Sunday, April 3, 2011

Source and Summit

As I was preparing to go to our diocese Source and Summit teen retreat this weekend as a chaperone, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I had seen the promo video and visited their website for information. But it could never accurately describe how it felt to be there. It was to put it simply, Amazing.

I could say that the very best thing about the weekend was being able to share the experience with my daughter. (She was so excited to finally be old enough to go). But that isn't exactly the experience we had. True we were both there in the same place, but she was not really with me. We rarely spoke to each other all weekend. In fact the kids really did not interact with us that much. We were in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament almost the entire time through all the talks and music. The gym became an Adoration Chapel and a place for them to learn about how much Jesus loves them. It was as if God took over and made me see that these kids belong to him. He’s letting us love them and guide them but they are his children first. She didn't need to come to me for assurance or for help with anything at all. She had Jesus and that was all she needed.

Last night she told me that all of the friends she went to Source and Summit with are the kind of kids she needs to be hanging out with. She said she realizes that some of the kids at school are a bad influence and do a lot of things they shouldn’t be doing. It was at that instant that I could see God in her life. I finally understand that I can only do so much and I can't shelter her from everything and everyone. As much as I want to hold her close and protect her, I need to also trust her to make good decisions. My job is to lead her, to set boundaries, to live my faith and listen. God helped me this weekend to see that he will always show me when I need to step in and when I just need to step back and let him speak to her. I could never have forced this experience on her. I can take her to church but I can't make her pray. I can explain how important the Sacrament of Reconciliation is, but she has to be the one to let God take her hand and lead her there not only physically but spiritually as well. I can tell her she should love and honor Jesus but only He can move her to the tears that flowed while being in his presence in Adoration.

This glimpse of my daughters growth in her faith has made me realize that it truly is in God's hands. As much as I'm a mother bear wanting to protect my children from everything that may influence them, I need to let go a bit and trust him with my child, he will take her where she needs to go.