November 21, 2010

Confirmation Retreat

To piggy-back off of my most recent post, I'm going to continue on with more church related things. Growing up Catholic was never that big of a deal to me until I got into the last two years of high school. I was blessed with the most amazing Youth Minister (hi, Eileen!) known to mankind. Absolutely amazing. If I could adopt her as my older sister, I would in a heartbeat. She opened my heart and my eyes to the Lord more than I could even imagine and for that, I owe her everything.

Anyway, in the last twelve months, I have also been truly blessed to have been able to lead four church retreats under Eileen's leadership--one being a couple weekends ago. Since living in San Diego, I wasn't sure if I would able to make it "home" to lead the retreat, but by pulling some strings, I was there! And boy oh boy, am I so very glad I went. I say this about every retreat I go on or lead, but that was one of the best weekends of my life. Leading high schoolers to know and love Jesus is just incredible. There is nothing more that I would want to do with my weekends than lead Eileen's retreats. They are just...marvelous. I am speechless, which isn't a common occurrence! Below are a few pictures from the most recent retreat, the Confirmation I retreat.

My small group

The entire group :)

A labyrinth perfect for self-reflection

The beautiful Eileen and me :)

"No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

November 20, 2010

On my heart...

When I wrote the post about Korrine a couple weeks ago, sweet comments and emails were pouring in via Facebook and here leading me to praise the Lord for everything that I have and don't have even more than I do. It really touches me that all these people are thanking me for writing such a beautiful post, but really, He is just using me as a vessel to spread Korrine's glory and His mercy as well.

A couple Wednesdays ago (Korrine's death date), another close, close friend of mine, H (my bff's little brother), sent me a chat on Facebook and said he was crying about the post and really wanted to thank me. We talked about Korrine a little bit and also death in general. Quite morbid, but it was a deep, moving conversation--one that not many people can have with the opposite gender in teenage years AND without getting the chills and/or crying.

He then broke some other bone-chilling information. H told me that his good friend that he met this past summer at church camp from out of state was diagnosed with Leukemia a couple days before this chat and she was given eight months to live.





I wanted to cry. Actually, I did, what am I talking about? I was so sad and upset all at the same time. There I was, upset but looking for the goodness coming about from Korrine's death and then receiving news and crying about yet another young teen that I had never even met before. Cancer sucks, I hate it. I don't even know this girl but knowing that she has an aggressive form of cancer and a time limit left on her life hit me deep. Before I started talking to H, I was on an energy surge from the Giants first World Series win and the Sharks win that night as well, so needless to say any wind that was in my sails was immediately gone. What's scary is that people all over the world and all across our nation day and are diagnosed with cancer each and every day of our lives. Every day.

What would you do if you were given eight months to live? Not even that but she is seventeen years old, making me barely a year older than her. When my roommate got back to our room for the night, we started talking about what we would do if we were diagnosed with cancer. Probably not the most uplifting conversation to have, but we talk about some strange things. I immediately said that I would drop out of school and spend every waking moment with the people I love doing nothing but fun things. Like Lori Harper once said, I would not waste any rainy days or hours of daylight, for those are the moments where spontaneity are most present and besides, who knows how long we will have the ability to enjoy them? The thoughts of, "oh, tomorrow" or "well...maybe next week" would be flushed out the window. Like I try so very hard to do now, I would live completely in the moment and quit dwelling in the past or meticulously planning out my future.

"Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices." Psalm 37:7

Be still. Have patience. Wait for the Lord, for He has plans for each and every one of us. Cancer sucks, but knowing God is by our sides every step of the way is so encouraging. He planned this for us and for that very reason, we must accept it and carry on.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." John 14.27


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