A HARD SUMMER
First of all, I’d like to apologize for the late arrival of this newsletter. The summers are very draining...and it is always hard for me to find the energy to write up all that has been going on. After this newsletter I’ll be back on track though...so be thankful for that! For now though, please enjoy this summer update that covers both the months of August and September. I have also included two envelopes for giving...one for August and one for September.
With that said, I am now writing to you on my first day back in the office since the camp season officially ended. It’s good to be back with all my friends and coworkers but it is always weird transitioning from camp life to KC life. I still feel incredibly exhausted and a little disoriented as my schedule is now flipped around from the usual camp schedule.
This summer was filled with all sorts of new experiences that helped me grow and mature in many aspects of my life. For one, this summer I entered into a new position at camp which really stretched me. I had never been Teen Staff supervisor before and it was crazy being suddenly thrust into a shepherding role. It was both very rewarding and very difficult. At times I found myself incredibly excited because a teen staffer had an encounter with God—whether it came through a revelation or an authentic healing of their heart. I also found myself incredibly worn down and burdened at times when a teen staffer would open up to me and let me know about some of their hurts and struggles. On top of that, I was in charge of two new activity directors, maintained many trails and “sacred spaces” throughout the property, and I even spoke for a week at camp. All of which were things I had never had to lead out on before until this summer. It was chaotic and draining at times but I’m glad it happened.
That may seem kind of weird that I am glad that the summer was chaotic and difficult at times, but I am realizing more and more that I won’t grow any other way. It’s not until I’m in the mix learning new things that I am really transformed. Even looking back to when I went to India for the month of February, it was incredibly awkward and lonely at times but God ended up teaching me so much that I couldn’t help but acknowledge that I had been transformed for good. I came back from India loving God more, caring for people more, and wanting something different for my life. Essentially, I came back from India ready to surrender more of my life to God—ready to drop my own selfish pursuits in order to run with reckless abandon after the God of the universe.
In the same way, I know that God has taught me a lot this summer. During those hard times this summer when I would lose my patience, talk harshly towards someone, or draw inward and become selfish rather than remain servant hearted in all I do, I realized just how limited my love is. God revealed to me my own shortcomings and reminded me of how weak the flesh is. He didn’t stop there though. He also showed me how strong we become when we simply fall into his arms and let him “be” us. Through my hardships this summer I realized how much more growth is still in me. This faith really is a lifelong journey where we get to strive to become more and more like our Father, not because we have to, but because He first loved us and called us his beloved. I get to choose to become more and more Christ-like out of a sense of love and gratitude rather than out of a sense of obligation.
I love times like this summer. I get to learn more about who God is and more about who I am. The other thing that is incredible is that I know that as more time passes I will realize more and more about what God was trying to teach me throughout the summer through the many different experiences I had.
True wisdom and insight only comes after these difficult times. It reminds me of Proverbs 2 where it talks about how God grants those people true wisdom when they search it out like someone would search for silver or hidden treasure. Please pray that the teen staff and myself would continually look for ways to grow in our walks with God instead of defaulting on stagnation and contentment with where we’re at now. We can always grow and learn, and as followers of Christ we are called to be lifelong learners.
Swatting at horseflies in a Teen Staff cabin Week 2.