Every time I go to something like Winter Retreat with my youth group I always expect it to be the same thing. I expect to learn about God, to be totally changed, and then to come back home and slip into the same old way of living and forget all about what happened at Winter Retreat. The first night of Winter Retreat Steve Hays the speaker started out by saying this weekend is going to get WEIRD and honestly I really didn’t understand what he was saying or what he meant by it at all.
Friday night ended up being the WIERDEST night of my life. Steve talked to us about vomiting as an analogy. I know, weird! Right? You know when you are sick and you have all this poison in your stomach that makes you feel like throwing up. What happens when you drink a bottle of red Gatorade!? When you are sick and you drink something like red Gatorade that is pure it turns into poison and makes you throw up. After that you feel better!
The same thing happens in our lives. We hold onto all this baggage and we never let it go so then we continue to feel horrible about ourselves. In order to get rid of the “crap” we have to admit to God how we really feel. We have to be vulnerable and give whatever is bother us and weighing us down up to God. By doing that we “vomit all the crap out” and then we feel better.
Friday night Steve had us “vomit our crap to God.” We each found a spot in the room where weren’t next to our friends and he turned the lights off. We all sat there in the dark and one at a time “we vomited our crap to God out loud.” God helped us identify the baggage that we needed to get rid of in our lives. At first I really didn’t want to do it because it was something that was way outside my comfort zone.
I didn’t want to say anything out loud because I was afraid of being vulnerable. All my friends will tell you that I am not the kind of person to just say how I feel. Especially, in a room full of people. Inside of me I could feel God telling me to do it and I could feel all the crap just waiting to be vomited out. I just sat there and I fought God for as long as I could until I couldn’t hold onto it anymore. All of a sudden it just burst out of me like a tidal wave.
At the top of my lungs I said God I am mad that all these expectations that have been put on me, I am mad that I can’t tell people how I feel, I am mad that people have said words that have hurt me, and I am mad that you let Satan attack my family! After I got done my whole body started to shake uncontrollably from head to toe and it felt so good to GIVE up everything that I have been holding onto for years to God. It felt WEIRD! Right after that Steve asked me “how do you feel about yourself?” I said I feel angry and then Steve said come on I know there is more then that “how do you really feel about yourself?”
I said back I feel rejected. This is the first time ever I had been vulnerable and it felt WEIRD but it was WEIRD in an AMAZING way! We sat there vomiting our crap to God for a really long time and when we were done Steve turned the lights back on. He talked to us about how when we live in our “crap” for too long we become comfortable with living in the darkness and then when the light is turned back on it is shocking. Even though it may be a step outside of our comfort zones we have to give all of our crap to God so that we can see the light and live in it.
I personally realized how comfortable I had been living in all my “crap”. I was comfortable because living in all the darkness was my comfort zone. It was like a sealed box that I couldn’t get myself out of. Friday night was the WEIRDEST night ever but I gave all my crap to God and now I feel different! I am different!
It helped me to uncover some of the struggles and insecurities I have had for years but because I let God have all of it he is able to walk me through it. It was really painful and it definitely wasn’t easy but it was the best thing I have ever done!