You can hear the voices.
The pure sounds of joy and love crying out to God without the need for words amongst the whispers and prayers declaring truth throughout the crowd. The sweat that drips down your back is brought on by the heat and energy of the 500 people surrounding you and is only matched in intensity by the tears that stream down your cheeks. The smeared mascara across your face is your mark of freedom.
The reality that it is done, you are worthy, you are His daughter, you are loved and you are free. At last you can feel it and you know your life will never be the same; that there is more in store for you. You can lift up your hands in praise and thanksgiving and feel the peace that the fears, insecurities and doubts have disappeared; been washed clean. The peace that makes you realize you’ll never again feel the hurt and pain brought on by self-imposed expectations and constant worries and struggles; that you can dive into the never-ending ocean of love that you have wanted your entire life. That your voice has been awakened and you don’t ever want to stop shouting and singing and whispering.
This is what Heaven will be like.
This is training camp.
This experience has marked a challenging and new point in my life. The community and sheer joy and love that you feel among the people around you is capable of taking your breath away. I never realized how present God is, how present the Holy Spirit is. I have had my world rocked. I have formed friendships that will continue to grow and seen myself in a light I never knew possible. I smell terrible 23 hours a day. I dance daily. I pack a 40 pound bag not knowing what the day holds or where I’ll be. I continually see God’s joy in the faces and eyes and bodies of the people around me and I can’t help but realize that it’s just starting; that there is so much more.
It hasn’t even been three days.