Priceless

9 02 2010

Listening to the speakers

 

Two and a half hours of sleep. Kleenex boxes and sleeping bags all over the building. Tears of understanding and hugs. Impromptu midnight worship, led by students. And an entire counter full of goodies. 

 It was our first-ever Priceless Retreat, a retreat for girls junior high and senior high girls held in our student center. 

 And boy, was it incredible. 

 Over the course of Friday and Saturday, we heard from amazing guest speakers, including a doctor who explained the differences between how guys and girls are wired, and a young leader who courageously shared her testimony of loneliness and suffering. We had worship, a beautiful meal complete with a candlelit walkway, and great times of affirmation. We prayed, talked, sang, and talked some more (notice how sleep wasn’t in that list?) 

 As a leader at this event, it was just amazing to see how these girls opened up and revealed the things they really struggle with as teenagers. At one point, we kicked all of the parents out of the room and had a heart-to-heart talk about “things you wish you could tell your parents, but can’t”. Wow. I think this is truly the hardest time in history to be a teen. 

 I saw older girls putting aside their popularity and elite status as high schoolers, and intentionally taking younger girls under their wings—not one girl was left out the entire time. 

Student-led small groups praying and discussing together

 

 I saw girls admitting their biggest struggles, and entire small groups hugging each other as they cried. 

 I saw girls truly looking for the best in each other and verbalizing it during our affirmation exercise, not judging each other. 

 However significant my observations are, the real testimonies about this event are coming from these girls themselves: 

 “I learned that God treats me like His daughter and that He loves me beyond what I can imagine. I also learned that I am beautiful in His eyes!” 

 “I learned that God is never going to stop loving me.” 

 “All the girls here were saying ‘I love you’ and hugging each other like daughters of God!” 

 “He made me the way exactly how He wants me to be.” 

 “I learned that God is a friend to me and he’s always there for me to fall back on.” 

 “I had been worrying a lot about the way I looked…I felt like God was trying to tell me that I am priceless!” 

 “All of the topics were so perfect. They are exactly what I wanted to learn about.” 

 “I saw God at work through everyone bonding and getting along with everyone else. I’ve only known these girls for 24 hours, and they are already my sisters.” 

 “I was created by God. I am an image of God, and He created me for me.” 

 “I saw the tears in all of these girls’ eyes. It’s empowering. God is changing these girls and their lives.” 

 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

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