Life changing isn’t the word. Mount Carmel Academy’s Junior Retreat was a spectacular experience that included many laughs, tears, and hugs! The theme “Friendship” was fitting, as junior year is a year of forming lifelong bonds. Trust in our friends, trust in ourselves, and trust in our almighty God are key ingredients to successful friendships.
The “trust walk” activity emphasized this. Each girl paired up with another; one was blindfolded only to be led through hilly terrain by their partner. Obviously, this was a nerve-wracking exercise because we had to trust another person with our safety. This activity reflected our relationship with God. We are blind and cannot see, but God can. We learned to trust him and to let him lead us through the rocky terrain of life.
Confession was a time of reflection and realization for many. Those hours spent in the chapel were full of prayers, hugs, tears, and many tissues! Being in such an intimate setting with our Lord allowed us to come to terms with the wrongs we have done and to ask for forgiveness. As I sat in the front pew of the chapel asking for forgiveness, tears streaming down my face as I stared at the man on the cross in front of me, I was comforted and hugged by peer after peer. It was so encouraging and soothing to see so many girls could come together to support and love each other in personal times of need. It is truly breathtaking to experience such solidarity in God’s presence.
The whole retreat was refreshing. Whether it was receiving an affirmation letter from a girl I’ve never spoken to or standing up in front of my class to open up about personal experiences. I feel as though just in two days, my life was changed. I formed new friendships with people I never would’ve spoken to before the trip. I mended old friendships that I believed were far beyond repair. I strengthened and enhanced already existing friendships. And I formed a closer and more intimate friendship with God.
We often forget that God is our best friend. We are never alone no matter how we may feel at a specific time in life. MCA’s Junior retreat allowed me to open the door to a better faith life and stronger relationship with Jesus. I realized that my unconditional trust in God would be the key to the rest of my relationships and to the right path to Heaven.