Finding Identity in JHM
By Becca & Kody Stavert | November 7, 2019
Working with Junior Highers, we are constantly asking ourselves what the biggest questions and hurdles are to living for Christ that are unique to this age group. One that comes up frequently is about identity – who am I in the face of all the titles the world gives to me and how do I live under the identity I now have in Christ?
These past two weekends, we decided to focus on this question of identity for a weekend at our girls and guys retreats.
On girls retreat, we spent the weekend camping in San Diego focusing on what we are “defined” by. We meditated on the story and the deeper meaning of the Prodigal Son. We started out the weekend by having all the girls draw and write out how they thought God their Father viewed them. As I was leaving to give them time to reflect and write, a student ran up to me and with genuine eagerness and confusion asked “What do I draw and write if I have no clue how God sees me?” This question both broke my heart that she didn’t yet know, and made me so excited that the Lord had brought her to a weekend of non-stop hearing how much her Father loved and valued her through times of prayer, breakout sessions and meditation on Scripture. One of my favorite moments of the weekend was a time around the campfire singing worship led by one of our junior high dads (who is one of our Response Shepherds too!), where he looked over our students and spoke about how proud he was as a dad of all these ladies, and how that is such a small fraction of how their Heavenly Father viewed them.
On the guys retreat, we studied Colossians 3 and looked at three commands Paul gives his readers – to set our minds on things above, put to death the things of our flesh, and put on Christ. One of our Shepherds came this weekend and instructed our boys to “put to death” a sin by writing it out and putting it into the fire. All of this was set in the beauty and fun of Joshua Tree National Park. We spent time rock climbing and going on hikes where we drew lessons from the landscape – seeking God can sometimes feel like trying to find life in the desert, but when we slowed down and got quiet we could see and hear life everywhere.
We would love it if you would lift our guys and girls up in prayer continually as they still seek to define themselves in this world.