Amelia Stennett from St Agnes’ Parish Port Macquarie, reflects on her Kairos experience…
For a large part of my life, I have considered myself independent. I always thought that I was the only one who could really help myself. I’ve always had a real struggle opening up to people. To admit that I need their help.
As I deepened my relationship with Christ, I wanted to listen to others, to help them with their struggles and to help in carrying their burdens. But, we always get told to give what we receive. So it’s a bit one-sided to receive from others, but not to give back. To listen and help others but never to let them help you.
Kairos was an experience full of grace, to say the least.
I found that throughout the retreat I made such strong relationships with those around me, those I would never have expected myself to. People were able to open their hearts to me. I was able to listen to their struggles and help them with their burdens.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
We got a chance to live this out. But it’s so easy to just let people give you their burdens. But so much harder to give them yours. This is what I had to learn myself. That it is fine to be vulnerable, to open up. People are wanting exactly what I want from them. They are wishing for me to open up. To help me.
As Christians, we are all part of a team, a group, a body that is the Church. All of us together, stand for the life of Christ. When one of us is falling with their own burdens, we must come to their aid and help them stand back up, even if they do not believe they need the help. It is so much easier for someone to do something with the support and help of others. We’re comforted that they will always be there for us when we fall.
But it is hard. I’m not going to lie.
I’ll be honest, it is easier to trust someone with your hardships and burdens when they are someone you have a strong relationship with. A relationship built on trust and admiration. But, even the slightest amount of openness is needed to start a relationship. All relationships start by putting yourself out there and have the power to become full of love and support.
This is what I experienced at Kairos. Opening myself to others, in varying degrees, has deeply strengthened my relationship with Christ. God often shows His own love for me through the people in my life. From Kairos, I have relationships that are purely devoted to helping each other in loving Christ and getting to know Him.
We may not share everything with each other but being the tiniest bit open to each other has allowed for us to share the same goal of helping each other be devoted to Christ.
Kairos has opened my eyes to something new.
Something I was fearful of, but it has led to a new way of appreciating and getting to know Christ. This was through a group of somewhat strangers, who are now some of my greatest friends. And, I love that about God, that when you let him into your life there is always something new to learn or a new experience around every turn.
As the youth in a Church that is around over 2,000 years old, it is important that we stand together as young people, letting others carry our burdens and carrying the burdens of others to experience a God that is reaching out to the youth of the Church.
We, the Church, are the body of Christ. We are called to be His hands and feet on this Earth and to love just like Christ loves.