“Sometimes God asks us to break things, to put things down…in order to create space for him to create something new, something more beautiful…”
As I sat and listened to my husband and Herndon Campus Pastor Garry Abbott speak these words to the students during the first large group session of Edge Goes to the Beach this weekend, I couldn’t help but smile. Without realizing it, these high school students had already started the process of breaking things in order to create space for God to do something new. As they took over the beach-side retreat center with their loud songs, basketball games, ENO hammocks, and donut-eating, they had already broken something—their routine, their schedule, their normal, their comfort zone—and therefore had created the space for God to do something new.
Throughout the weekend, I watched 40 high school students sing songs to God, ask questions to their leaders, play silly pie-in-the-face-type games, consume unbelievable amounts of ice cream, get sunburnt, commit to bold steps, and love each other in beautiful ways. Friendships were formed. Questions were asked. Hearts were changed. And God began the process of building something new, something more beautiful, in their lives.
The last session of the retreat was on the rooftop of the retreat center, overlooking the beach. We sang songs, we prayed, and then Garry asked the students to be open to the idea that God might actually be asking them to break something when they got home. To be willing to admit that God might really be asking them to put something down. And he challenged them to be open to the idea that God might actually create something new, something more beautiful, in their lives.
I couldn’t help but be challenged myself. What is it God is asking me to break? What is it he is asking me to put down? Is it fear? Shame? Pride? Hurt? Time? Opinions? Perfection? And do I trust him enough to actually do it, to actually break those things and put them down? Do I trust that he will fill the space that is left behind with something new, something more beautiful?
One of the songs we sang throughout the weekend was David Crowder’s “Come As You Are”. During one of the large group worship sessions, I was moved to tears as I listened to the students passionately sing the words... “So lay down your burdens. Lay down your shame. All who are broken, lift up your face. Oh wanderer, come home. You’re not too far. So lay down your hurt. Lay down your heart. Come as you are.”
I challenge you to consider joining us in this journey. To come as you are. To lay down your burdens. To lay down your shame, your guilt, and anything else that God might be asking you to lay down. I challenge you to trust God to build something new in the space that is left behind.
As our high school students lead the way for us, may we be willing to join them. May we be willing to break things and put things down, in order to create space for God to do something new and more beautiful.
In the nine years Abbie has been at Summit, she has done a lot! From being a Summit Connect leader, to performing in BCL, she has volunteered in several different capacities here and was even a staff member on Team 33rd! She and her husband have three beautiful children and you can read her blog right here.
If you are interested in becoming a Student Ministries leader and serving middle and high school students, you absolutely should. Email Kim Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know you want more details!