I have always loved Happening. It is my personal favorite youth event. When I went through Happening a few years ago, it changed my life and changed my faith. Ever since, I have staffed Happening hoping to help my fellow youth experience this amazing event. I was the rector for this weekend and I had spent the past few months working to plan Happening. Seeing all my planning in action was amazing. I had a great group of staff members standing behind me making this weekend go by smoothly. Although we spent the whole weekend either ahead or behind schedule, it didn’t matter. The Happeners were experiencing God and seeing their fellow youth’s faith unmasked. I could see it too, the whole weekend I could feel God’s light shining down upon me and the rest of our community. I could feel Him smiling down at us and walking with us as we made our way through the weekend. God was one of us this weekend, His light shined through all of us.
As I walked through the doors of St. Thomas Friday afternoon, my mind was filled with a list of things that I hadn’t gotten to, all of the things that had been put on the back-burner and forgotten and were now boiling over into my brain. Flooding it with all the things that I still needed to do. However, as the weekend started and our Happeners arrived, all of those things that I had forgotten to do, were somehow taken care of. Either someone else had thought of them or they were unnecessary. It was like a message from God telling me to step back and just enjoy myself and spend the weekend getting to know the Happeners and helping them to have a wonderful weekend. He was quietly telling me that everything was going to be okay, that He would take care of everything.
As the weekend continued, God’s message to me was proven correct. Even though we spent the whole weekend somehow off schedule, everything went amazing, everything that needed to happen happened and I was able to take a breather and just let it happen. Once again, God showed me His love and support through the weekend of Happening, and it made me remember the poem that served as the theme for the Happening that I went through, “Footsteps in the Sand,” “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.” God carried me through this weekend so that I could enjoy it rather than stressing about everything that we needed to do and everything that didn’t end up happening.
The most amazing point in the weekend for me was when I gave my talk about Jesus Christ. As I sat down to talk about the unfailing love of our Savior, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through me, I could feel God sending His message and using me as His messenger.
The end to this weekend was bittersweet, I was ready to sleep in my own bed, but I wasn’t ready to leave the loving community that we had created. However, just because Happening had to come to an end does not mean that that feeling of love that is gone as well. The love and closeness I felt with everyone, Happeners and staff, will never leave me, it will always be a part of my memory and all of us will see each other again and feel that love just as strong as the weekend in which it was created, because it is one of the most perfect examples of God’s unfailing love. When all of us walked through the doors of St. Thomas, we may not have known everyone, but we all loved each other without judgement and opened our arms to each other, ready to just let it happen.
Olivia Allen is a high school senior from St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Mission, KS. She went through Happening #85.