So I left off around wednesday…let’s see how much from there I can keep in order. 🙂
By wednesday I was exhausted…had slept through my alarm in the morning and was almost late to dawn patrol, allergies were full blown and hating me! But the next few days were completely worth it, and went by WAY too fast!!
Wednesday night’s chapel was one that I had seen coming, in my own life…GODS FUTURE. GODS WAY. The illustration that our speaker gave was of parents who know everything…hahaha. They knew what the outcomes would be of every action that we took, both the good and bad. The point he was getting at with this was that if we had parents like that then we would want to go to them with everything and we would trust what it was that they told us. When they told us we couldn’t go to this place with certain people, sometimes with an explanation and others they would keep to themselves. But we would trust them and know that they had our best interest and safety in mind…because they could see what would happen. Well this is how God is as well…even though we don’t necessarly verbally get confirmation of what we should and shouldn’t do, He still has ways of showing us. We should find great amounts of security in this, knowing that there is someone watching over us and who knows everything that is going to happen…and protects us. That doesn’t mean that we won’t be hurt, but we have somewhere to turn when we do. That has been one of the biggest comforts and strengths for me to realize.
As I was reflecting on this image, I was reminded of something that was said in one of our small group meetings while I was away at school. My friend Kirstin created an image of a sheep walking along, not really paying much attention to what was going on…and then in its path stood a huge rock that would divert its path. What she was trying to get at with this is that sometimes God puts those rocks in our path to keep us from something that could be more dangerous. There could have been a wolf or lion on the other side of the rocks, but because of it the sheep went a different direction. This really changed the way that I looked at roadblocks that had been put in from of me. Maybe what I was trying to get to wasn’t good for me, and this was one of God’s ways of showing me that?
Thursday mornings chapel was one that pulled at my heart. Missions. Vanessa and Red had been with us all week, and we had been seeing glimpses of their ministries. Red uses surfing to connect with students in South Africa and to be able to show them and teach them about God’s love. Vanessa uses her love and talent with fashion as an avenue to work with women who have been abused and left. Both of these are not what I ususally think of when I hear the word missionaries. But after hearing their stories, and how God has used both of them in so many different ways, and along with the theme that had been continuing through the week…I couldn’t help but wonder. What is it that God has planned for me, how can I use the gifts and talents that He has given me? We broke out into small groups afterwards and talked about just that question…what were our talents?
This past year has been one that has presented this question to me in many different ways. Since I was a sophmore in high school, I had made the decision in my head of what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I had decided to be an occupational therapist for children with disabilities. I found a school with a great program for it, and had a passion to keep moving with it. But as the year went on, my plans were challenged…I discovered that science isn’t my forte.
GODS HEART. GODS WAY. This was the next big topic that was adressed. This was the night when walls came down, relationships were strengthened and reality was made real. Not only within the hearts of the campers, but in us as leaders as well. God opened my eyes to the answer of the question I had been asking for so long…why?? Why had I been through the things that I had, what was the reason for me being hurt through those things? The purpose was for that night and for those relationships, that I can understand and connect with others who deal with those same problems. For those things that I have gotten out of, I can tell my story of what God has done in my heart to make that possible…and those that I am still struggling with, it allows me to walk through the journey along side others.
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
While we were driving home, I heard this song on the radio over and over and for the rest of the day as well as many after I have had these words constantly in my mind. God is continuing to show me that he really does have a plan in all of this.
Last chapel of the week. GOD USES EVERYTHING! After having a week to reflect on all that we had heard, the week closed with this idea that everything that goes on in our life, God uses in some way…for some purpose. I had come to understand this and experience it first hand for the first time in my life. One of the journeys that God has taken me on this year is in understanding forgiveness…how to forgive and be forgiven.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Coming to a place…getting to a place where I have truly experienced God’s grace, forgiveness, love and peace. I can’t express how this feels, but I do know that I want others to feel it and understand it as well.
During victory circle, after our last chapel, we were challenged to think of three words that would tell what God had done in our life that week. I experienced God in so many different ways while I was at camp, and left with a desire to pursue Him. More than I ever have leaving camp…I knew some of what awaited me as we went down the mountain…but I wasn’t anxious about it, I knew that whatever it was that I wasn’t alone. God was there, and He had also blessed me with an amazing group of people who I had grown with throug the week.
renew. challenge. love.
Honestly, since being home for summer, I had been struggling with finding where I fit now that I am back in San Mateo…no matter how short the time is. But this week I found that place. And
So much happened this week, and I am sure that there are parts that I have forgotten. But God worked and moved in my heart and those of so many other campers as well. Pictures coming soon 🙂
Thank you God, for this amazing week.
Give me a nearness
I want to feel fire
Your friendship is tireless
Give me a nearness
You have waited here
To my great surprise
Distance wearing thin
When I’m at Your side.