Drs. Jeff and Andrea Hazim,
I wanted to sincerely thank you and all the other team members for the life-changing past week at 2019 iDENTIFY Impact. I had a wonderful time, and it really helped me understand how to build on my strengths and deal with my weaknesses.
Being an only child and socially awkward, I have dealt with a lot of loneliness much of my life. I was known for my musical skills but had almost no close friends. This has often led to many internal struggles, such as sadness, depression, lust, covetousness, anger, ungratefulness, rebellion, blasphemous thoughts, a lack of empathy, confusion, emotional disconnect, pride, and a sense of worthlessness (I know those last two seem like polar opposites, but I have dealt with them both). It all stemmed from loneliness.
When I first heard of the “camp”, I did not want to go, because it would be a week spent with mostly new people. But looking back, I am very glad that I went, because it helped me discover that other people deal with the same (and worse) struggles. I found out the importance of sacrifice (pouring into others) and vulnerability (having others pour into you). I learned how every small habit matters because small habits turn into a lifestyle and that you don’t need a big reputation to make a difference. Most importantly, I was reminded that a foundation of life with God is the only true way to success, not any of man’s ideas.
Both my room squad and session squad became like families, with whom I shared both laughs and deep moments. J.D. admonished us to behave in a godly manner, and Monica spoke such wise and encouraging words. Even little Jaden has such a caring heart, and he became my “little brother” for the week. Whether it was helping clean up a room or talking to someone who was upset, I learned how every small choice matters to those around us. I felt true joy (without the confusion) and felt like part of a community of friendship. By the end of the week, I felt safe and knew that everyone was not against me and that it is possible for people to remember me as a human being, and not merely as a violinist or pianist.
The intensive may be over, but I hope that it is just the beginning of many new lasting friendships, and also the beginning of turning my life back in the right direction (feeling self-worth, seeking God, and steadfastly believing what He says without compromise.)
Thank you so much for all the countless hours you have put into the planning and organization for iDENTIFY Impact, and I hope to see Elev8Life continue to thrive. Next week, I will look into more of what Elev8Life does for the rest of the year and see how I can be a part of it!