A week ago today, I went on a trip called CIY (Christ in Youth) for the third time. Every year I have attended, my faith is deeply impacted along with my life. I assumed that this summer I would learn more about my calling as I have for the past two summers and that would be that. But God surprised me and showed me new things.
One thing God showed me this past week was that I don’t need to be afraid. I remember sitting in the middle of a session while a sermon was taking place and sort of drifting off into thought. I was thinking about how my world is going to be changing and that answering my calling will not be easy, and that scared me. The band began to play but I stayed sitting down and just started to pray. I was saying to God, “I have fears and I have doubts, give me your strength,” when a song began to play. As I sat there, the band sang the lyrics, “All fear removed, I breathe you in, I lean into your love,” and that was so beyond comforting to hear in my moment of weakness. I thought it was incredible that God showed me so quickly that His love will always protect and save me and that I can put complete trust in Him. I can find comfort in the Lord and be able to lean on Him in times of sorrow or worry. It’s so reassuring for me to know this so if I can just live one day at a time and be sure that God is with me, God is protecting me, and God loves me, I can get through it.
The Lord also showed me that as a church, as a youth group, and as His children, we have unity that will last. We are united with Christ and we are united with each other. There is one moment in particular will always make me think of this. It was our last night at CIY and all of the people who will be leaving – whether for college or moving away – stood in a circle and were prayed over. It was such a powerful and comforting moment at the same time because I was feeling sad but so supported. My hand was being held and my arm was wrapped around the person next to me and this image will forever resonate in my mind. God gives us a community to lean on and be supported by and He lets us lean on Him. God takes us by the hand and picks us up. He rescues us and calls us to Him, and sometimes through each other. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 says: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” I’m so grateful to have a church that I can call home and a youth group that I can call family. No matter the circumstances, I am united with them and united with others as the body of Christ. We are brought together as one as God’s children. We are united with Him and with each other because we have all been made alive in Christ.
Fearlessly we can make the word of God known. Fearlessly spread His love. Fearlessly face opposition in your life. Fearlessly follow Him without hesitation. Know that the Lord will always protect you with His love, strength, and power and that you have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to lean on.