June 4th-August 4th
My summer spent away from home for the first time at camp. Lives changed. Friends made. Lessons learned.
(to try to write pretty or just to dump…that is the question……)
Though I wasn’t living at home all summer, I did come back for several weekends, in addition to having many of my close friends with me throughout the weeks of camp.
This was my first ever camp experience–and I was a senior counselor. I could only hope I was giving my campers a good camp experience; since I myself had no idea what that even was….
Create a sanctuary.
That is the job we had this summer. To create a safe environment for our campers. A place where they could meet God. Where they could be vulnerable and know they were loved. Honestly, I felt that the only way I was capable of doing that was because it was done for me.
So thank you, Dustin and Erin, from the bottom of my heart, for working harder than any of us saw to do that for us. Thank you for the coffee in the mornings. For giving us spiritual disciplines to help us grow in ways we didn’t realize we needed to. Thank you for being real with us. I could not have made it through the summer without knowing that I had a whole team of people supporting me through every single day. I hope I did the same for others.
Peace and turmoil.
Every week brought new challenges and battles. Every week brought new revelations and realizations. God is powerful. He KNOWS me. He can see me even when I push Him away. When I try to do things in my own strength. He uses me even in my disobedience and despair. He takes care of me. He provides what I truly need when I need it. Even if it seems like there is no way that is what He meant to happen. It is. I learned from it. I grew from it. God blessed me in my pain. He blessed me with friends who know me. Some I just met at the beginning of the summer. Some who have known me a very, very long time. But more importantly, He told me that He knows me. He knows my future. He sees everywhere I go. He directs me, even when I think I’m wandering. He is so much bigger than me.
Day by day.
(what did I actually do over the summer?)
Well, let’s say, for now, the days were very full. I have currently written out the day from my internal perspective, but I only got to lunch and it’s quite long so I shall most likely let it have it’s own post. We played games, enjoyed Oasis, did electives, went to the lake, went to chapel, ate, and spent time together in the cabin. For me, it was always neat to see my girls grow throughout the week. To see them come out of their shells, and to form friendships with each other. To be trusted with details of their lives. To be able to encourage them to respect each other and see them getting it. It was a joy to be able to pour into my Junior Counselors and to see them growing in confidence and in their relationship with God throughout the summer. To see their joy in interacting with the campers. To see their desire to do the best they could.
It really was such an honor for me to witness all that God did this summer. He worked in so many people. He worked in me. He challenged us. He bonded us. He taught us how to love. Even when we could not. When I could not. He gave us the ability to love those we couldn’t love because He loves us. He LOVES us. He KNOWS us. He NEVER gives up, even when we flat-out push Him away. How.
He knows my future. I don’t. I wish I did, but He has not shown me. Now I’m home. This summer was my only plan for the near future, but now it’s in my past. (question mark) Now comes the real challenge–trusting Him through the unknown. Really, truly, fully giving my future to Him. My tomorrow. My next year. 21. I am so young. I wonder when I’ll finally learn to give it all to Him. Because that is what I really want. I want to instinctively go to God in everything. God help me rely only on you and not on me. He grants those who delight their hearts in Him their desires.
Thank you to all of you who were a part of my summer. You helped me grow, to lean on God. All of you played a part. I look forward to seeing where God takes each of you! I know He has great things for you–things that could simply mean trusting Him, which is the greatest reward. Don’t give up. I love you.