I Never Thought I'd Serve Here...But it Changed My Life

I Never Thought I'd Serve Here...But it Changed My Life

Posted on August 03, 2017

BY KATIE FOLEY, GRACE ATTENDER & BLOGGER

Itís not everyday that you get the chance to pick ANY topic to write about for the blog. Itís also not everyday that I get to brag about my NOW husband to be. Hang with me, this blog is sure to give you "all the feels" and will encourage you to jump in where you least expect.†

The beautiful thing about being in a relationship with someone is the opportunity to grow. Iíve always believed that if you donít push your significant other in uncomfortable ways then there will be no room for growing personally and together. Therefore - I push and I push hard. I feel that it is my calling to truly be his better-half. What does that mean? That means pushing his ďintrovertĒ self towards Godís kingdom. It means pushing him to share with others the joy of Christ and pushing him to be comfortable sharing about his faith. I push him to explore his strengths and fail in his weaknesses. The whole time - Iím there being pushed too. As an extrovert, he pushes me to relax when all I want to do is speed through life and he pushes me to calm down and breathe in harsh moments.

I guess you could say we are the exact definition for polar opposites, but hey, it works. While Iíve poured out my heart on this blog on beautiful topics that somehow align with my life - Iíve never really had the opportunity to share what my husband has been doing for my life and for Grace.

It was exactly two years ago when I knew God was calling Zach to do more for his kingdom. As a teacher, I knew Zachís love for children and it was screaming at me when Grace Kids was experiencing a shortage in volunteers. I remember sitting on the couch and saying, ďZach - youíre going to sign up for this.Ē He looked at me with confusion and panic. ďWHAT?!!?!?Ē See, this man may be the best teacher on the planet, but he enjoys his introvert self in situations where he doesnít have to talk much. Hereís where the pushing came in: I filled out the application for him and he just let me. He didnít fight it.

Instead of me sharing his story, Iíll let him share it:

Zach, what made you sign up to serve?
Honestly, I initially didnít want to sign up. I was complacent with going to church on Sundays and looking back, thatís not the attitude that I should have had. It really wasnít until my then-fiance mentioned something and actually took the initiative that I decided I would just roll with it. After the background check went through, I decided that maybe giving back would be the best for me. Since I am an educator, I thought that volunteering in the K-1 area would be best with the skills I have and from then on, Iíve been all in.

What exactly is your role?
Assistant Director for Pre-K, K/1 Crossing

How has volunteering changed you?
As an educator and coach, I constantly get to make huge impacts on all of my students and players. It truly is the best job in the world because I know that whatever I do - it leaves a lasting impression. I know for me, personally, I look back and remember the teachers and coaches I had that impacted me and thatís what I aspire to be for my kids. Whatís different about having the opportunity to serve in Grace Kids is that I get to ďteach and coachĒ but in an environment that encourages sharing my love for Jesus with these children. Working in a large public school, topics such as faith isnít necessarily welcomed, so being in Grace Kids provides an avenue for that boldness. Iíve also noticed a huge difference in my comfortability to share my faith. Itís funny, because I work with children, but the baby-steps have helped my progression.



Whatís a story that has impacted you?
It happened a few months ago where a kid didnít want to go to large group. It wasnít just a, ďNo. Iím not going,Ē but rather a refusal mixed with tantrum. Eventually I went and sat next to him and talked to him for about 10 minutes on how fun large group is. He then went and after large group, he came out with the biggest smile on his face and gave me a hug. While that might not be a big deal for some, it truly impacted me.

What have you learned?
Thatís such a broad question, as I have learned so much. First, 5-year-olds are hilarious. They say some of the funniest things that I have ever heard. Second, Iíve realized that sometimes I donít want to serve, but every time I volunteer I feel like the best version of myself. Lastly, Iíve realized that my small act of service has made the biggest impact on some of these kids and that is truly the best feeling you can have.


Whatís one thing Christ has been teaching you through serving?
Iíve been learning that no one is unreachable and that everyone deserves a chance to experience Christís love. When I see a young child possess passion to learn about Jesus, I always think of how awesome our God is. Iíve also realized that in the next few years I will want to start a family and that these children are truly precious. Their hearts are pure and it is our jobs, as adults, to protect and teach them to live a life that reflects one of Christ.

Be the Best Version of Yourself

You, too, can serve at Grace. From communications to volunteering with children - we welcome everyone and their specific talents. If interested - visit here and see all of the opportunities. Have questions or don't know where to start? Contact us and we can help guide you!