Todd and I were asked to lead a couple of sessions at Hilton Head Christian Academy's Upper Middle School Retreat yesterday at New Ebenezer Retreat Center in Rincon, GA. This was the first time Todd and I have been asked to do something like this together. I've led worship for retreats for about 13 years, but this was Todd's first time to speak at a retreat with me leading worship. Todd actually had more "stuff" to bring than me! He brought all kinds of props for illustration purposes and since I play the acoustic guitar now, he didn't have to drag my keyboard with us! It was definitely a first for our family. We brought Sean D with us and he had a blast having all these girls saying all day "he's so cute!"
I was the exact age of these kids when I first remember God speaking to my heart about pursuing a relationship with Him. I was at GA Camp (Girls in Action, baby!) It looked very similiar to this retreat center. It was a little erie to me because I really don't feel like it was that long ago, but it was...and we will just leave it at that.
I loved middle school. I had a great best friend, Mindy, and we were both beginning to understand what it meant to read our Bible and talk to God. We shared with each other all kinds of things that we were learning. My music really started to take off when I was in 7th and 8th grade and I was practicing all the time. I think that is why I have such fond memories. I had a great friend to encourage me during that critical time in my life and my music was becoming a big part of my life. I'm thankful for HHCA and the importance that they are placing on a personal walk with God.
One of the activities during the one-day retreat was for each student to create their own spiritual journal for this year. I still have mine from middle school and I can't wait to show my kids one day when they are ready. I'm so thankful for my Christian heritage and that I had the opportunity to engage with God as a middle schooler. I wasn't perfect and I didn't always make the right decisions as a teenager. However, I did have a relationship with God, I knew that He loved me, and I had already begun to see how He had plan for my life through my music. It was an awesome privilege to be a part of the retreat, to be with these amazing students, and to have time to reflect on my own spiritual journey. It was a great day!