What does Disciple Now mean to me? Yes, it’s a weekend retreat away from home. Yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s a good way to bond with other youth. Yet I come out of every weekend with a new perspective.
This year, the theme of Disciple Now centered on how our relationship with God is anchored, specifically through music. I wouldn’t consider myself musically gifted, unless you count joining the middle school band and occasionally playing the piano in my living room. However, I’ve found myself growing closer to God through song in the past couple of years. Youth choir, handbells, and Jubilate, Broadway’s annual youth choir tour, has definitely played a significant role in that. But it was Disciple Now that opened my eyes to see this connection between myself, music, and my faith.
As a senior, leaving for college soon is one of the most terrifying thoughts I’m constantly reminded of. There was one song the youth sang this year in worship at Disciple Now that made me feel at peace with growing up so quickly and leaving my home in a few months; it’s called “Oceans.” One of the verses says,
“You call me out upon the waters /
The great unknown where feet may fail /
And there I find You in the mystery /
In oceans deep /
My faith will stand.”
The first time I heard this song, specifically this verse, something happened that is difficult to express in writing. I truly felt God’s presence surrounding me, reassuring me and telling me it’s okay to feel upset about leaving behind a place I love so much. Disciple Now is a time of change and of growth, and I can say I have continued to grow in my faith year after year of attending; I will never forget what I have learned from this retreat. It is one my favorite youth activities and it is a bittersweet moment that this past Disciple Now was my last.
- Meagan Sanders