This is a story I shared at my youth group the other night. Standing there, looking out to those face, I held back tears. This past year has been a means of grace. I am so thankful.
Two years ago, I stood up here and proclaimed how God had used Relay to bring forth my salvation. Now, I stand here with a testimony of His continued faithfulness.
This past year in Relay, I’ve seen the group bond closer than ever, bringing forth a memorable and even hilarious year in Relay. Throughout all the memories, one thing remained: God used spiritual growth to unite us all.
Last summer, through going on a mission trip, God gave me a greater desire for biblical fellowship in Relay and I craved for more Christ-centered friendships. I found my impatient soul never at rest over this. Often I found myself praying Habakkuk’s prayer. As he writes, “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and will not hear?”
This was my struggle coming into last year’s Advance. The first few days of Advance were a struggle of bitterness when I felt like I should be happy to be there. Throughout the weekend, through my Mom’s prayers and the sermons I was aware I had not been trusting God and I was given a desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Before dinner on the last night, a friend asked me and a few others if they had any prayer requests. I was honest with my struggles and I found that a few others were dealing with this, too. We ended forming a prayer group that expanded to most of Relay.
The rest of that night became one of the greatest nights in Relay history. God made me completely aware of my weakness during the message. I was overcome with how filthy my sin was yet how glorious He was. Afterwards, many of my dear friends and I shared stories of faithfulness and prayed for each other for hours. Seeing all of us engaging in biblical fellowship brought me to tears of thankfulness of how God had indeed heard my prayers and knew my heart.
I was afraid these types of Christ-centered fellowship would go away after Advance, but God continued to work in countless ways. The following are just a few of the ways God has been good: The following Sunday, I got to watch someone I’d been praying for get saved. I’ve had endless conversations and prayers with close and new friends involving how God was working in our lives. God’s given many Relay kids a heart for missions, which has engaged many good conversations and friendships. I’ve been able to be a part of a bible study every week with some wonderful girls. I have been able to grow closer to my brother in the Lord. The Holy Spirit has been active at our Care Group, where many of our Relay members are able to talk and pray way afterwards and we even got to watch a member get saved a few weeks back. We have been able to host two worship nights with a group of Relay kids at our house, where God has united us in both praise and fellowship.
By the goodness of God, I believe the kids in Relay have truly been running this Relay race with their parents and making their face their own. I am so thankful for the investment that Relay, Mr. Cooper, and Mr. Odom have been in all of our spiritual walks.
As I prayed the desperate cries last summer, now and then God has returned my cry the same as he did to Habakkuk. He said, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.”
I have no idea what Transfer or next year might hold, but I am confident that God will be good again to Relay.