exhausted but well worth it

We just got back from the Senior High Retreat with 240 something high school students and just 40 adults. The students were challenged beyond what I expected and I think most of us adults were as well.

Pat and I have such a variety of friends from all walks of faith, beliefs and non-beliefs. I would never change that and we thrive in that community. We want Zane to not just surround himself with those of his own beliefs but to be in close relationships with those who believe the complete opposite of him. And something that is always on my heart and Pat's is that we want Zane to own his faith, beliefs and non-beliefs, not just follow us.

This weekend did that for these students. They all are struggling in some way with why they feel God isn't hearing them. The theme Can You Hear Me? couldn't have been better. They had to own up to what they struggle with, what they believe and how they will fall back to God with things that may not get an answer. Just watch this video of photos students and some adults submitted to get a glimpse of how they took this simple challenging phrase. You'll see some of my mom and I's photos in their from my girls (check out the most recent photos here and more here). Look for Zane's diaper and Pat and one of his paintings too.

I sat in a room with high school girls and another adult and we all were in tears. This is big for me who doesn't show a ton of emotion but I'm getting better at that. Some of the struggles these teenagers are facing are things I have never even been exposed to in my lifetime. How is this fair that they have to deal with this at such a young age? It upsets me and just makes me want to scream! But yet some of these same girls are the ones that are touching others by inviting them into friendship. It's amazing to see before your eyes how they are making a difference no matter what their background is.

The weekend was well worth the sacrifice of spending time at home or with Zane. We know that one day Zane will have an adult that is willing to give up a bit of their time for him to grow and challenge him.

So even though I broke my camera (shattered the LCD screen by falling on ice within the first few minutes we arrived in PA!), my neck hurts and I have had very little sleep...it was well worth it.