Long Time No See!
Yeah, I know. It’s been forever since I’ve blogged….but exciting stuff has been going on!! So let’s get caught up.
On Nov. 18th, I went to Billings with my youth group for the Acquire the Fire conference. What happened there was life-changing. We listened to an amazing speaker, Joel Johnson, worshiped with a few thousand other teens, and developed a close bond with each other. The first night was an awesome kick-off. The best part of that first night was near the end. Joel had been talking about living with masks on. You pretend you’re okay during the day, but then at night you crumble and when it’s just you and God, you realize you are not living how you want to live. Um, hello! That was a slap in the face. How had I let myself live like that for so long? He then proceeded to say that if you wanted to throw away your masks and gain a new life, now was the time to do so. People started filing down the stairs and going to the floor for the altar call. No one in my group moved. There was some nervous fidgeting, and then me and one of my friends looked at each other. “Do you want…?” she started. I nodded, and then asked one of my other friends if she wanted to come. She nodded and the three of us stood up. We walked on shaky legs to the floor where we kneeled next to each other. After a few minutes, Joel began praying over the group gathered on the floor. We repeated the words he was saying, and boy did I pour everything I had into those words! Then the amazing worship band, School of Worship, started singing. We rose to our feet, lifted our hands in the air, and began to cry out to God. Soon I was sobbing, as were my friends, as we realized what had just happened. Our lives are never going to be the same. After singing, crying, and sharing some good hugs, we turned to go back to our seats. And when we looked behind us, there was half of our youth group, tears streaming from their eyes as they realized their lives had changed too. Needless to say, it was a good night. A few of us then went to go meet Joel and thank him. I was still shaking, but I was happier than ever. That night, all of the girls stayed up late talking about what had happened that day.
The next morning we woke up and went back to the conference. It was another amazing day filled with worship, laughter, more tears, and more bonding. But again, the end of the day was the most powerful. We went down to the floor for worship, and at the end of worship we broke into groups to pray for each other. Me & two of my friends were in a group but then realized there was another girl that didn’t have a group. We invited her to join us, and she did so reluctantly. Me & one of the other girls took turns praying, and as our prayers went on, we learned that the girl who had joined our group was struggling with suicidal thoughts. One of the youth pastors from another town came over and prayed with us, and then we took some time to talk to the girl. It was amazing seeing the change and the relief that came across her once she opened up. We then gave each other hugs and said our good-byes as we joined our different youth groups for more prayers. Our youth leaders prayed over us and prayed for our schools as we all stood in a tight circle, hugging and crying some more. At the end of the night, we went back to the church where we were staying and talked with one of the other groups at the church. The next morning when we woke up, none of us were ready to leave.
I never imagined what that weekend would hold. I thought it would be something fun, but not life-changing. (I had been to a Dare 2 Share conference a few years ago, but it was nothing like this.) Although we’ve only been back for about a week, I have noticed that it’s been hard to hold on to that feeling that we captured that weekend. But I refuse to slip back into my old ways. I left all my masks on that floor Friday night, and they were trampled underfoot as I worshiped God with my whole heart, soul, mind, and body.
Much more has been going on since then, but this post is already very long! I will post another update later in the week.
Love and blessings to you all!