I do remember when I first had that feeling myself. I was about your age - maybe nine. I remember all the reasons, what I'd hoped to accomplish, and how it would make me feel to be able to actually work.
I day dreamed of a paper route, because that's what kids did at 12 when they wanted a job. But our neighborhood already had a couple of kids doing the job.
I tried my best to help out at the Boys and Girls Club where I went after school everyday.
And I was able to babysit my cousin (with my Dad at home) when my Aunt visited from out of state.
It felt so good!
Then one day, I won the Star of the Month award at the Boys and Girls Club. I was so surprised. This honor was usually reserved for the "big kids" - the teens who really could and did help out a lot. The ones who were mentoring and watching over us. Yet, here I was, only 9 or 10 years old, getting this prestigious award! I thought of all the things I'd done to earn that award - helping kids with homework, sweeping the hallways, cleaning under the bleachers, cleaning the glass encasements, helping in the art room… I was so proud they picked me. They put my name on the plaque on the wall above "Star of the Month", and I got to pick out a full sized stuffed Care Bear! Which was kind of a big deal back then.
After that, the DIRECTOR of the east side Boys and Girls Club asked to see me in her office! I had never been into the offices behind the front desk before. I felt SO privileged and special. She asked me if I would like to help out in the office now and then after school.
I knew this was pretty big stuff, and although I was a little scared that I might not be able to achieve whatever the adults needed for office work, I agreed.
At first I just stuffed envelopes with flyers, sticking on addresses and stamps - then I learned to file papers - and finally, I was actually acting as the assistant to the director herself!
She was so good to me. Like a mom would be. She treated me like I was important, and it made me feel great!
It was fun to recall these stories of my past, and remember why it was so right for me to work at that age, even though there wasn't much I could do to punch a clock or get a pay check yet. I could have cared less about getting money.
I wanted to mean something. I wanted to be respected and productive and useful for more than putting away my own laundry and earning $4 to strip and re-wax my Mom's kitchen floor.
This is the reason I took your questions and request very seriously. I honestly didn't know what you could do, but I prayed. I asked God to bring you something. Make it clear. Open a door wide for you to work in a way that would fulfill you in that area.
This began mid-week, and by Sunday He was all ready for you!
You asked on Saturday night if there was anything you could do for the church while your Dad and I ran the sound and media during practice the next morning. Our thoughts were that you would just come with a book or your iPad and hang out until service. But I realized this was your heart to work, and potentially a space where God could answer the prayer for opportunity… So I told you that we could certainly ask.
The next morning we did just that. Miss Shelby said she would certainly keep an eye out for something… and then, within minutes, she mentioned that the person who runs the lights might not be coming. I asked her if she thought that was something you might be able to do (our lights are a big deal throughout the entire service at our church). She said yes, and the next thing I know, all three of us are manning the entire production of lights, media, and sound from behind the board!
I was so proud of you. You learned so fast and took it so seriously. You did a great job, and I'm pretty sure you felt like a million bucks after our hour and a half practice and hour service, when the whole team came back and fist bumped and high-fived you for a job well done! And what's even cooler is that you were offered the job permanently. So every Sunday you will get to man the light show, and learn the ins and outs of working for God to serve His people in ministry!!! So awesome!
God is so good.