If you ask anyone that truly knows me about my love for these precious teen years, they will tell you that I valued them so close to my heart because of my passion for Jesus that started from going to these conferences. These were the years where I saw a complete transformation in my life all because I began to dive into what it means to be passionate for Jesus.
From ages 14 to 19 I spent a week every summer in the beautiful Colorado Springs where my heart began to wander into the glorious depths of what it means to be a true daughter of God. To this day, I attribute those summers to the reason why I'm passionate about seeing young people live their lives knowing the truth of who and whose they are because that truly changed my life radically as a teenager.
I remember the adrenaline I would feel pulsing through my veins as I would run down to the center of the stage. And as the lights would dim and before anyone spoke, I would close my eyes and place my hand over my heart. It was in those small intimate moments where I remember longing and clinging to Jesus the most. I craved the presence of Jesus. I remember I go back to the hotel room after a night session and just cry out to God that he would do something amazing in my heart that week.
It was through those years of going to those conferences where I learned about who I was as a child of God. It was during one of the sessions one year where the speaker talked about how we were sons and daughters of God. That was really the first time that I had ever heard that, and it wrecked me. Those words of truth settled into my heart in a way that words have never done before. I began to really hold on to that identity.
Daughter of God. His. Beloved.
Worship became something so intimate and special to me over the course of my teenage years. It was a time where I felt so close to God. There was just something so incredible about being in a room filled with thousands of teenagers that all yearned for the same thing- just for a glimpse of His presence.
And when His presence filled the room, it was tangible. It was something that I knew I never wanted to live the rest of my life without. While other kids my age focused on parting their summers away and spending weeks at the lake, my hearts biggest desire at the age of 17 was to have a week full of genuine community and to encounter Jesus in a powerful way.
I will always be so thankful that those years were ones that marked my life and have led me to the place I'm at today.
Sure, my teenage years were filled with awkward boy stories and typical teenage girl stressors, but I also fell in love with Jesus. And because of that, my life became forever changed.