The day is FINALLY here. It was nearly impossible to get any sleep last night because of all the excitement. This morning our team (11 girls in total) set off for our long awaited trip to Ecuador, and now here I am sitting in the airport thinking about what is to come and reflecting on what has just happened.
The last few days we have been in Gainesville, Georgia at training camp in preparation for our trip. I had no idea what to expect when it came to training camp, but I have to get straight to the point. I can honestly say that I have felt more alive in the past three days than I feel I have in my whole entire life. My spirit is overwhelmed just trying to think of all the things I have learned and experienced.
Our days consisted mostly of sessions of various topics of faith such as our identity in Christ, the Holy Spirit, shame, false-self, and hearing God’s voice. We also had team building activities, team sharing time, and worship. I was not prepared at all to have to really dig deep down into the dirty, hidden, broken places of my heart. I was totally caught off guard. I realize now, how am I to go out into the world telling the truths and joys of following Christ, if I myself don’t believe them and allow myself to truly experience them? How am I to go and set people free, if I myself do not feel free? So I was thrown into a group of strangers and was encouraged to open up and tell them all the things I have and continue to struggle with, all the things I felt shameful about, all the things I hadn’t forgiven, all the things you try to forget about or put out of your mind.
There is so, so, so, so much freedom in being vulnerable, honest, and open with people. I shared practically my whole life story with these girls and told them things I hadn’t even told my closest friends. And they loved me, they related to me, and they were happy for me. I feel more alive just because I exposed those things to the light and no longer feel shame, or guilt. I feel so free. The feeling of freedom allowed me to participate in THE BEST worship I have ever had. Totally, unashamed, no judgement, knees on the floor, hands in the air worship.
Getting rid of the things that weighed me down, or held me back, opened up my heart and eyes so much more to the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. My favorite activity was one where my whole team stood in a circle and closed our eyes. One person was selected by our leaders and none of us knew who. We had to ask the Lord to lay on our hearts whatever that person needed to hear. We had to be quiet and listen to what the Lord was saying to us. And boy did he speak. It was something I had never, ever experienced before. People were saying things that were bringing the selected girls to tears just because it was so true for her life.
I have learned so much from training camp, and could go on for hours. But I have mostly just come to realize what happens when you really let go, really become free, realize who you are in Christ, and become more in tune with the Holy Spirit. You live. You finally know what it is like to be alive.
And now I feel so much more prepared for my trip than when I had got on the plain to Georgia. And now it is time to go out on our journey and bring others ti life. The challenges are still yet to come, but I’ve got the Holy Spirit with me where ever I go. I am confident in the Lord and his power and am ready to serve him. Our last song of worship last night was “Come Away” by Jesus Culture. There is a line that says, “It’s gonna be wild, it’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be filled with me.” And that is exactly what this trip is about to be.