It started with a drive back from a hockey game. The FOCUS missionary filled the car with chatter. She started talking about the conference I said I didn’t want to go to. She spoke truth into my worries. When I returned to my apartment, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.
I’m always asking for permission from people. I double check. I clarify for the (sometimes) third time. I take forever to make decisions. When I told my mom about Arizona, her response was immediate. Go. It’s all I needed.
This experience at FOCUS’s Student Leadership Summit was different than what I had experienced at SEEK. During the talks I attended, I learned more about the Catholic Church and its teachings. I felt uplifted by the words spoken to me by the priests I had conversations with.
When I listened to a talk on evangelization, it aligned with nearly all the ways Young Life approaches sharing the Gospel with kids, down to the same verse of 1 Thessalonians 2:8.
“so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well.”
That struck me, because growing up I always thought the Catholic Church was very traditional and structured, a vast contrast from the crazy games and intentional conversations we have at Young Life. But we are talking about the same God, who wants a relationship with each of us.
My conversations with priests in confession and when my friend and I were prayed over taught me about Christ’s love. It’s both simple and indescribable. The priest I walked up to randomly and asked for prayer for my friend encouraged both of us. God loves us. There is nothing we can do to make him stop loving us. He is so good.
Quotes from the week:
“If we don’t know who we are (or) where we are, Jesus becomes an option…(we) have a God who’s willing to fight for you and let nothing stop Him…this is not a God who’s optional! He is a necessity.” – Fr. Mike Schmitz
“Jesus comes to meet us in the middle of the chaos, darkness, or confusion to meet us where we are.” – Emily Wilson
“Times when (you think) ‘I wish these moments would never end’ are pieces of Heaven.” – Sr. Mariam James Heidland
“God has made us to encounter Him in others.” – Edward Sri
“Friendship builds our identity through relationship for mission.” – Damon Owens
“Pray in 2020 like it’s nobody’s business!” – Fr. Agustino
“Jesus becomes little in the manger because He’s not afraid of our littleness.” – Sr. Miriam James Heidland