It has been an honor to have gone to the retreat, Sprummer. It was my first college retreat and the only other retreat I went to was Theophilus back in middle school, which is about a decade ago, literally. My faith in God has always been a shaky one but I have continued to learn more about God and grow in my faith towards Him. I can’t imagine how far I have come because I didn’t plan this but I just kept going to Epic and the church, CKC and my faith in Christ kept growing whether I was aware of it or not. I am extremely blessed to have such great friends and I hope I have developed lasting friendships through this retreat. Maybe I didn’t talk as much or get to socialize enough to develop a truly lasting friendship, but they all begin somewhere and it only moves forward when people put the effort to reach out. I know I’m a busy guy with school and gym and sometimes going to Epic is all I have time for and can’t participate in these other things. That is why I felt really blessed that God has set up my schedule in a way and given me the opportunity to go and not worry about an upcoming exam or project. So at Sprummer, we went to Camp Tapawingo in Falls City, Oregon. There were about 150 people that went this year and the biggest one ever.
The small groups were great as we discussed each session and the message that we heard. But I think the biggest question was the last question which didn’t get discussed and I think should’ve because of its importance. The question is: “What will your story be?” Let me rewind to the message. Basically he told 2 stories about the 2 kinds of people “post-Sprummer.” The first one will go home and go on with their life and try to live for God but end up in this content world and go on with their life without much second thought for God. The second person has a unique story to them and actively seek God and build that relationship with him. Or at least I think so. Sleep was the lowest priority during this retreat. So the question becomes, what will your story become? He also says that your story is being continually written whether you consciously do it or not. We may be going through the motions and jumping from one thing to the next and may end up not writing the story you wanted… You may or may not like it. But I know God has a story for me that will be better than anything I can write, and I’m no good writer. So I’m letting God lead me and write my story.
I know God is real because he has shown it to me over and over again. I feel like I am testing him but really He is testing me through these trials of hardships and sin. I know he wants me to seek him and he is actively showing himself to me through times where it’s against all odds but God shines through. I have never really called myself a Christian despite going to church through all these years. But I feel like I can call myself a Christian now. Sprummer has taught me a lot and I had a leader come talk with me about my faith a week before and he shared some great insight that you’ll have your ups and downs with God and sometimes you may resent him, even some Christians do, but that doesn’t mean you’re no longer a Christian unless you choose not to be. But if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. And good times will come again.
I think one of my favorite parts is making that bonfire and having an extended worship and also hearing other people speak about what God has done for them this weekend. There were some really big emotional ones and I’m so close to these people… Usually it happens to someone else, a person I’ve never met, but these are the closest people in my life sharing deep stuff about them that I’m glad God has been able to help them with. I didn’t want to share because I don’t know what it is that I want to say. But looking back, I guess it’s the depression that I’ve been feeling for quite some time now. The constant struggle of getting through my day to day life and losing out on friends and not finding the right group of people I belong to. I may not belong to any one specific group of friends at Epic, but at the same time, I don’t feel excluded from any group either and that’s what I love about Epic. When I first came to Epic in my brokenness and looking to reach out, I felt so welcomed and had people just come up to introduce themselves and talk with me and made me feel at home. And that person knows who she is and I’m thankful that she took that initiative to welcome me.
Before this post gets longer than I want it to be, I just want to thank everyone that I got to talk to and meet there. It was an amazing experience for me and I got to learn a lot about myself and in my walk with God. Thank you for all the encouraging letters that I received. I wish there were a few more people I could’ve written to and I’m sure other people felt the same way for me.
I hope to continue my walk with God. I feel like my journey has been a super long one and that I am going super slow. But similar to gaining muscle, it takes time. And whether I grow or gain an inch, progress is still progress. These little steps are what will take me to my goal.