In December when I accepted a position as a Shores Counselor this summer at Pine Cove Christian Camp in Tyler, Texas I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew that I would get to live in Texas for 7 weeks and that I was going to “counsel” highschool girls! My hopes were that I would be used by the Lord in the lives of my campers, to make good friendships with the staff, and to grow closer to Christ.
My expectations were BLOWN away!!! God is so, so good and continues to amaze me in his sovereignty and faithfulness! This summer I have grown so much. I have learned a ton about myself, about the Lord, and about life in general.
Not to mention, I’ve learned about 52039843209 camp cheers, songs, dances, chants, traditions and more! ;) I learned how to make the same meal I eat every week a little better by mixing up the combinations, how to win the spirit stick and Pit n palace, how to dance (aka jump up and down) for an hour straight to old school Nsync and Jesus rap, how to jump for 2 hours welcoming new campers to camp, how to jump up and down and get into campers faces at club to get them excited (in case you haven’t noticed, we jumped ALOT), how to wake up 8 high school girls and have them clean up and dressed AND at flag in 20 minutes, how to teach Zumba…..how to teach PAINT BALL, how to encourage my campers to memorize their bible verses so they can dress my up like a FOOL Friday at lunch, how to take a shower and be in bed with the lights out in 5 minutes, how coffee and letters from home are SACRED because you only get them on rare occasion, how to love on some unlovable campers and so much more!
I have always enjoyed journaling, but throughout my time at camp I found myself journaling a whole lot more than normal. I literally could not write down fast enough all of the things God was showing me.
Just a few things that are found multiple times throughout my journal that the Lord taught/showed me are:
- My life is NOT all about me. It is about HIM! There is so much freedom in the fact that life doesn’t revolve around me and my comfort, security, happiness, etc… I know this seems like such a simple truth but really having to deny myself this summer and put it into practice made me understand this so much better! I don’t ever want to forget this.
- I AM NOT IN CONTROL! Another simple truth that the Lord really revealed to me this summer. I have such a detailed, type A personality. I like for everything to fit perfectly in a box and I want to understand it FULLY. God taught me that he does not fit into my little box!!! I can try and try to wrap my finite mind around our infinite Savior but I simply can not do it. I am learning that my understanding of who God is, is from HIM!!! It is not something that I think about so hard I finally “get it”… He reveals himself to me. It’s so beautiful. Also, he enables me to love him. On my own, I have no ability to love God, but he has regenerated my heart and enables me to love him!! This is GREAT news for me.
- My salvation has NOTHING to do with my performance for God but everything to do with my dependence on him.
- Discipline is a good thing.
- Not taking for granted the little pleasure in life… coffee, sleeping in, free time, shower pressure etc!
- It is okay to be open and share my burdens with other people.
- I am Christs, and that is all. My security and identity are found in him.
- I was able to experience and understand a Godly community. Having relationships that are built up and centered on Christ are priceless. They are deep. They are faithful. They are relationships how Christ intended them to be.
Leaving camp and heading back to “real life” was such a bitter sweet time. I obviously missed my family and the luxury of free time etc, but leaving camp was hard. I wasn’t just leaving camp, I was leaving the structure of having planned daily devotionals and my day being centered around learning about Jesus in a very intentional way. I was leaving a whole community of people who have become my best friends. These are the people I have been open with… We cried together, we encouraged one another, we laughed together, and we pushed eachother closer to Christ.
Although camp is over, I know for sure that the friendships I made are for a lifetime and the things that the Lord taught me while I was there will never be forgotten!