People frequently ask me how my year is. It is such a hard question to answer, because it is like reflecting on an entire year of your life all at once. How many good, sad, fun, confusing times does one person have in a year? The answer: many.
I think a better question to ask a YAGM is “What have you learned?” The answer you get might be a huge life lesson, or a simple realization. I think in my own case, I’ve had more of the latter.
I’ve discovered things about myself that I might not have realized if I weren’t placed into an entirely different culture and community. I’ve realized simple things such as I am really (really) not accustomed to life being loud all the time (i.e. traffic, dogs, gas truck sirens, music) to bigger realizations such as knowing that sometimes I need to have my own space and independence in order to not go crazy.
It is among these simple realizations that we YAGM slowly discover who we are as God’s people. We begin to identify both our gifts and our limits – or at least the areas where we are stubborn to change. And with these insights in hand, we enable ourselves to better be servants and leaders in the world.
So, while YAGM clearly puts us into accompaniment with other people, it also challenges us to look inside ourselves and see the all the pieces – even the broken ones – and that reflection is part of what gets to the heart of the last year of our lives.