Last night I got home from the 2007 Lutheran Church Canada National Youth Gathering "i am", which was held in Ottawa. It was an awesome week, full of so many things that I could probably write for days and not even be able to sum up the complexity and emotion and events that took place. So I'll try and give you an overview of the serious stuff, and you can check out my Facebook and my web album in a couple of days for the crazy fun stuff!
Who owns you?
This was something that really stuck in my mind from the gathering. There were many themes and words and phrases, and many of them resonated with me, but this idea was the most resonant of all. I'm not actually sure who, or what, owns me, but if I have to ask myself that and search so hard for the answer, it makes me think that it's probably not God. I think maybe I've been trying to own myself, or make my situation into what I want to own, if that makes any sense...
This is something I've been struggling with lately - I feel that no matter where I go, who I'm with, or what I'm doing, there are people who are really important to me that I miss. Quality time is a pretty high-ranking love language for me, and right now, all of my best, closest, longest-term friends live somewhere that I don't, and that fact make chances for quality time pretty slim. (I do have good friends in Calgary that I love, and I don't want to short-change them at all, but as dear as they are, we're all too busy to really have the time for quality time either!) I find that thought kind of depressing, and I've been trying to make decisions based on where the people I love are located. It seems logical to me - God put these specific people in my life, so why wouldn't He want me to be closer to them?
I didn't have any big, earth-shaking revelations at the gathering, but on the last afternoon, as we sat on the bus, I did hear a still, small voice that said to let go. I said "ok God, I'll say good bye, and then I'll let go". Ironically enough, I didn't get to say good bye to the people I wanted to! I think it was a hint... :) I guess that He gave me friends in the first place - "you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name" - I really need to just let go of what I want and just trust that He has it all under control. For the last couple of months, I thought I was trusting, but really, I was just praying that what I wanted would happen. I still want it, and feel that it IS what He wants, but my attitude and motivations were more centered around myself then they should have been.
Heaven is like a Gathering
One thing that I really cling to for hope, and that gives me much joy, is that I know I will see my friends again, and we'll have all the God-moments and all the worshiping and fun that we have at a youth gathering, but with out all the work and stress that we put in now. :)
...I'm exhausted, but content. One of the people at work, when I told her how tired I was, said "you don't look tired, you look great". I don't feel "great", but I do feel peaceful. God reminded me of His awesomeness and attention to detail this last week, and while I feel totally drained, I have a lot of hope for whatever He's going to do with me next! I just have to be patient and let go of what I want, and be ready for and open to what He wants for me.