One of the most challenging and rewarding moments emerged the winter I went to Williams, Arizona with my church. It allowed me to get an indepth view, at my past, my future and the people that will accompany me on that path. It was a situation where the timing just seemed completely perfect and the experience reflected it.
When I first realized that I was going to have to spend time with peers I didn’t know and who I would have to share my personal stories with, I was not thrilled. I believed that my thoughts and experiences were mine and that they shouldn’t be passed around like some latest gossip story on a magazine. Sadly, I also believed that I, myself, did not need to be refined in any way. As I soon came to figure out, that was not the case at all.
When I got into this small group setting with ten other cabin members it was like something that came from a self-help book. Everyone in that room was intently listening to whomever was speaking, which made it even more amazing to find myself letting my guard down around others who I hardly knew. Finally, I let my testimony out to the group. I opened up this intense hurt to them, caused from an abusive father who wanted nothing more than to see his own family suffer. Tears overcame my words as I sat there being looked over by several girls who cried beside me. As I made myself into a little ball one of the girl took my hand and prayed. The sense of freedom overwhelmed me and I felt relieved for the first time. I felt the support from the girls and most importantly, from God.
As I continued to expand myself throughout the weekend, my heart seemed with fill with hope and courage. It began to feel as though my hurt and anger were subsiding and being replaced. My passion for my God and others engulfed me. It’s a feeling I cannot completely express in words. Then I made a personal choice that I wasn’t going to be afraid anymore. It was a decision that I have never regretted.
In the end something that I stubbornly thought was going to harden me further was actually the thing that exposed the real side of me. I see now that the timing was planned and that it was my turn now to have a little faith. I think those times are what makes any vacation, camp, or experience worth opening up about.
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