My life has seemed to astonish some people so far in my teenage years. I have gone through tough times with my family and I have also gone through the zenith points in my life, where everything seemed to be almost perfect. My school work and my social life have always had its place in my heart, but religion has not. Recently, I have traveled, but not to another country, another state or another city, but another region in my city and my mind. I recently went on a religious retreat in which I feel as though God’s hands touched my soul. His hands lifted me, and made me believe that I was not alone, that my youthful years do not have to be wasted with drugs, sex, violence, and never finding my way to salvation.
My family had always been very religious, but somehow before I had ever went to the retreat, the religious views my family had shared for many years never came to me.
Over the past few years I have gone from believing to be very strongly attached to God and all the way to even doubting at time, God’s existence. The youth retreat, which at first, really did not seem to appeal to me in any way, shape, or form…built hope, it built faith, it built courage, and most importantly built my relationship with God.
Even though I have traveled outside of the country before to other exotic countries in the past, none of those experiences will ever be alike in any way to what I and forty other young souls experienced with Christ. I felt as though I was in another world at times, a world where silence and teenagers were acquainted with full respect to each other.
At the retreat, sometimes I wondered why I was there in the first place. Sleeping in cabins, taking cold showers due to a lack of hot water, being forced to meet new people in order to make friends and actually talk to someone, all to be able to fully experience and enjoy the retreat. And even though teenagers and cold water do not mix well at six in the morning, the whole retreat worked out and turned out to be not just any religious getaway, but a retreat in which we were all able to stop, and listen to God’s call.
After the retreat was over, my eyes never saw the world the same way ever again. I was taught to listen to the birds in the morning, look at the green grass and leaves on the trees, breathe and meditate in the mornings to see what many people tend to miss due to busy schedules. And if I were to give a speech to a youth group somewhere someday, I for sure would bring up this past retreat, to try and inspire them to not just open their heart, but enjoy all the gifts Gods gives humanity that many of us tend miss day after day after day.
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