This is my second Gathering. My first time, I was actually kind of agnostic at the time. I had a really touching experience at just the massive amount of people that were in the room, I felt connected to them, you know? Even though at the time I didn’t have the same beliefs as them, I got drawn in, and it led me to becoming a better Christian, in my opinion.
Seeing how many other people are here gathered in the name of Jesus, it makes me feel so little, and it’s a scary feeling but it’s a good feeling at the same time, just knowing there are other people that think the same way as you, and you’re not alone.
My faith has been a roller coaster in my life, honestly. I’ve been agnostic, I’ve been a total atheist at some points in my life. I went through kind of a troubling experience junior year. It was actually a pretty dark time in my life, but I prayed a lot and Jesus got me through it. Prayer actually does work like people say, like just talking to God as if He was in the room next to you, like He’s your friend. So much weight is lifted off your chest when you just tell Him your problems and what’s going on in your life and what’s wrong.
If this is your first Gathering, this may not seem like your cup of tea, at first, like for me I was like, “Oh, this is going to be, I don’t know if I like this,” but I mean, honestly, if you just try and get out there, talk to different people from other places. Just keep your mind open towards God, just know that He’s there and He’ll always love you. Even if you fall away, He’ll accept you back into His fold.
Photo credit: Matt LaVere, 2016 LCMS Youth Gathering Media Team
These Exclusive Stories do not necessarily reflect the teachings of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. They are the reflections and thoughts of participants at the 2016 LCMS Youth Gathering as they wrestle with what it means to be a child of God. Please continue to pray for these participants as they grow in faith.