Campfires & Crazy Costumes : Reflections from Camp Counselor Life

When people ask me how my summer was, I usually resort to the phrase “draining but so rewarding”, stopping without detail. How can you truly convey the depth of the stories of what God has done this summer? I went through the most incredible experience.

It was simply life changing.


 

This summer, I left behind my normal Netflix obsessed, Pinterest planning, Instagram capturing routine, said goodbye to lazy mornings in bed and trips to the movies and Target, to having the hours all to myself.

In its place came the life of a camp counselor. Crazy costumes, days of losing my voice, being covered in carmel and sprinkles, feeding giraffes, rising from when the sun came up until the stars came out, letting the sun leave its impact on skin, running on red eyes and not enough, struggling to find the right words, only to find grace fill up every broken piece (Art in the Mess) and to learn how to truly soak in the Word and how to live out Jesus’ love and joy in the ordinary moments. All for the chance to be a part of stories being rewritten by grace and surrendered back to the Writer, to watch His faithfulness unfold in their lives and my own. giraffe svr

 


 

I watched God show up in incredible ways. As lives were surrendered to Jesus, some for the first time. As dreams were placed into His Sovereign hands, as hearts grew closer to Christ, one step at a time. As God intentionally placed me on each program, with each set of girls that made up my cabin every week. As the staff became like community and family, working united side by side for the cause of the Gospel. As moments that made it worth every second happened and left me moved beyond words (more about that here Glimpses in the Starlight). As hands were raised in praise until the room swelled. As prayers were answered right before my eyes. As we got covered in ice cream toppings, had color wars with paint, wore onesies and tutus for skit night, and sang crazy camp songs at the top of our lungs. As quiet mornings in the prayer gazebo refocused my heart :

gazebo svr

As we consumed coffee and candy in large volumes. As the skies above were painted in brilliant colors and stars came out to dance crystal clear, reminding us that we are a small part of a much grander story written by a great God :

sunset svr

As Jesus pulled my heart closer to Him, giving me perspective, and reminding me that it’s all about pursuing Him and knowing Him better, in every situation (more about that in a later post). As I rafted down a river and laughed until it hurt. As I floated around the pool in circles and got to spend time with others :

mushroom svr

As God reconnected me with others who had made a huge impact in my life here. As I learned to push beyond my fears and limits and trust that Christ in me will carry me through. As things came full circle, time and time again, from being a camper to being a counselor and everything inbetween.


 

I’ll forever hear the dining hall echo with these lyrics in my mind, as we both poured out our souls and danced the night away:

“I’m alive in the love that You gave me, free to dance once again. Lost and dead but Your love came to find me, Jesus You are the way.”

“God of mercy, sweet love of mine. I have surrendered to Your design. May this offering stretch across the skies. And these hallelujahs be multiplied. “

This place feels like home, a refuge, a safe place. No matter how hard it’s been, I grow. In community, in relationships, in experience. Always more of Christ showing up and Jesus pouring out than I could ever hope for.


 

It’s been a whirlwind of a ride. In this place that I love with a ministry so close to my heart, I have had the absolute joy and gift of seeing the Creator who changed my heart under these stars continue redirecting countless stories. To see Him turn brokenness to art. To cry over not feeling enough and finding Him to be more than sufficient. To late nights and frustrations but fighting to believe that every single story matters. All the concerns start to fade away when I view it with this forever kind of perspective, one of wonder.

Tears hinder sight as chapters close, transitions begin, and this soul of mine is hit full force by the depth of His faithfulness and goodness to my heart. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, one of my greatest. It’s crazy and amazing to be on the other side.

On to whatever adventures come next!

 

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.                   Ephesians 3:20-21

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