I have always enjoyed Maranatha’s retreats, and this year was no exception. The speaker for the Senior High Retreat this year was Mr. Kenyatta Rush. He talked about joy and how to have joy in difficult situations. At the time I was in the middle of my college search and was really unsure of what school I was going to attend and whether or not we were going to be able to afford it. I was also stressing about how things would go once I got to college, meeting people, attending classes, and things like that. Nothing was looking the way I expected it to. Mr Rush’s talks about how to have joy in hard times really spoke to me. The most important thing that spoke to me in his talks was that God is still in control of the situation and will provide for me in ways I won’t expect, even if I don’t see it until later on. Because of this truth, I am now more able to trust in God and have joy in the situations he puts me in.
The Lord has been teaching me to trust in him with my future. All throughout high school I had no idea where I wanted to attend college, let alone what I wanted to major in or what kind of career I wanted. Even throughout my senior year it was still unclear—I applied to ten colleges, hoping and trusting that the Lord would guide me in the right direction. And he did! He made it clear to me that I should attend the Coast Guard Academy and pursue a career serving and helping others. Even though I am scared and nervous for what is to come, I know that the Lord is guiding me where he wants me to go.
Martha Grace S.
Throughout my senior year, God has shown me over and over again the true nature of my existence. I am a sinner, rebelling against everything and everyone except for my own desires. I think back on certain moments, certain choices that I made, and realize that my acts of disobedience, of nastiness, of immorality—all of them were willful. I wanted to do what I wanted in those moments. “Logically” this doesn’t make sense. I was born with a sense of right and wrong, so why willfully do things that are wrong? Things that I know will hurt my relationships with people? Things that will hurt me and my relationship with God? Things that will fill me with guilt and my parents with disappointment? I do them because I’m a sinner, corrupted to the core. I deserve to die for everything I’ve done, but God loves me too much to just let me go, to treat me like a lost cause. He calls to me, pulls me to him, determined to save me from myself. I don’t deserve such care, such love, such sacrifice. Yet my creator and heavenly father—father, not guardian or ruler or overseer, but father—gave them to me anyway. His own Son perished in agony for my sake, for my soul. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, even if it’s just been a reinforced lesson, it’s this—there is no greater or more precious gift than salvation.
During this past year the Lord taught me the importance of seeking wisdom from those who are older and wiser than I am. I always knew that those placed in positions above me like my parents were wiser than myself, but I tended to push away their wisdom with not wanting to be challenged or criticized. As Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and knowledge.” It is imperative for me to seek and respect wisdom from those placed above me, always acknowledging my own ignorance as well as remaining humble.