Camp...it's a word that has defined my summers for the last 8 years and pretty much my life for the last five. I never would have guessed when I showed up to work Crosspoint in 2003 that 8 years later, I would still be packing up to go to camp in the summer. I figured I would be a "grown up" by now. Funny how God always seems to have different plans. This summer is probably the last. Mainly because God has placed a new calling of teaching on my life that is bringing this camp journey to an end. I've thought a lot lately about the last 8 years of my life, about this journey that I have been on. So, I figured it might be cathartic to share it here. So here goes...
2003...A little background, the winter before I had traveled to the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City to be a volunteer. This journey opened my eyes and heart to the desire to travel more than I ever had before. Suddenly, my world was much larger than the state of SC that I had spent most of my life in. In October of my senior year of college I attended a global missions conference and it was there that I distinctly felt God calling me to give over my summer to him. That seemed strange. I was supposed to be a grown up, and get a "real job" so I wondered how me giving my summer to him would affect that plan. But I was open to surrendering that time to him. I heard about Crosspoint from a friend I was in the Sport Management degree program with and it seemed like a perfect fit. So, I turned in my application and references and waited...and waited...until I got a call that February letting me know that LifeWay camps wanted me to come be a Bible Study Leader and gymnastics coach for the summer.
I showed up to training week a day late because of my sister's graduation and I was more than a little overwhelmed when I arrived. Here was this team of people that were so excited I was finally there. Honestly, I was intimidated and I was nervous. But I was also excited all at the same time. By the end of Training Week I had been broken over bitterness and hurt that I had been holding onto from a past relationship. I began to truly understand God's grace in my life. And I had found a friend named MB who let me cry in her hoodie and would eventually stand by me as a bridesmaid in my wedding years later.
That summer I learned a ton and had a multitude of experiences. I learned about the simplicity of faith from the children I spent each day of camp with. I learned more about growing as a woman of faith from my female teammates. I learned that there were good, godly guys out there from the guys on my team. I went to states I had never been to. I taught little girls in gymnastics about self acceptance and I tried to help them understand how much God loved them just the way they were. I was able to pray with students who had accepted Christ as their savior. I felt as if I was exactly where God wanted me to be. Right in the middle of His will for my life. I loved it. I loved every minute of it.
I thought I would be a "one and done" aka a person who works one summer and then never works camp again. I thought that was the only summer I would possibly have to give since I was going to have to find a "real job" when all this fun camp stuff was over. I had no idea the plans God would have for me and how he would intricately weave this thing called camp into my life journey through the years. So, God closed the doors for all those "real jobs" I had been thinking about. And he left open the door to go back and go to Grad school at Clemson University. So...it looked like I might have one more summer after all. And to hear about that story...I guess you'll have to wait until tomorrow.