Well, here it is. The long awaited summary of my Youth Group’s summer trip. Don’t get too excited people! This is simply life changing material!
Lol, well, where to start…. the beginning I guess!
We all piled into the van at 9:00 am. The trip up was full of laughter and frolicking. I can’t say there was anything of substance that was said or done… No one was mad at anyone else, so that was good. about halfway through the trip I started writing poetry on command… and then it started to rain really hard. It was good for me to see the rain because it kind of gave a premonition that God was going to be in the week. You see, God and I have this thing with rain. Whenever it rains outside, it’s like God and I have come to an agreement.. a stalemate almost. Like we’re going to both lay down everything we’ve got and then we’re just gonna chill like old friends. I love the rain. It’s purifying… cleansing… Anyway, we got to the hotel and settled in. We got an eyefull of the hideously green pool before we all went our seperate ways to relax before we ate and went to the conference. Joanna and I chilled on Jo’s bed while watching(or watching/snoozeing through) the fantastic four 2. We went to chik-fil-a and then went to the first session of CRAVE: experience the fullness!!… btw’s chik-fil-A is really good, and we should totally get one where I live! We started the night off with some prayer, which was a real eye-opener, because it was people my age worshipping God and praising him through prayer in the DORKIEST ways imaginable! They all looked like total freaks… and that’s what really allowed me to enter in… their freakishness. The worship was incredible, and by the time the speaker came up to speak, I was in a state of *almost* total surrender. See the thing is, I’d been having a bad attitude about a few things not going my way. There’s something about having to share a bed with a giant that gives you that… bad attitude thing…. yeah. well, that night the speaker(Bill Kirkpatrick) talked about not settling while you’re on your way to God’s chosen place for you. This is really kind of convicting to me, because I’ve been settling this past year. With school and everything, I haven’t been actively pursuing God with all I have, I’ve been kind of pursuoing God with only the pieces that I think belong to him. needless to say, I prayed about this that night and prayed for God’s will to be done in my life. That night we crashed in the hotel…. I slept with a giant… it was… fun? JK, I love Hannah, even though her legs are twice as long as mine.
Morning of day 2 we went to the conference and listened to David Sliker of IHOP talk about how he has the awesomest job ever. Basically he dwells in the presence of God all day… who doesn’t want to do that???? I would love that job! his main point was that you can’t ask for boring things and have a boring attitude and be boring about your faith and expect God to be exciting. you have to get excited about what God is doing in your life for God himself to be exciting. It sounds kind of convoluted the way I say it, but he made it sound really non-confusing… ah, the difference between him and me, I guess. anyway, after he talked I was challenged to ask God for exciting things and to take my realtionship with God to a new level by praying for specific things and not general things. After the morning session we went to steak n’ shake where we promptly stayed too long and were late for the afternoon session…(I don’t know how I feel about this). so, in the end, we had a bunch of down time before we went to supper. I got to play some killer water football! I think that the old lady who was watching us play was rather impressed by my skill at the beautiful game. That evening(after eating some delicious Kansas City BBQ at Zarda’s) we went to another before service prayer. This time I had specific things to pray for. That night I had a sort of release happen in my soul and I realized that giving God my all that week required letting him control my attitude toward select things that I’d been struggling with. Worship was, again, amazing. The whole theme of the evening was praising God with everything(See “With Everything” by Hillsong). The speaker that night kind of reminded me of the finale guy from two years ago.. two years ago it was this fat black guy with a booming voice named Reggie Dabbs. That year I got rid of anorexia. This year it was a skinny black guy with a booming voice named Chris Hill. when he got on the stage I began to prepare myself for something awesome. There’s just something prophetic about black guys with booming voices…. it just makes me feel like something awesome is about to happen(my guess is that the anointing of God has a lot more to do with this then the black and booming voice parts). To start us off Chris prayed. “God, have your way. Amen”. When you listen to big speakers speak you always expect to hear long flowery eloquent prayers that go through every stage of the Lord’s prayer. well, Chris’s explanation was that he didn’t have enough time to waste it on big long empty words. Chris talked about Rachel and Leah. He talked about the whole love triangle and how Leah was the one that was ignored and unloved. About how she named her first three son’s “to be seen” “to be heard” and “to be attached” because Leah kept thinking to herself “NOW! I have born my husband sons, may be now he will see me, hear me, and be attached to me.” But when she had a fourth son her focus shifted off of herself and her husband, and on to worshiping God. Judah… Praise. at this point Chris had an altar call and had all the peeps that were dedicating or rededicating their lives to God come forward. he prayed over them and everything… and as they were going back to their seats, he called out to one of the girls that had rededicated her life and had her come onto the stage. He prayed over her right there on the stage while everyone else(at his request) prayed in their prayer languages and stuff… he had maybe three people come up and he prayed for them… and then he asked for all the people who had been hurting and who the devil had been holding back to come to the front for prayer. Being the honest person that I am, I went forward along with another girl from my group. we were standing near the stage crying and praying and worshipping God while Chris prayed the holy spirit over people when, out of the blu, Chris asks me and my companion to come onto the stage. we went up there and he prayed. When he prayed over me, he prayed for a few very specific things that… well… one of the things