Growing up I didn’t have a lot of friends. So all my childhood I had this subconscious loneliness take over me and I wanted to, and did, fill that hole with human relationships instead of filling that emptiness with God and His love. I knew in my head I was suppose to fill the Christ-shaped-hole with Christ, but I didn’t apply my head-knowledge to heart-knowledge.
Before I left for Challenge I subconsciously knew that I would not be leaving the same person. There were things I had to change in my life, but I was scared to make those changes. So I didn’t dwell on it because if I did, Satan put fear in me and I did not want to be afraid. I’m so thankful to be free of my past and now I can happily say that Christ is filling that Christ-shaped-hole that had been empty for so long.
The first night at Challenge the speaker talked about God’s love for us. He said that (God’s) perfect love casts out fear. (And I had so much anxiety in my life, so the Hoy Spirit made me realize that the love I had in my life was not His perfect love). He also talked about how Love initiates (moves), Love sends (sacrifices), and that Love stays. I was also reminded that God loves us before we loved Him. He didn’t decide to love us once we loved Him, but He always has loved us. The head-knowledge I had always had started to become heart-knowledge.
Tuesday morning Chris Brown told the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet. The Holy Spirit helped me to see that I had been crying out “Hosanna!” for so many years and that I had just used the term “Christian” as a way to get blessings. I was also reminded that Jesus wants to be part of all of my life or none of my life; I had been giving Him only part of me so Jesus wasn’t in my life at all.
Tuesday night was about Jesus being tempted by Satan. I realized that we are all tempted in the same way. 1st temptation was a loaded gun in a nice package. 2nd Temptation was to believe and trust ourselves over God. 3rd temptation was the goal without the cross. The speaker also talked about how Satan will do whatever he can to distract us from God, even by giving us good things.
Wednesday morning I was reminded that Jesus is the authority of our lives since He was the one who made it. That I need to stop looking to the world for my purpose when the Creator already told me my purpose, to love Him.
That afternoon we went to the Apex experience. Towards the end of it they had us write in sand the things we were going to leave behind. Then with a permanent marker, we wrote on a rock what bold move we were going to let God do with us. I had finally decided to follow God where He wanted.Even, though, at that time, I hadn’t understood yet what “His will” means.
That night they did the three TED talks: technology, science, and sexuality. The technology one was eye-opening to me because the speaker said that pleasure was different than joy. I had made joy and pleasure equal for so long when trying to fill the lonely hole inside me.
For the sexuality TED talk, they showed us a video of Jackie Hill Perry (she couldn’t be there till Thursday when she was going to do her seminar), a woman who had been saved from the homosexual lifestyle. The two things I got from her story, that I wrote down, were: being a Christian won’t be easy, but Jesus has power; we shouldn’t follow desire but follow Him instead. Thursday morning was about how Jesus chose people who were completely different to be his disciples. The group we went to Challenge with was a very diverse group and it really showed me how He had brought us together for a reason.
That night the speaker talked about God’s will. How God’s will was his heart, and his heart is his people. His will isn’t about plans, but it’s about His people. I finally knew that my purpose in life was not about me and my story, but about God and His way that he works through me. (God’s will being revealed to me was one of my biggest take-aways from the week).
Friday we talked about how we are going to apply all we learned the past week to our future. How we will make a difference in our life.
The week at Challenge is one I will never forget about. God truly made a difference and I can say with confidence it was the best week of my entire life. Thank you to those who prayed for us and are continuing to pray for us, it really made a difference.
May God bless you, Kaylin