My name is Gabby Wilkinson, I am currently a senior Speech-Language Pathology major at Texas Christian University, and I am the newest Youth Ministry Intern for FUMCFW! I am so honored to get to have this chance to introduce myself to all of you!
I was blessed enough to be born into a Christian-based household in Atlanta, GA. Therefore, I grew up going to church every Sunday morning, youth groups every Sunday night, Christian camps all summer every summer, and retreats every chance I got. Although I was deeply invested in the church and in the Christian life, my connection with God did not go much deeper than head-knowledge. I knew that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for me, I knew that God loved me, I knew that God knew me. But I didn’t feel these things in my heart, I had no emotional connection to the God I knew so much about. As a result, I went many years calling myself Christian, thinking I truly was, but was not fully devoted to the Christian life or to the Jesus I claimed to love so much.
However, my faith completely changed the Summer after my 8th-grade year at a Methodist camp in North Georgia. A boy in my camp group, Caleb, had lost his dad the year before I met him to a car accident. One night, during Night Chapel, I heard him praying next to me, saying heartbreaking things like “Why did you take him away from me?” “How could you do this to me, I hate you” “Bring him back,” all through sobs. To this day, I don’t know what came over me but I knelt down in front of him and started saying “I know this hurts right now. I know that this pain is unimaginable. But you have a Heavenly Father who loves you. And someday you’re going to be in heaven with your Heavenly Father and your earthly father and you will sing and dance and everything will be so beautiful,” amongst other things. Caleb kept his head in his hands and didn’t acknowledge my presence while I was speaking to him so I went on with my night, not even knowing if he heard me. But, at the end of Night Chapel, as I was about to turn to walk out, Caleb came up and hugged me, without saying a word. He held on so tight and for so long that we were the last ones in the chapel by at least 5 minutes. And in that moment, it hit me. Those words I spoke to him weren’t mine. They were God’s. God used me, really used me! I was floored, absolutely astonished. And as a result, during that 5-minute hug, I prayed, “God, use me like that for the rest of my life.” That’s the moment the rest of my life changed.
After this moment at camp, I sought out a relationship with God, found one, and fell in love with my Creator. Since then, we have had many highs and lows, we’ve encountered many mountains and valleys, and our relationship has grown and changed. However, one thing has remained the same through it all: God is my best friend and the love of my life.
With God by my side, I have had experiences in ministry that include being a Discipleship Group leader for middle school girls for two years in high school, a Christian camp counselor and counselor supervisor for the past three summers, a WyldLife (the middle school branch of YoungLife) leader and team leader for the past four years, and many more beautiful opportunities. God has used these experiences to pick at my stubborn mind and to penetrate my heart with the call to vocational ministry and that’s why I am here, with you guys, at FUMCFW!
I am beyond excited to take this first step in God’s call for me. I’m praying that this opportunity will bring me new experiences and new skills I will need for my future and all of my big dreams.
Big thank you to Kat for giving me this opportunity and I cannot wait to see where my time at FUMCFW takes me! Thank you to all of you for welcoming me and I can’t wait to meet all of you!
Youth Ministries Intern