This past weekend, a group of us gathered up and went to Tennessee for a sort of youth retreat. For the last challenge of the trip, our youth pastor had us toss around a ball of yarn and encourage the person we threw it to. At the end, every person had been tossed to at least once and it was something amazing to me. It was one of those rare trips where almost everyone got along and we could all mix in with each other no matter the situations, we grew closer to people we hadn’t known well before, made new friends and had good times with our close friends, but as we passed the yarn around the room, tears slipped from a few of our eyes and most of us were only able to say a portion of what we would have liked to, but we were all connected. When we clapped, the net of yarn between all of our fingers danced wildly, when some of us laughed it shook every part of the web. When someone reached for another, the whole web sort of bent in that direction, when someone twisted the string in their grasp, we could feel it through the web. If someone had cut their string, it would have fallen slack for others, if two people had cut the string in different places, three different parts would have been formed. But no one did, we were all connected, some of us more than others.
Love is strong.
Words can do wonders, but they will fall away unless they are combined with action. Love is only a useless word unless it is accompanied by it’s meaning. There’s something about trips together, when you’re with people for a few days and cut off from the outside world, you learn things about them you never would have had the chance to otherwise, bonds are formed, memories are made, friendships spark. But what do we do now? All of that can fade away in a flash of homework, drama and stress as soon as we come back unless we do something about it. I find myself wishing I could have said more, done more, loved more, but instead, I will. I will say more, do more and love more. Life changes, you encounter new opportunities and adventures, but you don’t stop until it’s over. Live. ”Thrive in the moment.”
I remember when everything fell apart, and then He built it and us up, carved out what we had held onto, now we’re brought back together again and it’s beautiful.
There was something a little bit more special about this for me, being a senior, this was my very last Vision Quest. I’m about to head out on my own journey where I will have less constant contact with those I’ve grown up with these past few years, memories that are so clear in my mind have found their way to three and four years back, dreams I’ve longed for since then are just around the corner. I’ve thought and prayed about my dreams so much, it’s truly amazing to be so close to them. For those of you who still have a year or a few to go before you reach this point, stay strong in Him. There will be trials and you will feel like giving up, but it’s those points where you’re being refined into who you’re going to be, where you grow, where you learn. However, the most important advice I could offer anyone would be to love God and love others. Love always, love strongly. Don’t let fear get in, but love over abundantly and selflessly. Remember you’re connected to others, what you do affects them and who you’re around affects you. Everyone is important and you’re beautiful. Read the Word, soak it up and do what it says or you will trick yourself. Seek truth and love. Encourage those around you and don’t tear people down. Don’t get discouraged when things look down, it does get better, follow after Him with your whole being and don’t break the strings of those trying to help you. We were blessed for Him to save us, but He also didn’t leave us alone with Him, we’ve been given companions to share this journey with, don’t be alone.