readers in specific and IMPACTful ways. If you are interested in writing a guest blog post for IMPACT, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to work with you!
Today’s guest blogger is Emilee Boster. Emilee is a 10th grade student at Hartselle High School. In this post, Emilee narrates her experiences attending DNOW, a weekend event for FBC youth (and their guests) that focuses on fellowship with each other and, primarily on, the study and worship of our Risen Savior.
It comes as no surprise that teenage girls are stereotyped by their constant gossipping tongues, minds full of self-doubt, and complex comparison issues. So, imagine me, a fourteen year old high schooler who is continually stressed about grades and the constant pressure of society, living in a home for a weekend with over ten girls who all have their own set of baggage. Who would have ever envisioned this, a weekend of cramped living room discussions, tears, and a few petty arguments, would restore my hope in teenage girls and in myself?
I first attended D-now in 2016. We stayed at my Sunday School teacher’s beautiful home with some of the best college leaders. Our leaders had grown up in the church, and I believe that resonated with my age group because we related with them on so many issues. Their wise words and stories taught us all many lessons that would last us through high school and college.
Then in 2018, I sat in a small bedroom with girls who I had known since I was a toddler. We had sat and talked almost every Sunday and Wednesday of our entire lives, but on this day, I wasn’t seeing their perfect, Sunday morning, smiling faces--I was seeing their hearts. I was getting to know them at their core. And for me, comprehending that people are so layered and it takes time to fully feel comfortable opening up to others, led to be the key lesson from the entire weekend.
And then this year, surrounded by the same core group for the third year, we were able to laugh and grow closer together. There weren’t tears shed. There weren’t any drama-filled screaming fights. There was just love. And I believe we all were able to relax, in the best way possible, and get saturated with the Word and with the wisdom of our leaders.
In addition to growing closer to my age group, I was able to surround myself with a variety of people on Saturday’s activities. Jeremy numbered the entire youth group off into teams, and after we dispersed, I stood looking at my group. I came to a conclusion: I’m not friends with any of these people. I hated thinking it; I felt sorta self-absorbed. But during the activities, I quietly stood back and watched as people interacted with each other. It turned to be a time I was able to expand my horizon of people. I realized that some of these people, though they may not be in my grade or I may have never spoke to them, are pretty cool and I should set aside time to get to know them.
I have the best memories with my friends of our experiences at D-now. We laugh about the awkward moments throughout the years and the crazy rides home from worship rallies. It truly is one of the best weekends of the entire year. This year, I walked away with motivation to follow the simple message we learned during our lessons. I wanted to know God at a deeper level; I wanted to completely understand who He is for my own life. I find purpose in D-now when I need to set my heart back on track. I often get distracted and stressed and overwhelmed by the basic tasks of life, so to have a weekend dedicated to the Lord and His calling for my life is of great value to me. And so, as I continue learning valuable truths that were pointed out to me during that February weekend, I can only hope that next year’s D-now, though it may be difficult, will be even better than this one.