I loved the gatherings. The ones I was there for were fabulous. Everybody was singing and laughing and just having fun. There were some sermons when I was crying because it was emotional, or laughing because something was really funny. I remember the last one so clearly. I was with my friend Colin, we were sitting a few rows back from where my church was sitting. We sat there laughing at something the cowboy priest had said. We sang to all the songs. I remember looking at all the people around me. People I didn’t know were sitting beside me. Colin and I were conversing with random strangers. Laughing with random people. High fiving other groups. By the end of that gathering I believe I hugged at least 5 people I didn’t know. I was surrounded by friends, acquaintances and just people.
Being there I felt so loved and appreciated. At home sometimes I feel alone or stressed and I think back to Saskatchewan. I got closer to a lot of people.
Sometimes in your everyday life you forget that there are people around you. You forget that there are friends who care about you, families who love you, and just people who notice you. When you go to a CLAY meeting it’s hard to forget that, people are always talking to you there, always listening to you. You’re rarely alone there. And you feel so loved.
When I went, I think it was the second or third day; I got a concussion and was stuck in a hotel room for a whole day. It was soo
horrible. Going back I was nervous no one would notice I was gone, but the second they saw me at my lunch table my friends came running over to me and hugged me saying they missed me and were so worried about me. It feels great to be missed… And to this day those people and I are still friends, we have those moments engraved in our hearts.
When someone sings a silly song at home, people might be scared, they don’t want to embarrass themselves, but there everyone acts silly. The song “Lions” always got the crowds so crazy. My friend and I went to meet the band and they were hilarious, so happy and excited to be there with us.
When my friends and I would sing the song Lions or Days of Elijah or anything like that, we’d go fully into actions and be laughing and just having fun. You can be yourself there without worrying about someone judging you. Even though you’re in a place full of teenagers, there isn’t much judging.
My friends always tell me that I’m not the type of person to be shy and unnoticed. Where ever I am, I stand out, even when I was little. So going there I was scared of what people would think of me. But the moment the games started, I realized, they don’t care, they’re just as nervous as I am, and just as weird as I am. It’s good to be unique.
Clay has given me soo many cherishing moments, and so much knowledge. I am so happy I went; it has changed who I am. It has given me things to hold onto when I’m sad, memories to laugh about when I’m with these people, and most of all, it has given me a deeper love. For everything; God, people and myself.
It has been at least 5 months since I saw some of my friends, but we are all still so close, we talk frequently, and skype lots. But they aren’t the only people I got closer to. I got closer to people that I’ve known all of my life. It gave me a deeper connection to them. (que Clay members “Can you feel the connection, people here are joined together…”)There’s no way of getting out of making deep, lasting bonds between people. And I would never choose to get out of it. But I miss them all terribly.