I spent a long, busy, exhausting, and completely draining weekend in Sacramento this weekend. On the way there, within the first 5 or 6 hours of our drive, I wanted to turn around and go home. What the HECK am I doing here? Who are these people I am with and what do I think I am doing getting involved in this? PLEASE God just let me go home. I’m done.
So that was my heart on the way to the Youth Specialties conference in Sacramento with Bel Air Presbyterian Church. I literally was almost naseous in the car because I didn’t know anybody in the group except JD and Chris (and I wasn’t in the same car as them), and I didn’t know if I was even really called to high school ministry this year…so I wanted to just be done with it and go home, but Bel Air paid for me to go and so I was stuck.
I’ll be honest, the speakers were great and I learned a ton about minsitry and genuinely wanted to be excited about it but my heart just wasn’t quite there. Chris Tomlin led worship, the fellowship was good (as I got to know the group better), seminars fun, mom was there, and really it was great, but my heart…. well I don’t know if I can even describe to you the state of my heart but let’s just say that every time we worshipped I told God I didn’t know how and couldn’t sing because it wasn’t genuine.
Frustrating to no end, I could NOT for the life of me sort anything that was going through my head.
So, although I’m having a great time on the outside and am truly enjoying people and learning, I’m in turmoil on the inside. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon…. my good friend and I decide to go to the seminar about ministering to college students. Though we’re college students already, we also minister to college athletes and felt like it would be a good place to go. So we went. And the truth is, God had something incredible in store for us and we didn’t have a clue.
I feel like I won’t even begin to truly explain what took place in our hearts (I say ‘our’ because JD and I both experienced it)… but at some point when the speaker was addressing the issues that college-aged students face, we both felt like he was telling us about our lives. Our struggles, our identity, our fears, our strengths… were all put before us and each one matched. Seriously it felt like FINALLY someone got us. Life direction, debt, contentment, school, etc. The phrase that made me want to cry (literally) was: “They are fragile. Their hearts are fragile and they are really good at hiding it.” And it was truth. The way in which he spoke it was so gentle and loving and full of grace that it was literally like Christ spoke directly to my heart. Fragile. Good at hiding it.
Oh and I am! Every five minutes I try to draw my own conclusions, wonder about the future, wonder about now, question my heart, question my faith, let it get crushed, try to rebuild it. I mean I am a zoo! I am! I’m not going to hide it any more! I am a wreck. And you know what? Jesus gets me. He does. Just like the speaker fully understood everything going on in my life (and that rarely happens), Jesus understands even more. And as basic as that sounds, it is truth.
My faith has never experienced anything like what is going on right now, and I could never articulate to anybody exactly what I was going through. But every single aspect of my life that is going on now has a name to it… something tangible almost… and I feel like God has just breathed new life into me. I know I’m not explaining this well… but in this moment I feel a peace that I have not felt in a long time. My worship is real again. I can praise Him because He gets me. He understands me and knows me and I may know Him. The very King that I had cried out to and told I had nothing for Him… reached out and touched my heart intimately and deeply. This is my King. This is my love.