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

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to pick ANY topic to write about for the blog. It’s 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. I’ve always believed that if you don’t 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 “introvert” self towards God’s 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 - I’m 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 I’ve poured out my heart on this blog on beautiful topics that somehow align with my life - I’ve 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 Zach’s 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, “Zach - you’re going to sign up for this.” He looked at me with confusion and panic. “WHAT?!!?!?” See, this man may be the best teacher on the planet, but he enjoys his introvert self in situations where he doesn’t have to talk much. Here’s where the pushing came in: I filled out the application for him and he just let me. He didn’t fight it.
 
Instead of me sharing his story, I’ll let him share it:
 
Zach, what made you sign up to serve?
Honestly, I initially didn’t want to sign up. I was complacent with going to church on Sundays and looking back, that’s not the attitude that I should have had. It really wasn’t 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, I’ve 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 that’s what I aspire to be for my kids. What’s different about having the opportunity to serve in Grace Kids is that I get to “teach and coach” but in an environment that encourages sharing my love for Jesus with these children. Working in a large public school, topics such as faith isn’t necessarily welcomed, so being in Grace Kids provides an avenue for that boldness. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in my comfortability to share my faith. It’s funny, because I work with children, but the baby-steps have helped my progression.


 
What’s a story that has impacted you?
It happened a few months ago where a kid didn’t want to go to large group. It wasn’t just a, “No. I’m not going,” 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?
That’s 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, I’ve realized that sometimes I don’t want to serve, but every time I volunteer I feel like the best version of myself. Lastly, I’ve 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.
 

What’s one thing Christ has been teaching you through serving?
I’ve been learning that no one is unreachable and that everyone deserves a chance to experience Christ’s love. When I see a young child possess passion to learn about Jesus, I always think of how awesome our God is. I’ve 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!