Well, last week I survived my first time of being a church camp counselor. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. There was a breeze most of the week to keep the heat down, the youth got along fairly well, and I wasn't forced to participate in any activities I'd rather not do (like chasing chickens). Our church kids did really well in the activities throughout the week. The Lindsey Chapel Youth Choir placed first in the choir competition and a boy from our group received the student of the week honor above all the other boys at camp that week. There was a lot of fun activities and good, clean entertainment, but the highlight of the week was the preaching. Two kids from our church got saved and that was a great blessing. I'm sure many of the others made commitments to God throughout the week, including myself. I thought I'd share a little bit of what God showed me this last week and I hope that you, my readers, can help hold me accountable.
The theme for the week was "Don't Quit" and they used Galatians 6:9 which says, "And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." It is amazing how God can bring the right messages to you right at the point you need to hear them. I have felt like giving up a lot in the past few years: I've considered quitting my current job multiple times, I have given up on searching for a teaching job each summer after only applying at a few schools, I've considered moving away from a great church, I've allowed myself to get behind on simple tasks like doing the dishes or budgeting, and the list could go on and on. But, through all the ups and downs, I have felt like God is keeping me where I am for a reason. Not just at this specific location, but also at my current job and in my current state of singleness. I still struggle with discontentment, and that is why I have made multiple attempts to get out of these circumstances. I think that by denying my requests for change, God has been trying to tell me that I need to learn to fully depend on Him. In everything. With my job, with my money, with my desire to be married, with my family and friends, there is nothing that God overlooks. He knows everything about me, and He knows exactly what I need and when I need it.
There are so many other good points that were made in the messages I heard last week. Maybe, I will get an opportunity to use some of them in future posts. For now, I'll focus on one. As with all the camps and retreats I've gone to, this one came to an end. Many people go through what they call a "mountain-top experience;" they get all pumped up and ready to make a difference during the event, but then they go home and get hit in the face with reality. One of the preachers pointed out that just because you make a commitment, it does not mean it will be easy to keep it. He said that we would be tested; that our faith and resolve would be challenged as soon as we leave. I expected to be challenged with a bad day at work the day after arriving home. Instead, my challenge was allergies and congestion. I didn't see that coming; I had a sore throat most of the camp week, but I didn't realize it would escalate. Since Friday afternoon, I just started feeling worse and worse, and I spent most of the afternoon in bed on Sunday. It is very hard to keep a positive attitude, encourage others, and stay motivated to a task when you feel like your head is in a fog and your energy is completely drained. I tried to stay as positive as possible at work and church, but I felt pretty rundown by the end of the weekend. Monday did not start out too well either, but now my symptoms have cleared up and I guess this was just a reminder to not take anything for granted, including my health. I hope that even if I don't feel up to par, I can still strive to have a cheerful countenance, to be an encourager, to seek God's truth and will in my life, and to just keep swimming :)