Hey guys! I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been on here, but you know… life (insert long dramatic sigh here) However, this weekend I had the opportunity to attend a retreat hosted by my church organizations ( COGOP) young adults ministry. What a beautiful time it was, but more importantly… it was very eye opening.
During the Friday night service, the floor was opened up to time of testimony, and during that time I noticed a common trend. The majority of the people in the room were dealing with same issues: anxiety, depression and loneliness to name a few, and when I tell you that there was a season of breakthrough that began in that session… You had to be there to understand,
This weekend it became very obvious that there are people hurting all over the place. Sometimes while we are going through our struggle, we tend to think that we are the only ones who have ever felt the way we feel, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. When we are going through something, our natural reaction is to put our self into a state of reclusiveness. We try to cope all on our own, not seeking help from friends or family or even God.
Why do we do this? We’re afraid of being judged. We’re afraid of seeming weak. We’re afraid of what people might say. We are afraid of being seen as ” not having all together” and the fact of the matter is, none of us have it all together! It’s only the grace of God that keeps us afloat, even though sometimes we fail to ask Him to throw us a life preserver.
This retreat did a great job of creating a “safe space” where us young adults felt confident enough to share our struggles, and know that we had a community of people who can empathize with us and pray with and for us. What was also amazing to see was that after it was all said and done, I didn’t see anyone react to or treat anyone any differently than before. I actually saw young people embracing, encouraging and praying for other young people that they may not have even known before the weekend started. More churches need to create these safe spaces so young people can feel comfortable to talk about things that may be considered “church taboo” Church is not only a place for the saved. Church is a place for the weary, the burdened down , the broken, the lost, the lonely….
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:28-29
We have to remember that the church is not the physical building. WE are the church, Us who have confessed Jesus as Lord. It’s our job to lift one another up, we feel down. To stand in as an intercessor when life hits us hard and we just can’t pray on our own. Oftentimes we forget , while your personal journey with God is an independent one, we are all on the same road heading to the same place. If one struggles , we all struggle. So be aware of those around you because you never know what they are dealing with. Be receptive to help when it comes your way.
I’ve made no attempts to hide that 2017 has been probably one of the worst years of my life. I myself have semi isolated myself and have been trying to do it all on my own. Until this weekend… get yourself a group of friends who can pray for you !( Thanks Lys)
There’s been a song by James Fortune that has been encouraging me for the past couple of weeks. These are some of the lyrics that have really spoken to me through this track:
Sometimes it gets worse
(Yeah, and I know)
Before it gets better
But you hold on
(You can’t give up)
‘Cause it will get better
The times that we fall
(Even the pain won’t let up)
The pain won’t let up
You hold on, yeah
‘Cause it will get better
You’ve been doing nothing
Time for the stress to end
Life try to break you
I know you’re tired but don’t stop fighting
Your life isn’t over, today is a brand new day
Just weather the storm
Because eventually every storm runs out of rain
(Read more: James Fortune And FIYA – It Gets Better Lyrics | MetroLyrics )
I just want to end tonight’s post with a prayer.
Thank you for the gift that was this retreat this weekend . Thank you for allowing your servants to be obedient to the spirit and creating a safe space for young people to discuss their problems. God, I know you hear and understand us. Thank you for your reminder that even when we can’t see You, You’re still there! I pray for everyone who brought their needs to you this weekend- and even more so for those who didn’t. Lord, I pray that you would continue to be a comforter in our times of need. Continue to build us up as a family who prays and looks out for each other. Lord, continue to build leaders who answer the call, who seek to understand the mind of young people and guide them to the cross!
A scripture that has kept me grounded this week especially has been Isaiah 43:2;
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
Have a blessed week! Call somebody and tell them you love them! Give someone a hug! You never know who might need it!