Nature is good for the soul… I’m sure that’s some sort of famous quote or something. I normally don’t identify myself as nature inclined, but I have to say that after living in LA for six months, I was beyond excited to see some green, and some stars!
For those of you that don’t know, I’m a part of an A-mazing Christian organization here on USC’s campus called Cru (formerly, Campus Crusades). Every fall and spring, Cru puts together a retreat; nothing crazy, just some Jesus loving people out away from school and getting some great hipster pictures for Instagram.
This past weekend we had our spring retreat (for those of you currently living in the Arctic, sorry the “East Coast”, it’s pretty much spring here #sorrynotsorry). What does spring retreat entail, you ask? Well, basically, over 80 college students packed their Bibles (and cameras) and heading to Santa Barbara for some “glamping”*. We spent two bitterly cold nights learning more about not only Jesus, but each other…. One of the greatest tools of the enemy is isolation; he wants us to feel alone, or like we’re the only people dealing with certain things. When, in reality, so many of us are hurting in the same way, and if we could just take 5 seconds of courage and be vulnerable with one another, there would be so much healing.
So to say that God showed up and showed out is a complete understatement. So much was broken in me, that I came back feeling 10lbs lighter! My eyes were open, my heart was softened, and my soul was refreshed.
Another wonderful tidbit of information: I brought along a friend with me, who God has definitely placed in my life, and at the beginning of the weekend she was agnostic; she left on Sunday believing in God and starving for more of His truth. Being completely honest, I was in tears just watching the beauty of one of His lost sheep being returned to the fold, and the fact the God intrusted me to help in that mission. I have not felt like the best daughter lately, but it just goes to show that we are not the ones who qualify us, God qualifies us. We don’t determine if/when we are worthy, Jesus died and declared we are always worthy. And we can’t decide when we deserve love, God is love and He said that we deserve Him.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or undeserving, or unlovable, or any of the other many lies Satan throws at us, maybe you need a little spring retreat of your own! And if you can’t get to nature (I mean, snow), then get out your Bible, pour some coffee (or tea I guess), turn off the phone, GET OFF FACEBOOK, and spend some time being kind to your soul. He will remind you of who and who’s you are, and that your life is justified because of Jeremiah 1:5–go read it. I love you, God loves you, and that’s all that matters!
*Glamping= Glamour camping; this may or may not entail queen size beds, heaters, and indoor plumbing…But there are still bugs!