These past two months have been such a whirlwind of emotions that has gone sort of unknown…
I mean I went into winter break feeling so down and low in my faith. I was having such a hard time concentrating on what was truly important and more than anything making time for God in my day. As school got out I still was doing the same thing. After I started to get the blog up and moving though I felt a little better. It made me excited for what I could do to help other people grow in their faith. But also to just spread His message. The message that I had been lacking to stop and listen to daily. Yes, sure school got busy, but now as I can see it, that was not a valid excuse at all. Looking back, I can now see that if I cannot make time to spend with God in my day, than I probably should not be doing all of the other things filling up my life. But I do not think that was it though. It was that I was not willing to spend the time.
My faith was slowly becoming bigger in my life and I began taking smaller steps towards it through my blog and all the SEEK talks I was so caught up in listening to. Those two things were only a small piece in rejuvenating my faith I soon realized. Because the next thing that came was retreat. That gosh dang retreat I had such a horrible attitude about going on until I heard there was freetime and then I was like well maybe it will be okay. To be quite honest though, I was just so down on youth group in general and that was most of the impact too. But I sure went and boy am I glad I did.
The first night was good. I mean the first talk really got me thinking about the things in my life that are not important, and I should get rid of… and with that we were given a piece of “grass.” (well actually a greenstick with two pieces of green plastic and green tape to bunch it together) This so called piece of grass was something in our life that we need to give up or let God into. And when we were ready to hand it over to Him, we would put it in the “ground” (the sand). I did not know what to do at that point so I just kept it in my journal. The next day came around, and we were given the opportunity to have personal prayer time for an hour or so. It was beautiful just walking around trudging through the snow. As I did in the very silence of nature, I felt very alone and not knowing what I was doing or were I was even at with anything in my life. I went several places eventually making my way into the chapel, the best place which is why I saved it for last obviously. Walking into that chapel I also just get those good vibes, memories, and everything always just comes flooding back. And the smell. There is something about the smell of that place that just makes me feel at home. I just walked over to my favorite spot, right back corner and sat down. I just sat there. I did not get anything out or say any words or prayers. I just sat and cried. Why? Well I do not really know. I was just that scared little person who did not know what to do sitting in the presence of God. But did I really need to do anything? No, I was just being which is not a bad thing but it felt right to do.
The rest of the day followed and then when Adoration came later that evening I still a little unsure. The one thing I knew I wanted to do though was go up onto that altar, sit and praise Him. Because this is that scared little girl who found herself so caught up in what others thought about her and her relationship with Christ. So much so that it seemed to be missing and not there at all. After we were a few songs in, I marched myself up and there sat holding the cloth staring at the Lord. I was usually one at that point to start crying but this time I did not. I just felt so incredibly peaceful and filled with something I cannot explain, I did not. I was up there for a good while, but then I had to go to my favorite spot because it would not be Adoration without it. It seemed once I got there, all the songs that have ever had an impact on my life started playing. I sat there trying my absolute best to sing while fighting back my voice cracking due to the tears that were falling. I felt so lost, but in that moment it was like everything was taken away. There I was sitting at my favorite place and just so much hit me. I mean that was really Jesus up there and all the stupid things that were filling up things in my life were revealed so evidently.
Moving onto the next day finishing out with an intense session on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I felt something like never before. Something inside of me started to spark, and I can still feel it. It is not the same as it was before. And since then leaving that retreat, nothing in fact has been the same for me. I started to spend way more time in prayer and centering God around almost everything I am doing. And if not exactly everything then at least trying too. I have found the night time hours the best time to draw near and reflect on everything of the past day. That has been so comforting and enriching through doing “Jesus Calling” decomps, listening to music, and reading through the Bible.
As that has still continued on since the day I left, something else happened last week starting on Monday I believe. Encountering feathers is a thing I guess, and when I first saw one I did not think anything of it. But then came two, eight, twelve, twenty, and then I really started thinking on it. I knew that these were not a coincidence as I experience them at the times I seem to be least expecting it. At certain points I thought my eyes were just super sensitive to seeing dust, but no. That is not it. Like these are actual feathers, some may be smaller and there for a few seconds or appear in a tiny light form, but they are something much more than what I can understand at this specific moment in time. So many things have come up with it, and I cannot begin to explain it all because it is so complex, but this is something… you know maybe it is Saint Michael serving as my guardian angel or just a sign that God is with me. Maybe it is God trying to show me that He will give me peace if I trust Him or that the Holy Spirit is with me. I just thought of that, and then to my surprise “Holy Spirit” was the next song that came on.
Even though all of this craziness surrounding the whole feather and gifts of the Holy Spirit thing is something that I cannot exactly understand right now does not mean I will not in time. It is not going to all hit at once, even though all of this has just builded and builded. I need to be patient and wait. And while that may be hard to do, I think that’s where I am at, at this point.
At this point, I am viewing my faith as something much higher than I thought it would or ever could be and growing deeper through and in Him is what has got to keep happening. I need to give Him my heart… my piece of grass fell out of my notebook last night. I never gave it to Him. I need to hand it over to Him because I know I cannot do it without Him. But there is a part of me that cannot and is holding back, but I cannot. I need to trust. The one thing I have been having such difficulty in doing. And I feel that through all this craziness that has been going on that is what He is trying to teach me even though I feel I am making myself hide from that fact. I know what He is doing with this current situation is beautiful in its time though because one day I will figure it all out. It could be tomorrow, next year, or even ten years. Who knows, but what I do know is that all I can do now is hand over my “grass” because even though I am caught up in something really mind-blowing, complex, and supernatural feeling going on, I need to find that trust through Him. Because it is so worth it.