Ain't No Party Like A Holy Ghost Party...

So yesterday I returned from a life-changing conference. Formed by the organization Student Venture, a branch of Campus Crusade, "Getaway" took place in Myrtle Beach, SC. I had no idea what to expect, I had heard it was pretty incredible but because of the events that had taken place the week before I felt as if my heart had been hardened.

About the week before...I had spent a few nights with my closest friends and they told me about some serious events in their lives. For some reason I can handle things like this. It takes a lot for me to actually feel other peoples pain. That's why I hardly cry in movies, and its why I can listen to other people's struggles. Oftentimes it is a curse, because I lack the ability to relate to many people. But it also allows me to give clear advice, free from personal feeling or emotion. At least that's what I like to think. Anyways, my heart began to harden, and God slowly felt more out of reach.

Roomies! From left to right: Jaclyn, Mary Scott, Megan, and Me (my dress is Free People)

When I arrived in Myrtle Beach I focused on all the new people. No thought of God leading me crossed my mind. All that concerned me was the massive amount of food in our hotel room and connecting with my awesome room mates: Megan, Jaclyn and Mary Scott (the latter actually being the girl who convinced me to attend this conference, thank you, MSG!). The first night we attended what is called "session" which is a twice daily experience consisting of worship, games, and an incredible sermon. When the worship began, led by Tenth Avenue North, a band that I highly recommend, people instantly put their hands up. This was an unfamiliar sight. At my high school worship time meant swaying or hand motions at the most. If someone raised his or her hands it was instantly judged and criticized. Anyways, I saw these people raising their hands and for some reason I was envious of them. I, being the reserved introvert, was jealous of these people's relationship with God. I knew it was a wrong feeling and I hated it.

Worship Time. Notice all the hands in the air? Incredible.

Then the sermon began, spoken by Greg Speck. He has quite the personality. He knows how to keep a crowd focused, along with entertained. He spoke about distractions and how if one is solely focused on worldly things they will eventually run into a "tether ball pole." That is God's way of showing that you must return to Him in order to truly live.

That night I was reading Philippians and I came across the perfect verse for how I had been feeling during session.
"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
Philippians 2:1-3
How perfect.

The next day we ventured out onto the beach for a few hours. I have never been on a beach so crowded in my life. And it felt like 100 degrees, so needless to say we spent most of our time in the water. I got a nice one-piece tan though. Around that time, and during session that morning, I was still feeling stone cold and distant. I think part of the problem was the lack of peace. There were too many hotels on the shoreline and too many people on the beach for me to feel my usual appreciation for nature. But that night, during night session and the Tenth Avenue North concert, I finally began to feel softened. I was finally able to raise my hands. I found God in people instead of nature. Sometimes God likes to answer prayers slowly.

The next day was another in the process of my heart softening. By that time I was sure I was feeling Him, it just wasn't completely. My attention instantly turned to prayers many times in the day, and instead of paragraphs of prayers in my Moleskine, I was writing pages.

The following two days we evangelized on the beach. Unlike many others, I was not a witness to people instantly coming to Christ, but I did encounter some people I didn't know existed. It was a great experience to learn about other people's beliefs. And it was excellent training for the future.

The last day consisted of an excellent seminar about sex and abstinence that has changed my whole outlook on those of the opposite sex, a day of evangelizing, and then some time to kill. I still had a ton of sour patch kids that were of no use to me since I ate all the red ones. So my roomies and I decided to ride the elevator. We pressed no buttons, instead we just rode to the floors to which it was called. Every time those doors opened the people were greeted by, "Sour patch kid?" and usually they took one or two with a smile. Following that greeting, I posed for a picture with them. Then Megan played some techno on her iPhone and we jammed out in the elevator. What a great way to make new friends! We were known to several as the "elevator girls" and that was just fine with us. 14th floor, you are awesome!

Below is a before picture of the Sour Patch Kids.

Elevator friends!! (the guy with whom I am standing below had pink toenails!)
Some of the 14th Floor People!
Party in the Elevator!!
Above is the after picture. Yeah, we made a lot of friends.

Every day I grew stronger. I feel so ready to face the world. God has filled me, and I hope to continue in this direction. I do not want to return to my old life, but instead live every day to what God wants.

Since my last post I have finished Souvenir by Therese Fowler and The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. Both were fabulous. Now I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and it is incredible. I highly recommend it.

Happy Fathers Day Tomorrow! Love you, Daddy!

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than clothes?"
Matthew 6:25 (my dad's favorite verse)


  1. The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime is great! I love that book.

  2. Thanks Makena for sharing your experience. These type of stories make all our efforts so worth while. We love you and are praying for your walk with God to be strong. We love your family too, your dad and I have some great history together.

  3. So encouraging to me, Makena! I am so thankful for you and your heart!


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