Chaperoning....the story of my life as an older sister by seven years. I agreed for the second year in a row to help chaperone my sister and her friends at their summer church retreat. I sound as if I am complaining, but I really am not. The kids were great, my younger cousin accompanied me, and seriously... it's a week on the beach who would say no to that?
The year prior had been a huge retreat and my first real God experience. I felt him and knew he would be part of my life from that point on. I had been baptized at sun rise, in the freezing cold atlantic ocean, by the man that would later marry my husband and I. I knew I would have a great time on the second time around even though it was a much smaller retreat. All in all, I was excited to get away from the empty routine of summer.
After two long days of traveling on a charter bus with 100 kids seperated by into two buses, we had finally made it to Ormand, FL. Praise God, we made it and all kids are still alive! Everyone from my home church and First Baptist Venice (our youth minister's previous church) joined together that evening for praise and worship. This was my favorite part of the retreat. The year prior at my first retreat I had learned what wonderful praise music truely sounded like...not those awful, high pitched hymns my grandparents and everyone else at our southern baptist church sang. But music that I wanted to shout from my soul. Words I could relate with. This was my time with God to give my all through song and worship.
I walked into the odd shaped santuary with all the other children and worked my way to the front of the room. Lead by example...sit in the front...the only place that keeps you from being distracted and passing notes. My cousin made her way up the isle and sat beside me on the pew. The music was everything it needed to be and we worshipped him.
The next day we joined in the morning after our bible study to worship again prior to having lunch. We had moved to the building next door to a much larger sanctuary. My cousin and I moved into the large room and made our way through the kids to find seats. We began chatting and checking out boys...sorry...we are teenage girls what do you expect from us? She was on the verge of wanting to stalk one beautiful boy. I had a boyfriend at home and a relationship I was unfilled in which is a whole different story. The band made their way to the stage. The young man at the front asked everyone to stand and join him in worship. I had every intention of doing just that, and that's when it happened. To the right of this young man stood a guitar player, a handsome, dark haired, perfectly tanned, florida boy. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I was so fasinated by his passion. You could see it pouring from his fingers onto his guitar. The love he had for God was unbelieveable and it was pouring out through this beautiful instrument . He stood on stage with such a presence. His stood barefoot, slightly bobbing to the beat of the drums and his fingers moving so gracefully over the strings of his guitar. That morning I stood in awe of his talent. A million thoughts ran through my head...who is he, where is he from, does he have a girlfriend or a wife, why have I never seen him before? It was ridiculous, I couldn't think or focus on anything but him. Wait...I think he is looking at me? He can't be...oh why didn't I straighten my hair? This is a large room and lots of people. I turn my head to see who is behind me. I swear it looks like he is staring straight at me.