Tuscaloosa, AL

A Story of Rest and Retreat

shared by CA, AB, CB, and IG - These are the stories of God, by the people of God, for the people of God.
This story focuses on students who attended Fall Retreat in Pulaski, MS over a weekend in October. Students were given the opportunity to rest and retreat with the Lord while also learning from Psalm 63.
CA, what was your mindset going into Fall Retreat weekend?
I really didn’t have many expectations going into fall retreat because I had never been to one before. My friends said that it was one of their favorite Well activities that they do every year, so I expected it to be great but was also not sure how much I would enjoy it because of school stress. It was coming off of a big week and going into an even bigger one, so I was exhausted and panicked about lost time. As it turns out, we spoke so much about what it means to rest and that was a timely message for me. I was still physically exhausted when I left, but felt so much more lightweight in my heart because I was reminded of the Lord’s peace and sovereignty.

AB, what was your mindset going into Fall Retreat weekend?
Going into the weekend, I was just really excited to get away from the business of school and work, and rest for a bit. I knew that I was going into it having been pretty complacent with my relationship with the Lord that previous week or so, so I was ready to have a few days to really spend time with the Lord.

CB, what was your favorite memory and biggest takeaway from Fall Retreat?
My favorite memory from fall retreat was the field day, all of the games and getting to see everyone pumped up to compete against one another was such a fun experience. Not to mention all of the funny memories that were made that day were ones I will never forget! It was such a joy getting to see a side of people you don’t normally get to see on a day to day basis!

IG, what was your favorite memory and biggest takeaway from Fall Retreat?
My favorite memory from fall retreat was probably a three way tie between the water balloon toss, the hip replacements concert, and Brinson’s game of hot seat that went to 5 AM. Basically Brinson would spin a wheel and you could ask the person in the hot seat any question you wanted to for like five minutes or so. We also ended the game by going around the room and telling each other what you love about each other. Overall, it was a great time to get to know everyone on a more personal level and helped us grow closer as a body of believers.

CA, What is something that you learned or realized about the Lord while at Fall Retreat? 
We talked about Psalm 63 the whole weekend. The first verse is “God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” The whole weekend reminded me that the Lord wants us to crave Him and a relationship with Him above all else. He is already near to us, but we have to open our eyes and seek wholeheartedly to develop the frame of mind that He is truly sufficient and truly better than life. When He becomes as life-giving as water in a desert to you, you will want more of Him. And as you seek and find and then want more of Him, you seek even harder to get even more. The cycle continues, creating such a sweet relationship that “fully satisfies as with the richest of foods.

AB, What is something that you learned or realized about the Lord while at Fall Retreat?
I was looking back at notes from the weekend and every single thing could’ve been my answer to this question, but one thing that Demetrius said that really stuck with me was that the gospel isn’t something we graduate from. It’s not something we learn and move on from. I was just reminded of the weight and power of it. The gospel is the center of our faith, and personally, it could get really easy to just kind of brush it off, because I knew the story intellectually and I thought that I needed to know more about different parts of the Bible in order to really be a strong Christian. 1. That’s works-based, but this semester, and really during fall retreat, the Lord has just constantly been reminding me of how important it is, and to commit it to my heart, not just head knowledge, and how my salvation is through Jesus alone. The importance of the gospel can not be overstated, and that was just a really precious reminder that I’m holding onto.

CB,  How have you applied what you learned at Fall Retreat to your everyday life with the Lord?
One of the big things I had realized after Fall Retreat was how faithful the Lord is in so many people’s lives that I am surrounded by every day. It was very encouraging to get the chance to sit and talk with new people and hear their testimonies and stories about how they came to truly know Christ. It also was a wake up call and allowed me to realize how easily I can get caught up in everyday life in college. Being out in the woods with little cell service and nothing to rely on but the Lord and those around me, allowed me to refocus my eyes on the Lord and what is taking my time away from Him on a daily basis!

IG, How did you form meaningful connections with other people over the weekend?
I had the opportunity to meet some really cool people over fall retreat. It was fun just to spend time with them in small groups and during free time and get to know a little bit about them and their relationship with Christ. I learned something pretty cool about one of our friends during our game of hot seat. He left the room around 4:00 because we thought he was going to try and get a little bit of sleep but he said he needed to go read his Bible. We all left the room at 5:00 and he was still there reading his Bible. That was a big encouragement to me to really hunger for The Lord and to use the Bible as my rock everyday.