Written by Shezanne Lee
Before Kickstart, I was coming off a low point in my faith where God felt so distant in a time where I needed Him most. Kickstart was an entirely new idea to me at that time, and I was reluctant to put myself in such a new environment. However, after the encouragement of those in my parish who invited me to take this opportunity to renew my faith in Christ again, I took that leap of faith to sign up for Kickstart.
It was honestly really nerve wracking. I was filled with the insecurity of not being able to get along with my other CG members and even more afraid of being unable to receive God’s call to return to Him. During one of the sessions, we were asked, ”What do I desire to build my life on as I enter university?” and I was stumped. Where would God be in my life as a university student? I knew how easy it would be to slip back into my old habits, where I would find myself getting swept up in my school life and placing God at the bottom of my list of priorities. Could I really bring myself to leave Him behind again or was I ready to choose Him and place Him in the centre of my life?
Through Kickstart, I was able to experience the boundless love of Christ that I had felt so far from before. He reminded me that I was always a beloved child of His, even during times when I did not feel worthy. The first time I experienced His love in the retreat was through the strength of my sisters in Christ that I journeyed with during the camp. Through their sharings, they reminded me that I was not alone and filled me with love for the people God has placed in my life. Everything came so easily, being able to share openly with people that I didn’t even know until 2 days ago. In those moments of vulnerability, I received His invitation to place my trust in Him again and to be reminded that He has never failed me and would never fail me. It was a timely reminder that He was always present with outstretched arms to welcome me back even in the times where I’ve failed myself. The stirring in my heart to be renewed in my faith grew stronger even after the retreat. It prompted me to build a habit of saying daily prayer and to be more vulnerable in my journal reflections during community sessions.
A year after Kickstart, I have been blessed with Corpus Christi in SIT, with brothers and sisters in Christ who have inspired and pushed me to journey further in my faith. During the moments where I was tempted to prioritise my commitments as a student over my faith, they have pulled me away from the temptations. They became a beacon of light during the struggles that I have faced as a university student, and continuously reminded me of God’s presence in my life. Although I had initially been filled with the fear of being in a new community, it turned into warmth and love for this bunch of incredible people. Through them, I have been able to ground and strengthen my faith in my everyday life as a student.
I can now proudly proclaim that I am a beloved child of God and He continues to remind me to share the love that He has shown me along this journey. Just as it was said in John 8:12,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” God desires for you to open your heart to Him so that He can shine His light upon the path ahead of you. He is waiting for you; will you turn to Him?