Having Faith in Myself
Learning how to win on and off the basketball court
“ In high school, you don’t really speak about your personal life. You stay quiet about that. But in youth group, you really try your best to dig down deep inside yourself. ” Will Secor, Wellesley High School senior
Will Secor might have been considered a “popular” kid in high school. Basketball star. Good looks. Confident. Lots of friends. He knew, however, something was missing. His parents, Wendy and David Secor, had given him and his two sisters the choice of joining (a) choir or (b) youth group. He couldn’t carry a tune, so Will joined youth group – reluctantly. It was through youth group that Will realized what it was that was missing.
Though Will describes himself as introverted, when you talk to Will you realize he wants to share his experience and let you know what is going on with him on a deeper level. He attributes his opening up to the year of confirmation classes, which culminated with the service trip that he took with nearly two dozen other youth to New Mexico. He is reminded of starting off on the wrong foot and what he learned from that trip. He had run far ahead with a friend while on a group hike, creating confusion and anxiety among the organizers, who had tried to find him.
“All week I struggled to find my way, knowing that I greatly disappointed the group. With all that was going on, I lost confidence I had in myself to connect with others, and I doubted myself. I didn’t talk much to anyone. All the while I was unsure I would ever be forgiven.”
Will related that it was the forgiveness that was extended to him later in the week that allowed him to believe again in his own goodness. He connected his experience to that of Thomas, the disciple who doubted the story of the resurrection, and suggests that in faith, there is power.
Will acknowledges the pressure that youth feel – the need to be part of the group and the need to stand out, how to follow and how to lead. “In high school, there’s a lot of cliques, a lot of groups, people have friends. You have your people in high school. But youth group isn’t like that. There’s no judgment in youth group. You’re not getting judged by anybody in youth group. There’s no cliques. You’re just speaking what’s on your mind, and nobody will judge you. High school isn’t like that. You don’t know if everybody’s going to accept you there.”
When Will joined youth group, he may not have realized exactly what was missing. As he prepares for his next phase of adulthood, he has without a doubt brought depth and meaning in to his life. Will’s words of advice for other youth: “To create change you got to make a choice. To change your life, you may need to make decisions that are outside your comfort zone. God cares more about your character than your comfort.”