Quest was a life-impacting experience for me, and it played a fundamental role in shaping me into the person I am today.
I originally came to Quest in 2016 as a 21-year-old looking to change a few things in my life, and I was drawn in by the focus on discipleship and outdoor experience. But there was one thing I was afraid of: people knowing me. I remember reading a phrase on the website: “fully known.” How terrifying! But, I knew God was calling me to this program, so I went for it. Besides… maybe I could get away with being only partially known.
Even though I have a reserved nature, it was easy to make friends in Quest because we did almost everything together, and we quickly became a tight-knit family. I started letting go and opening up bit by bit, but there were some things I kept holding onto inside; things I thought no one could know about, things I thought I would almost surely be judged for. A couple months into the program, there came an opportunity for me to open up about some things that had weighed heavy on my heart and soul for a long time.
It was the moment I had been secretly waiting for, to finally be free, but it seemed impossible. Will people really look at me the same if they know what’s on the inside?
Thanks to God, today I can say that I spoke those secrets and insecurities into the light. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it paved a way for incredible things to happen that would be impossible if I had stayed in the dark. After that experience, I knew I wanted to keep practicing confession, honesty, and vulnerability, because it brings such freedom.
It hasn’t all been easy since then. I need to continually keep up the practice of vulnerability, or else I can slip back into thinking that I need to keep certain parts of myself in the dark. Although it’s not always easy, with more practice it becomes more natural.
In Quest, I learned that the people who truly love you will not judge you for who you are or what you do. By the end of those eight months, I was closer to being my true self, and I could walk away knowing that I do not need to be ashamed of who I am or how God made me. I grew in confidence to express my opinions and share my thoughts, and not be so afraid that others will judge me for what I think. Because of my Quest family and my teachers, I learned that I do not need to keep anything in the dark, and that who I am and what I have to offer is valuable.
Now, I can truly believe in my heart that I am loved, I am enough, and what I offer has value. It seems strange to think that a few years ago I didn’t believe that, because I have changed so much since then and that truth is so real to me now. Quest was the kick-starter to help me on my way of becoming who I really am and living the kind of life I have always wanted: a life of freedom.
Sarah completed Quest in 2016-2017. Quest is now accepting applications for September 2020.