Monday, July 10, 2006

building bridges.

well, i'm back from panama city. and i can honestly say that it was a life changing experience for quite a few people.

i started out the weekend needing a major attitude adjustment. i wanted a different room, different mirrors, different bathrooms, more toilet paper and showers, different stuff, different this, different that...

one of the very first questions that joey (our speaker) asked us is the reason why we came on this retreat. there were lots of answers...mine was to learn. and the beach, of course. and boy, did i get what i wanted. i learned a lot more than i thought i would. i started out thinking that i wasn't going to like joey's way of teaching at all, and it was different, but it taught me.

i started to think really hard (okay, maybe overthink) about my motives in a lot of the things that i've done lately. what if i had everyone fooled - including myself - and God was the only one who knew that i was doing stuff for the wrong reasons. how could i be a leader in the youth, in the church, my school, my community? i felt a lot better after a talk on the beach with travis and a moonlight reflection ankle-deep in the ocean with the waves crashing around me and my friends standing near. i got this feeling...peaceful, that i was worrying about nothing, that everything was going to be alright.

friday was spent on the road, likewise today, saturday was spent on the beach, and sunday we cruised over to shell island, saw some wild dolphins (!!!!!!), cute boys that look like ryan junkin and justin hott, and eating out at pinapple willy's. then, instead of a nightly session, we had the love chair.

i completely forgot that we were slated to have another love chair. honestly, before this trip, i absolutely HATED the love chair. sometimes i find myself having a hard time thinking of something to say that sounds of sincere encouragement. i was second to be in the love chair, and some of it was a surprise, some of it i expected, some of it made me want to cry, some of it made me want to leap out of my chair and hug whoever was talking. but, as we went around the circle, i found myself anxiously waiting to tell the person in the middle whatever it was that i loved about them. i felt such a deeper connection to everyone after we got done. i kinda hated that we skipped the adults, though. but thats what the encourage cards were for:)

i got another henna tattoo..but i think i got ripped off..because its already fading and its only been a day. that sucks. i guess if it does i'll use a sharpie and draw it back on for the rest of the month. and gosh im poor, i came home with one stinkin dollar from this trip. just one.

but i got to go to whataburger today. and talk to justin on IM.

rude awakening: it's amazing how God works, isn't it? i prayed for a girl on our trip about her faith and salvation, and later that night, she got saved. i had doubts about our lessons, but i learned a lot more than i thought. i made deeper friendships and started to learn guitar. i relaxed. i swam in the ocean, soaked in God's beauty, and the sun (causing the sunburn that is currently upon my body, and my peeling nose), saw His creation (dolphins, manatee), and proved myself wrong over and over again. all in one great weekend.

and i'm glad to be home, but i definitely miss being able to walk outside, cross the street, and hit the sandy beach. then again, i'm super happy i'm sleeping in my own bed tonight (and not a bunkbed), and that i'm not sharing a bathroom with 10 females anymore.

so yeah, my weekend was great. let's go do something else!

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