There’s Nothing Like a Grace Students Retreat!
This January Grace Students is hosting the Imago Dei Student Retreat at Doe River Gorge. To give GFC some insight into what a retreat experience is like we asked a few students to submit their thoughts for our blog. Enjoy this post from Grace Student, Drew Keith
There’s nothing quite like a Grace Students retreat. With every new adventure is a new prank, a new memory, a new friend, and a new desire to know God. From Fall Retreat to summer camp at Snowbird, there is an indescribable experience, both personal and social, that rocks your soul each and every time. I probably learned more in one week of summer camp than I did my entire sophomore year in high school. It’s hard not to learn from the passionate speakers who always seem to generously pour into every student who is willing to listen, no matter that person’s faults or mistakes. There is no expectation of righteousness at these retreats because the purpose of the retreats themselves is to keep us aware of our brokenness and to remind us that God uses us anyway.
There is nothing like knowing that you are not alone on this journey. Not only is high school an awkward time, but it is also a time full of new challenges and struggles, which we are learning how to resolve in the best way we can. With peers surrounding me, it’s relieving to know that I have guys I can depend on who have gone through or are going through the same daily challenges I face, and knowing that there is someone who can struggle with me makes it a little easier.
In this chaotic world, we can often feel lonely and abandoned. This is not the case with Grace retreats. There is always an atmosphere of joy that can make any new person feel as if they belonged here all their life. The retreats focus heavily on scripture and knowing who God is, but we’re high schoolers so our attention span is worse than that of a goldfish (sadly, this is a true statement and not a metaphor). When we aren’t worshiping or diving into the Word, we’re jumping onto the blob, playing a lot of Frisbee, or just sitting under a tree with a best friend. There are no wrong answers and the possibilities are endless.
Above all, the most important thing for me about Grace Student retreats is that they can be whatever you want them to be. If you want a rewarding experience where God is revealed to you in a new light, you got it. If you want a deeper fellowship with your peers or small-group leaders, you got it. If you want to focus on yourself and developing yourself by getting away from the fragility of our daily lives, you got it. The best thing about these retreats is that they aren’t meant to be for one type of person, but, instead, are designed to be a unique experience for everyone. The worship appeals more to some than the teaching does for another, and that is totally fine. Some may come for the fun activities and the comradery whereas another might come to be alone with God and take a quick break from stress, drama, or difficult situations back home. So, no matter where you are in your relationship with God, you can enjoy a rewarding experience nonetheless.
Drew Keith, Grace Student