This Saturday, I had the privledge of being a part of the first Catholic youth rally in my home town. Mr. Mike, the director of youth ministries from Houma/Thibodaux (the area where I go to school) helped various church DRE’s and youth ministers put this thing on. The theme of the rally was “Get Out of the Boat..” and allowing yourself to take a leap of faith and “walk on water” as Peter did, towards Christ. Going into this, I didn’t really know what to expect, since this is the first time something this big was ever put on in this small town. There were 117 teens in attendance, and they were phenomenal.
I was part of a skit, that showed the struggle of a teenage guy, and the influence that a friend and Christ can have on them. It was so amazing to see the teens’ faces when we finished the skit. I have some bruises on my knees from it, but it was totally worth it.
About a month ago, I was asked to give a talk for this rally on struggles you face when you try to live out your faith. Now, if you know me, talking in front of a lot of people really isn’t my thing and I didn’t answer yes to this right away. But I knew that I needed to give this talk, so I ended up saying yes. I prepared my talk for a good two weeks, a little worried about if any of them would be able to relate to things I’ve been through. My talk followed after the skit, and I remember getting quite nervous as Mr. Mike introduced me. I ended up not even needing the notes that I had printed out. I talked about some things that I’ve been through. And for some of my talk I really focused on the lies we believe sometimes when we struggle. I told the teens that I didn’t know why they came to this, or where they are right now, or what’s going on in their hearts, but that Christ does. And that whatever it is their struggling with, that Christ desires to set them free of that. I remember quite well as my feet were getting tangled in the streamers on the floor, that before the end of my talk, I was talking about hope and how there’s hope in suffering, and at one point, something just overcame me.. and I said “I don’t even know what else to say to you guys.” But it was okay, because Christ had more to say. I vaguely remember what I said at the end of the talk, as the band began to play “Amazing Love..” because I really felt that the Holy Spirit just completely took over what I was saying. I do know that at the end of the talk, I told the teens that maybe Satan was telling them that what I was saying tonight was a lie, but that I wanted them to know that that’s a lie. I told them that I really believed that there was an invitation tonight, to allow Christ to heal their hearts. I told them that the question is what you do with the invitation. Maybe you’ll just throw it away, maybe you want to keep your options open because you don’t want to go back to what hurts you tonight, or maybe you just want to give it up and just let go.
Going into my talk, I was nervous that I would lose the teens’ attention, since my talk wasn’t going to be full of comical relief when things got kind of deep. But it was honestly the most beautiful thing, to be able to stand by that altar, and share my heart with them and see their faces the whole time. There was a group of about 4 girls in particular, that were just crying their eyes out by the time I finished speaking. I owe all my joy in this to Christ because I know He changed hearts that night.
Funny thing is, adoration wasn’t even planned to be a part of the night. But sure enough, after my talk, the teens were able to experience adoration for about fifteen minutes. It was so encouraging and powerful, to just see them be with Christ and be open to Him.
After the night was over, Mr. Mike approached me and said “You know Lindsey, I don’t know much about your story, but when I saw you, I knew you had one. At one point in your talk, I knew that you weren’t talking anymore, that the Spirit just took over, I could hear it in your voice.. and I could see it in the joy on your face. The way you challenged those teens tonight, I couldn’t have said it any better. Your witness is powerful.” He also told me he might be inviting me to give this talk at some retreats in Houma/Thibodaux. Praise God for that and allowing me to share a story, that really isn’t mine, it’s ours.
I don’t think anything about the night could have gone any better. Amazing things happen when you like I told the teens.. you “look past yourself, and allow Christ to reveal to you what it is He’s doing through the suffering.”
The next time Christ calls you to “get out of the boat..” will you?