You Are Home

Jacob Eckeberger
November 27th, 2017

2 Weeks ago was my last night at my church community I spent 10 years at.

The next morning I hopped on a plane at the crack of dawn to head to Memphis for the National Youth Workers Convention. The next day, our house we owned officially closed escrow, leaving me literally homeless. During the course of the convention, I couldn’t help but process the reality that I had no home to call my own, no church home to be a part of (at least for another week and a half), and I was hundreds of miles away from any of my family. Needless to say, there were a number of thoughts and emotions going on in my heart and soul.

If I’m honest, I didn’t go to a single thing I didn’t have to during the convention. That wasn’t a choice out of not caring, but rather, I just didn’t know where to go or what to do. I felt like a wandering soul with nowhere to call home.

Perhaps you’ve felt completely lost and abandoned before. Maybe you even have a place to call home, whether it be a physical house or a church body, and yet you somehow still feel lost.

I know I’m not the only one.

You know how I know? Because over and over and over during the course of NYWC, I continually was running into conversations, coffee chats, or late night dinners with other fellow youth workers who poured their hearts out to me. Aside from one person, I didn’t have any kind of real relationship with any one of these people prior to these conversations. They simply happened.

I didn’t go to a single seminar, and yet God still found a way to meet me. He met me through people. People who were willing to engage with me right where I was at.

NYWC, for me, was a tremendous reminder of the reality of our adoption into God’s family, and because we are His that means we are always home whether that means you’re…


or jobless…

or leaving your church…

or miles away from everyone you know…

…you are home.

You are a part of a family. Youth Specialties is one of the many ways we get to see this big, beautiful body in action! I know for many of us, youth ministry feels like a lonely, isolated space. We can often feel abandoned or forgotten. Heck, that’s how I felt a few days ago. My prayer is that you will discover that no matter we feel deceived by those thoughts and emotions, the truth remains the same:

You are home.

You belong.

You matter.

You are heard.

I pray you discover that spaces like YS and NYWC exist to simply be the family for you in your journey of youth ministry (and life). I realized that at a new level this week. We are ALL in this thing together, and you can take heart in knowing you aren’t alone.

You are home.

Ryan_Schmall-819x1024RYAN SCHMALL is passionate about creating experiences and environments for people to encounter God in new and unique ways. He is married to his wife Jeanette, and together they have three amazing girls. You can follow him on TWITTER or read his blog over at IAMRYANSCHMALL.TUMBLR.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.