(Posted on September 27th, 2014)
When I heard about the "Prayer Retreat," I signed up without a single doubt, because who could pass up with more time with Jesus and the outdoors?!? I thought I'd share my experience with you guys! Keep in mind this all happened in the last 24 hours.
4:15ish PM: We departed. We talked pretty much the whole way there.
6:36 PM - We arrive to the retreat location. About 20 minutes before this photo was taken, we were super close to get in a car wreck, but by the grace of God we didn't!
7:00 PM through 9:00 PM - We settled in our cabin, explored around the area, met people from the other university, and ate a deliciously prepared dinner, in that particular order.
Oh, and that's me. Hi me. This was taken when we were exploring around. We were the only people there and it was pretty cool.
9:00ish PM though 10:40ish PM - We had a hour of pure solitude surrounded by his artwork, which happens to include mosquitoes. When we all got back to the cabin, we paired up with someone and really focused on the topic of surrendering to God. This intimate moment was really encouraging and just plain wonderful! I got to meet Victoria, who just so happens to be the sweetest person in the world. Afterwards, we headed back to the cabin by the appointed time.
10:45ish PM through Midnight - We were now free to do whatever we wanted and this is when it got really exciting. I got to meet many people from the other University and just shared laughter with one another. What more can I ask for? Laughter is like medicine for the soul. Half way into our game of Clue, a couple of guys wanted to go hike out to the mountains and sing praises to God.
I WAS SO IN. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I COULD NOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT.
THE LORD HAS ANSWERED MY PRAYERS.
You have no idea. Flashback a week ago, my desires to go traveling heightened to a new level. I mean it's always at an oddly high level, but last week was at it's extreme. I kept going on about how I wanted to go backpacking and hiking, but how I couldn't because nobody shared that desire of mine. And you guys, God answered my dear prayers!! I was overly excited at the fact that He heard and answered me and that was SUCH a joyous moment. Okay. Okay. So we jumped over the side of a gate and away we went to hike. It was kinda scary, because I never imagined doing such a thing at night, but it was a happy-scary. You feel? While we were walking, the "totally-adventurous-guy-who-inspires-me-in-every-way" started to tell a scary story. That really settled the whole "this is scary and we could get killed out here" vibe. BUT nevertheless, I was still very, very much excited. Once we finally reached the end of the trail and came to the Devil's bathtub, we had to find a place to sit around. We found a good spot near the waterfall, but it wasn't near enough to fall in and die. So one of the guys pulled out his guitar, and we all started to sing along to the music.
Let me tell you.
It. was. amazing.
Not only did God answer my prayers, but we were all gathered together, connecting and bonding and singing. But it gets better, you look up and you see this magnificent collection of stars wrapping the night sky that all speaks of His glory. That night will be remembered. Even if I didn't get a picture.
The Next Day...
5:33 AM - I woke up from a light and uncomfortably sleep to see the sunrise, it was too dark and nobody was awake. I went back to bed with my shoes on.
7:45 AM - I woke up from a deep and comfortable sleep to see the sunrise, it was bright and some people were awake. I grabbed my blanket and ran outside.
Can you smell that refreshing morning air?
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM - I played a board game with the few people that were up, and we ate a well prepared breakfast (biscuit, gravy, sausages, eggs, orange juice, donuts, etc).
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - We had another quiet time with God, so we got out of the cabins and had to find a location. I picked a spot by a river, under a tree, and near a mini waterfall (it took me 20 minutes to find it).
10:00ish AM - 11:00 AM - We sang some praises, and had some free time!
These are some of the wonderful girls I met through this retreat. They're all so lovely and kind and beautiful.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - We ate lunch, cleaned up the cabins, and said our goodbyes.
It was one heck of an enjoyable, spirit filled 24 hours.