Catalina was so beautiful and wonderful!!To start off this post, here are some photos:
View from the mountain during the sunrise
On the way to Catalina (you can see Long Beach in the first two pictures and Avalon on Catalina Island in the third picture)
Here is the mountain with the cross.. I took the first three pictures in this post from up there
The beach at the camp with its dock
I stumbled across this fellow while on the way to somewhere... ;)
Me teaching impromptu
Bible Study Time
S'mores by the fire on the beach!
This was the "skeleton" boat (at least that's what I call it..). It was sort of creepy looking and was sitting offshore a little bit... probably just some innocent fishermen ;) You can see the Long Beach shoreline in the background.
So, as you can see, it was beautiful there. There is something about being in the middle of God's beautiful creation that makes you feel so much closer to Him. Do you ever feel that way? Plus, at Catalina, there is no wifi or cell service. You have a pay phone there and that's about it when you are camping there. So, that makes you free from those kinds of distractions which can be super awesome (Although... I'll admit... I like my phone service and my wifi [a little too much :P]... but I will also admit that it can be a huge distraction having those things available/within reach 24/7..).
What did I learn about myself? I learned that I have trouble sitting quietly and listening for the Lord's voice.
What did I learn about others? As one of the other leaders said, I got to see how amazing everyone was. Fellowship with friends/other believers is such a blessing.
What did I learn about the Lord? His creation again reminded me how amazing He is.
While I was sitting and spending time with the Lord, I recorded things in the journal they gave me. Here is some of what I did/learned:
Remembered my past:
I am a sinner in need of a Savior, I've made choices that have hurt myself and others etc.
Thought about who God is:
God is ever-present. Even though you can't see Him, He's there. He created all of creation. When you look at creation, you see His fingerprints in it. Words can't describe how amazing and awesome He is.
Remembered God's promises:
God has promised to never leave us, to share in our troubles, to be a help whenever needed, to be a faithful and constant friend, and so many other things. And He promises to fulfill His promises.
Made my requests known before God:
I wrote a prayer for here. It was me telling God how I was feeling. And at that moment, it wasn't the best. It was a prayer full of hurt I guess you could say. And also of apology to the Lord for my unfaithfulness to Him.
And then. It happened again- I knew I needed to again Surrender my all/my life to the Lord.
- My futuristic dreams
- My relationships/friendships
- My attitude
- My unforgiveness
- My strong-will
- My "secret" sins
- My sadness
- My depression
- My hurt
And I told God to give me time. And God told me no. He wanted me to surrender right then.
And inside I heard the song I Surrender All.
I then later went on to reading through my notes from the retreat. The ones that really stuck out to me were the following:
Trust Him to heal your broken heart
Faith will move my physical, mental, and Spiritual mountainsAnd I prayed.
God, move my mountains. I know You can do it. I need you to help care my burden. Actually, I need to give my burdens to you through surrender and then I need to take Jesus' yoke on me. Please be my Savior again. I love you, Lord Jesus. (I just noticed that my grammar and writing didn't make 100% sense... but they were from my personal notes and God doesn't/didn't care.. Lol.)I then went through the list of things I needed to surrender and said that I was giving it to HIM. And I asked God to help me continually to be in full surrender.
"I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all."I believed that all took place in two quiet times with the Lord in that one day. It was so awesome.
I also had a few good applications from my devotions. One being- Am I willing to leave everything behind, do as I am called, and go? Is my life in full surrender to the Lord?
God also seemed to speak to me about my self-worth. And I also felt as if He was trying to show me something about one of my friendships.
And then another beautiful thing I found that I wrote in here from my quiet time with the Lord. I wrote- Breathe in, Breathe out.. You are loved treasure cared for... You're not alone.
So, that is a little bit from my trip. If you want to know more, ask me, and I might be willing to share a little more. ;)
Behold. Quietly wait on the Lord!