I have had an incredible spiritual journey, which started at a young age. I think in all, there are three main parts of my spiritual journey so far. I decided today to highlight those parts.
Kanuga is an Episcopalian Conference Center located in Hendersonville, NC. This is one of my Happy Places. I actually started to believe in God by going on Parish Retreats- most notably by my current church. Most notably by the Parish Retreats that Fran Mckendree helped lead- as in by his music. Songs like “Lord of the Dance”, “Lord,I Lift Your Name On High”, “Servant Song”, and “Sanctuary” really helped me connect to the Lord. Little did I know that “Servant Song” would have a double meaning in my life.
It was also by going on the hikes that Kanuga has nearby. I started out by not being one of the hike leaders. But when I got older, I eventually became one of the hike leaders. I now own a hiking stick, hiking bag, and hiking boots.
In addition to the Parish Retreats, there was a high school youth conference that played an important role. Winterlight happened December 27th-January 1st. Winterlight actually was the BEST part of high school. As a matter of fact, I was able to really discover my strong spirit by attending this conference for two years. Winterlight consisted of singing three times a day, doing a service project, going to a banquet, going to a talent show, and attending the New Year’s Eve dance. It even consisted of spending time with our small group- we were doing activities connected to the overall them
This was the student-led worship service at Gardner Webb University. It was a goal of mine to try to attend every week. I got through college by trusting in the Lord. Going to The Gathering gave me a break from studying. The energy I felt through the songs was similar to the youth energy I felt during the songs at Winterlight.
So many followers know of the Bristol Pilgrimage- July 31st, 2015 started this particular pilgrimage. But my family went up two days early. We were in England because the church choir was in residence at Bristol Cathedral. In addition to the choir, there were family, friends, and other members of the church. We attended castles like Windsor, Berkeley and Chepstow. We went to Tintern Abbey, Bath, Old Sarum and Stonehenge. In total- there were ten church services: most were at Bristol, but some were outside.
The words below are some lyrics from “The Servant Song”- however they still perfectly illustrate the Bristol Pilgrimage. So that song is meaningful to both Kanuga and The Bristol Pilgrimage.
To get a taste of what the services were going to be like, we went to Evensong at Westminster and Eucharist at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Stonehenge was actually my mountain top moment. Actually, the best part of the pilgrimage wasn’t something we did, but something that was created- the fellowship.
Well, due to going up early to London, I was able to live a dream. One of my dreams was to hear the people sing in The West End. My mom and I saw Les Mis July 30th, 2015 at the Queen’s Theater. We sat 9 rows back from the stage, and that experience was one of the best experiences of my life. Les Mis actually fit perfectly into the pilgrimage- I went from Valjean’s spiritual journey to my own.