a little trip to Maryland

I like going places! I like going places alone, with my hubby, with my family, and with family and friends. A few times each year, I’m afforded the wonderful opportunity to go places with students.

Some people cannot describe traveling with a pack of teens using the words, “wonderful opportunity.” My former Spanish teacher would be one of those people. She did travel with me on a couple of my trips as a high schooler, and I have to admit, I was one of the reasons she turned sour. (My idea of fun on an overnight bus trip was to set a very loud alarm clock to go off in the middle of the night and wake up the entire busload of students… and Miss Carl… she wasn’t happy!) But the clincher for her was the day we returned home from Madrid, Spain. Our large group of students was divided in two and traveled via separate flights to the U.S. Unfortunately, her flight was diverted back to the east coast of Spain due to a bomb threat. By time we all reconnected hours later at JFK airport in New York City, she was unraveled and vowed never to travel with students again.

Thankfully, my recent trip to Maryland with teens from Warwick‘s student ministry was uneventful. There were no travel delays, no bomb threats, and no ranting chaperones. It was good fun as it always is when we travel together. We crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and headed north to the Potomac Youth Network‘s “Shout” Convention. 1891067_10202414897947143_32441073_n

I knew we would all feel right at home with a theme like that. Personally, I felt validated! I’m comfortable being loud, so a “Shout” convention with a couple thousand teens is a good match! The tagline for the convention said it all: “A victim screams, but a victor shouts!” After a couple of days of engaging worship and solid teaching in the Word of God, we leaders were involved in the closing moments of sealing all that God was doing in the lives of students through a time of prayer with them.

I love praying with students! God speaks so powerfully to their hearts, and He allows me to be a conduit of His expressed love for them. On this particular occasion, as I asked God how He was going to fill up my young friend’s love tank, He did something really special! Right when I asked God if He was going to make His love known to her in an incredibly supernatural way or show Himself to her through another, she put her arm around my waist. God was filling her up with His love to the point of overflow. I became broken in that moment, all because of His tenderness.

It was a total awareness of the Father’s desire for us to know how much He loves us and accepts us. And it’s so much more than that! God pursues us! All we have to do is say, “yes” and receive His love. That is what my friend demonstrated through her hug: not only was she aware of God pursuing her, but she allowed herself to be caught.

1002660_10202414889866941_1507217215_nSometimes, a trip away from the ordinary routine can be so fulfilling. And here’s what my friend told me the next day: she asked God to remove all distractions from her that weekend, because she only wanted to see Him! Does her request not bless you? Personally, my heart is full! God is good to us.

So, on your next trip, whether it be out-of-town, to another country, or to the mall down the street, take some time to be still and hear God express His heart toward you. He’s chasing you down, not to wound you but to woo you. Will you let yourself be caught?


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