The last few days, I had the privilege of spending some time with the sweet girls from Asbury Madison on their Girl’s Retreat! There were around 85 girls middle school to high school. We spent our time at Stoney Creek Retreat Center which is located in Cullman, AL. It was such a pretty location for a retreat! It was kind of odd for me, because I wasn’t actually leading this trip! My good friend Kristen was! I just got to come along for the ride, speak, write curriculum and small groups, and hang out with youth and adults.
It was a great weekend. I felt baptized with fire as I walked in on a lively game of “Do you love your neighbor?” or fruit basket turn over for Element peeps. There was giggling, squealing, polka dot patterned flags hanging everywhere, flowers on every table, finger nail painting, duct tape wallets being made, flower pens on every bed, enos galore and plenty of chocolate and Dr. Pepper to go around for everyone. We had group games and silly skits a plenty too!
Our theme for the weekend was “Devoted” taken out of Acts 2:42… where it talks about the apostles devoting themselves to the Lord, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer… We took time during the weekend to break down those different parts. I had the chance to share about who we are devoted to as “Jesus is Lord,” what it means to walk in obedience with your calling and spiritual disciplines, and I got to share part of my testimony too. 🙂 I was also able to have some really great conversations come out of it about family, healing from painful situations, being with a man that loves Jesus verses loves being a Christian, and allowing yourself to trust God with your fears. It was just wonderful. I love conversations like that.
We spent some time Friday for about an hour and a half doing solo time. It was so neat to see all the girls spread out with their Bibles, notebooks, and flower pens to spend some time with the Lord. It was at a girls retreat during a long solo time like that where I received my calling into youth ministry. I try to do my own times like that at home, but there is something about being out in nature, with out your phone, and the accountability that there are just enough people with in sight to see if you are napping,..that made it so good.
I feel good about the summer. It just has been busy…already. I reflected in solo time on the fact that in between to super busy, physically demanding trips, God provided me the opportunity to get away, in His creation, not be in charge, and to just speak the word of truth and show students the love of Christ by playing silly guessing games or egyptian rat screw or helping a little girl make a duct tape wallet pocket.
Another thing I loved was getting to hang out with my friend Kristen, who is one of the youth ministers there. I got to see who is in her youth group, what volunteers she has, and how she does things there! She is one of my best friends. We don’t get to talk much in the summer because we are both on trips a lot, much less see each other. We have similar sized youth groups, and we have a lot in common so we talk a lot. It was fun to actually do ministry together!
To the Fathomers, thank you so much for letting me come hang out with y’all, share with y’all, and encourage you in your faith. YOU were an encouragement to me!!! May you remain devoted to the Lord, the with you God, and obediently walk out your faith in word and deed. The more you seek Him, the more you will find Him.