Last week I had the opportunity to be a leader on our church’s Youth Group Trip. I went to this trip expecting to hear from God and expecting to see Him move. It did not disappoint. However, the messages I got from this trip were not the messages I expected to hear. And well, that makes sense, I am not God.

We spent the week in the Book of Psalms with the theme- Hit the Pause Button. It is amazing how much clearer you can hear from God when you purposefully remove distractions and surround yourself in God’s beauty and creation.

The cabin we were staying in had the most beautiful view of the Smokey Mountains. Every time I tried to take a picture, it did not do it justice.

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I verbalized my desire to be at this retreat as an opportunity to seek clarity on the direction God wants me to move.

The very first Selah time (hour long independent time with God), I was overwhelmed with the message, “Join in Creations Song.” No one has to tell those birds to sing, they just do it. No one tells those clouds to hover over the mountains, they just do it. They know their role is to be part of God’s creation. Thus, I do not need a solo act. I need to join where God is already at work.

It was humbling. It was perspective changing. It was not the answer I wanted. It was the answer I needed. I am the created. He is the Creator. I am privileged to be able to join Him in His work!

That was just day 1. Ok Lord, how can I join in the work You are doing in the lives of these students? The answer- Be present. Be a servant-leader.

Throughout the course of the week, I had the opportunity to share bits of my testimony, I had the opportunity to listen to students expressing concerns and insecurities, I got to watch the students  seek mentorship, and I got to see so much more as I worked behind the scenes serving these kids like I would my own kids at home. (Yes, I missed my kids A LOT!)

During our second evening session, I could tell God was moving. We had just summarized the Psalms. Each person took 10 Psalms and looked for characters traits- nouns and adjectives, to describe God. We learned that during times of lament, during times of praise, during times of thanksgiving, during times of seeking wisdom, those traits remained the same. Steadfast! Our God is an always and forever, never-changing, Lord of all, Creator, who loves us enough to desire a relationship with us each, individually.

Then we sang. It was a simple, humble worship with a guitar and 15 voices. But God moved! His presence was undeniable, even to one student who admittedly did not buy into the whole “Christian” thing.

This student didn’t come to that conclusion because we told him. He didn’t realize this because he read the Bible. He recognized this, because he saw Christians living out their faith and truly worshiping our Lord!

How great is our God!

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4