As I walked into the Superdome July 18, 2012, the first night of the youth gathering, I felt like I was truly at home. Instantly I felt connected with all 33,309 people. This was the real deal. Hearing about the gathering from past youth members didn't even describe the true feeling of the atmosphere of everyone singing, dancing, clapping, doing the wave, and expressing their faith. My stomach had butterflies, but there was more to it than that. I instantly felt like I had a special connection with everyone around me. I knew that it was going to be an inspiring week. We were all called upon as one to be “Citizens With the Saints.”
The excitement was empowering, as people expressed their faith when they were called to do so. The holy spirit was surrounding everyone and ready to guide us in a week of justice, faith, and discipleship.
As I sat in awe, everyone around me was talking, but I had nothing to say. I couldn’t form sentences, I was just taking in everything and trying to understand all that surrounded me. The first speaker came out, the Superdome instantly got quiet, I would have been able to hear a pin drop. Who knew that 33,309 people could all be silent at once. I looked around at everyone’s faces, and just like mine, there jaws had dropped. There was a cool breeze from the fans above us, and a soft whistle from the microphone. The biggest cross I have ever seen sat at the back of the stage glistening from a spotlight that was on it. I still don’t have words to describe it, but it had a biblical look to it.
As speakers came out, the soft roar of voices dropped to a dead stand still. The lights would dim, and a spotlight went onto the speaker, all eyes were on them. The speaker would share their story, and somehow the story encompassed everyone. During every story, there was a portion of...