Friday, May 4, 2012

Reckless Abandonment

What do you think of when you hear those two words?  I will always think of a girl's weekend, the book of Ruth, and what it means to truly follow Christ.  Last weekend the girls in my youth group loaded on a bus and set out for Gatlinburg for a weekend of laughter and praise.  {and more than a few odd faces}

We stayed in a huge cabin, sharing a room with anywhere from four to eight girls, which honestly can be quite chaotic and crazy, not to mention slightly dangerous.  Maybe the people who built these things shouldn't have put ledges close enough to the beds to jump off of.  Just saying. 

We hung out and rode the bus, which I have to say is amazing.  I'm pretty much in love with bus trips.  Yeah, I'm weird.

We even got dressed up and went for a fancy dinner.  And I did it all with my best friend and sistah, Holly.  Isn't she just BEAUTIFUL!  And do you like my bangs?  I love them!

This has to be my favorite picture of the weekend.  It's just so genuine and un-posed.  It truly showed the emotion of the weekend, not to mention the beauty of these girls!

Yeah, we were weird too.  And we like to "hold" people.

And all the while there's me with my camera snapping pictures at really odd times. 

I love the sunflare in this picture.  It makes her look like a model or something.  And let me just say again that these girls are gorgeous inside and out!

And because I'm the "resident photographer" I got volunteered to take these lovely ladies' pictures.  I must say it was my pleasure because they entertained me more than I did them!

And we ate, who can forget that?

Worship was so amazing.  The girl who lead it had a voice that sounded like Adele's and the songs she chose really spoke deep into my heart.  We sung a song called Break Every Chain and every time I heard those words;
There is power in the name of Jesus
There is power in the name of Jesus
There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain
To break every chain
To break every chain
I just wanted to forget the world and lift my hands in praise to the One who can break every chain that holds me back---all the worries and jealousy that mar my life.  It was absolutely amazing to take a timeout from my chaotic life and just stand there with no distractions and thank God for the blessings He's given me and to ask him to direct my path.
The book of Ruth really spoke to me too.  Ruth had gotten a taste of God during the years she had been with Naomi and her family and she wanted to know Him so bad that she was willing to leave everything comfortable and known behind her just so she could grow spiritually.  I just thought that was so eye-opening.  God has been changing so many things in my life lately and it's just interesting to see that He uses changes like that to show me that I need to continue growing and that if I have to get out of my comfort zone to do that, I need to.
I also really learned about being a leader in this kind of setting.  On the last night it was like things just snapped for many of the girls and people just started sobbing all over the place.  I felt like God was telling me just to go and hug and pray with my friends and with people I didn't even know all that well.  It definitely made me think about what being a leader in the youth group really means.
{doesn't this look like a double exposure?  It's really just a picture though the glass door!  It's crazy awesome!}

And honestly, what's a girl's trip without a little OneDirecton? (or a lot) {and maybe a little JB?)
I'm not kidding, I had his song Boyfriend stuck in my head for days because they played in on the bus like eight(y) times!  haha!

And overall, I just got to know a lot of really amazing people I had met before but never really known.  I had a pretty amazing weekend.  Have you had these kind of experiences before?


Denise said...

I am so proud of you. This is a great post. I love you lots! Keep being a leader and serving God with reckless abandon!

Debbie G said...

Thanks for sharing about your weekend trip. Love to hear what God is doing in your life and heart. Love your pictures, too! Great job!

Since you asked - yes, many, many years ago I went on two different weekend retreats with my youth group. Awesome time with friends and God. Wish we'd a photographer along because I don't have any pictures. Well, maybe that one of me hanging upside down from monkey bars at a playground. (we'll just keep that our little secret - ok?)

Anonymous said...

Tessa- You are so beautiful and so wise! God has big plans for you sweet girl! Keep listening to His voice, moving when He says move, and stepping out of your comfort zone when necessary. Your generation needs leaders and I pray that God grants you boldness and a heart like HIS!
Chasity Galyon

emily bray said...

Tessa, Wow! What a great post! I am so proud of you. I stand in awe of a great God who loves us so much as to draw each of us to Him. I too love retreats, and get aways, and do-overs and fresh starts, anything that gives a new perspective, and I had that experience as well this weekend. Keep on running the race, the prize is unbelievable! I love you sweet girl! Love,Emily