This weekend changed my life. God is SO good, let me tell ya. For some background information, if you didn’t know, I’m doing a mentorship at Calvary Baptist this semester through school. This past weekend they had a weekend long youth retreat called Discipleship Now (D-Now) led by a team of 20 students from Liberty University (AKA my soon-to-be home). To be honest, I went into the weekend thinking I wasn’t going to learn that much, and I was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends because I didn’t know anyone in their youth group. And I can’t thank God enough that he showed up and worked in my life like he did. I came out of the weekend with amazing, new relationships with some awesome youth and LU students and a complete heart change. God gave me a redefining moment.
What’s a redefining moment? It’s a time where God teaches you something completely new and changes your heart.
So what happened was, the first night, one of the Liberty guys started preaching about the cross because the theme for the weekend was Cornerstone. And my heart tuned it out. I thought, “I’ve heard this story a million times. Yes, Christ died for me. And praise the Lord for that, but I’ve heard it so much.” GOD PROVED ME WRONG. SO SO WRONG.
It turned out I actually hadn’t heard the message enough.
One of the pastors at the church spoke to us the next morning and asked what some of the redefining moments were that people had had so far. The room was silent. It took so much prodding and poking to get students to stand up and say what they had learned, and the first two who eventually said something were both middle schoolers. God humbled me right then and there. My thoughts were, “Wow. How full of myself I am to think that I know everything there is to know about this story.” I immediately prayed for God to come and give me a redefining moment and teach me more than I ever thought he could this weekend.
AND HE DID. LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES.
After that, I started actively listening and thinking deeper. I opened up to my small group, which had eight high school girls and two Liberty leaders, and talked a lot more than I had the night before. On the way to Hot Wok, I had a deep conversation with one of the LU girls about our passions (Umm… We both want to help rescue sex-trafficking victims. HOW COOL IS THAT?!) and I just felt more joy than I have in a long time.
Then, that night, we had a service that just hit home on how important Jesus dying on the cross is. It literally is the foundation of the entire world. Jesus is our fulfillment of the past and our hope for the future. I learned that the only thing keeping us from having absolute freedom in Christ’s loving sacrifice is ourselves. Our selfish, all-about-me selves. I learned about how important the old testament law was and what it means for us today. That night, we went to host homes (which means we could stay up as late as we want), so we had a small group time that lasted for a good two or more hours. We finished out our weekend at the church service this morning before we all went our separate ways, and I was actually so upset to leave the weekend I had so many doubts and apprehensions going into.
I fell in love with Jesus all over again, and also formed some amazing new friendships. I learned more this weekend than I ever have in this short of a time.
My ten-minute drive home was the first time I had been completely alone all weekend, and the second I pulled out of the parking lot, the Holy Spirit hit me hard. I cried tears of joy the whole way home for what God did in my life this weekend and what he has been doing and will continue to do for eternity.
This weekend I came to realize just how great my Father is and how great the sacrifice of his Son was. And I also learned a million other things that will impact my life forever. So I just wanted to give a shout out to the Liberty University YouthQuest team, and the specific ladies who seriously impacted me this weekend: Gloria, Lindsey, and Justice B. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I cannot wait to join y’all at Liberty next year and watch how God continues to work in each of our lives (and maybe even join YouthQuest). Also, a HUGE shout out to God for calling each person to be there this weekend and for changing every single one of our hearts. You’re a good, good Father.