YAWA 2009

I was away again over the weekend for the annual St. Columba’s Young Adult’s Weekend Away (YAWA). We spent the weekend with Paul and Natalie in their beautiful home near Elgin and though our numbers were a little depleted this year there was as much banter as ever.

I know the first thing everyone wants to know is the result of the legendary Girls v. Boys Trivial Pursuit game!! This year was the most closest game I’ve seen yet. The girls led for most of it but got stuck on that last piece of pie as the boys crept up and took the victory . . . just!

There was more competition on Saturday afternoon as we had a massive treasure hunt across Moray – three cars of team members set off with cameras in search of goat statues, cathedrals, conga lines, silly hats and biblical gardens! Much fun was had by all and I don’t think the residents of Elgin, Lossiemouth or Forres were left too scarred.

We went to the Lossiemouth Baptist Church on Sunday which was very nice. They gave us a very warm welcome and it was a great service.

Dan and Stef led the teaching for the weekend. Both sessions were very powerful and, whilst I can’t really speak for everyone else, I was certainly moved and challenged. We spoke about identity and wholeness. So here, if you can cope with the deepness, are some things I learned and was thinking about:

  • A lot of my identity is all wrapped up in church, i.e. St.C’s at home. That was who I was. It was how I defined myself. It gave me purpose. Now that it’s gone I’m floundering a little. Studying ridiculous amounts is one coping strategy – identity in achievement. I suspect it’s also one of the reasons I’m having trouble choosing a church – I have no identity in any of them and that’s really strange. But Stef reminded us that our identity is ultimately in God, as His children, as who He created us to be.
  • We were singing on Friday night and it occurred to me, as we sang about Jesus, how easy it is for my theology to become skewed. I read and think all day everyday about big abstract concepts about God but actually my theology needs to be more Jesus centred. I need to think about Him and the cross more because it is that which defines my stance and opinion.
  • Dan asked us to consider the hurts and disappointments of the past which dictate our responses to situations and pressures today, how we respond out of our brokenness. This one was painful. Difficult memories to conjure and to admit the affect they had and still have on me. I’m never as strong as I appear. There is so much more going on beneath the surface. I face demons like everyone else, if not more so. But Dan reminded us that God is still working in us and giving us the desire and power to do what pleases him (Philipians 3:20) – and it’s a work that continues as we grow in Him.

At St.C’s on sunday evening George, George and Ciaran shared a little from a passage of Scripture which had spoken to them recently. They all spoke brilliantly and God spoke through them. It was awesome to see how God is at work in the lives of others, to be reminded of His continual speaking and moving and to be inspired by brothers in Christ.

Then it was onto the train back to Edinburgh.

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