was rather common knowlege to everyone. one was something I had known, but not neccisarily everyone… and then he said something that confused even me until I thought about it. He said that I’d been hurt as a young child and because of that hurt, I changed my personality… and because of that, someday in the future I would become someone that none of my friends knew because I would become who I truly am. Looking back I know exactly what he was referring to… I had forgotten completely about it until he prophesied that I would undo what I had done so many years ago… anywho, after he finished praying for me I sat down on the stage and was praying for the people surrounding me. My mind kept on returning to this one person in my Youth Group. Heart heavy, I went back to my seat, tapped that person on the shoulder, led them to the aisle and began to pray/shout/sob over him. A few of the others joined me after a few minutes and before long everyone was crying… if you knew the person I was praying over, you would know how weird that is. The guy I was praying over is way hard core manly macho man… he doesn’t cry… anyway, exhausted, we all went back to the hotel and crashed(when it was all over, that is)…
to start the day off, we went to a session by the Youth pastor of the host church(David Blackford). He talked about how you have to believe in God’s power, or else we’re pretty pathetic… and we have to embrace that power as our own through the holy spirit. pretty awesome stuff! we prayed and all that and then we ate lunch and watched the most boring dodgeball tournament EVER!!! while Jeremy went to the leadership meeting. after eating some yummy food, we went back to the church for the evening session. The speaker for this night(Joel Stockstill) preached on how everyone has a “prophetic destiny” which is just a big word for saying God’s will for your life. I don’t really remember much of what he said, but I do remember that he prayed for a bunch of peeps afterward, and while he was doing that, I was unlocking my prayer lanuage by earnestly seeking God, and experiencing a little bit of that “total surrender” that I’m so obsessed with. I lost track of time. I prayed for anything, everything, anyone, and everyone that popped into my head… and I prayed in my prayer language…. a lot… Jeremy prayed for everyone in the group, We prayed for eachother…. it was such a great bonding time with God and with eachother…. “bonding time” sounds way too tame for what it was…. it was more like a head on collision…. at any rate, it was the difference between life and death in my mind. once everyone was sufficiently cryed out, we went to powerplay(family fun center on steroids!!!) and I shot a lot of things in arcade games. It was fun. Lots of blood and gore. just down my alley. needless to say, we were all emotionally and physically spent by the time we finally crashed at 3 AM.
we stopped at a mall for the afternoon/morning. I didn’t have much fun until one of the kids from our youth group got his shoe stuc in the escalator and the mall cop called Jeremy and made it sound like he had a bunch of us in custody for shoplifting. (LOL!!!!!) …. and then we drove from KC to Mound City KS, and got settled in a SHALOM. shalom is just that, very peacefull. I was in awe of the whole environmental feel of the place. albeit, the bathrooms were disgusting and there were a lot of wasps, but I still loved it there. that night we shared what we had learned at the conference…. after that one of the seniors shared her personal history, and since it’s similar to mine, I also shared mine. After me another of the younger girls shared her story, and we were all crying and stuff…. We got prayed over, and my Big Brother cried while praying. talk about CUTE and HEART-WRENCHING!!!! how would you feel if your macho big brother that you’ve looked up to your entire life started crying while praying for you. This was Tim, btw. God’s love is so powerful, that it can bring a proud macho man to tears.
the day of work! work work work work. that’s all we did until about 4 in the afternoon. I liked it, but there were some complainers and slackers…. I don’t like that. that evening Jeremy preached on ‘You’re not hardcore unless you live hardcore.” basically he told us to give it all. to not let a little bit of poop into our brownies. to sacrifice the good things in out lives to make way for the *best things. He made us all write a list of things we would get rid of. My list was rather extensive. who knew I’d let so much crap into my life???
day of relaxation and games. I’m not going to lie, I was in a pretty foul mood for most of the day…. but it all worked out before the whole day was ruined. by 3:30 I was splashing in the lake with my friends. That night we got to talk with the cutest old couple ever about mission work. They are 94 years old and still kicking! Can you believe it! And the lady has the same name as me! Grace. I hope I’m that perky when I’m mid-90s…
home james. I got home and broke my secular cds, erased all the stolen and secular music off my zen, modified all of my clothes so that they’re modest, took down a twilight poster on my wall that had a very… inappropriate inside joke/quotation on it, deleted all my bookmarks on my internet browser, deleted all my secular favorites on youtube…. and I did a lot of stuff to my attitude. my time will be spent more effectively…. and that night, I was told by God that I needed to quit marching band. Tyhe secular culture is full of too many temptations and opportunities to compromise. it’s too much for my faith to go through without suffering a hit. don’t get me wrong, I love Band, but I love God more. Total surrender is worth every scrap of pain and suffering.
2340 words from the teenage mind on how amazing God is, and all that he’s done in my life the past week.
I’m glad you, too, could have a great youth conference!
“Don’t let poop into your brownies”……. AWESOME!!!!
What an exciting thing God is doing in your life! I can’t wait to see where He takes you as you continue to walk in Total Surrender.
Thanks for sharing, Grace! I enjoyed every word. You are such a good writer. Thanks for being open and honest about what God did. It’s such a testimony.
I am so glad we have an awesome God! I am so pumped you got to see him during your youth trip and the modifications you are willing to make to have a stronger relationship with him. For the short time I have known you, I knew the that first time I met you God was and is going to use you in remarkable ways. So keep pushing forward, seeking and pursuing God’s heart!