by Celina. Celina is a senior Social Work major from Brownsville, Texas and coordinator of Bear Awakening 10.
Awakening: an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something; coming into existence or awareness.
Words have never been truer to me until the spring of my freshman year in 2009 when I attended Bear Awakening 7 as a retreater.
To preface my “moment of awareness”, I was born and raised Catholic. When I was a lot younger, I loved the idea of going to Mass, singing songs about God, and getting to share in the Eucharist with others, even though I didn’t really know what that meant at the time. However, when I stepped onto my high school’s campus, all of that love slipped away. Sunday morning Mass became a routine, I wouldn’t participate, and I spent the time during homilies sitting and thinking about what I had to do during the school week. Seriously. I prolonged thinking about my to-do list until the homily that Sunday morning.
Moving to Waco in the fall of 2008 and beginning my college years at Baylor, a private Christian university, I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew that I would run into a lot of people who had an unconditional love for God that I could not relate to. I promised my mother that I would continue to go to church on Sunday, so I attended the Catholic church that my brother attended as an undergrad at Baylor. St. Peter Catholic Student Center was close to campus and it didn’t take too much effort to get there every Sunday. The fall semester came and went. I did not get plugged in to the St. Peter’s community and had no intention of doing so.
A few months into the spring semester, after much grief from a few of my friends who attended St. Peter’s, I signed up to attend Bear Awakening 7. The weekend flew by, and my life has never been the same in the most beautiful way possible.
The weekend was filled with talks, activities, and small groups, but at the heart of it was so much love. And not just any type of love, but an unconditional love that I thought left me when I stopped believing. It is the kind of love that God has been romancing me with ever since I was created. It was that love that lead me to my “moment of awareness”; my awakening.
A lot of time and 2 Bear Awakenings later, I am humbled and blessed to be the Coordinator of Bear Awakening 10. Through God’s goodness, I am honored to give back all that the Awakening program has given to me.
I ask for your prayers as Awakening continues to grow and touch lives through its staffers and future retreaters who have heard God’s call.
God may be calling you to have your “moment of awareness”. Will you answer him?