One of my favorite devotion activities is writing a letter to yourself. While at camp you get this God-centered, priority-focused, positivity-infused view of life and the hope is that you can gather some of that up scribe it onto a piece of paper so that when you find it show up in your mailbox months later you can breathe in some of that hope and love in the midst of your life.
I've been saving the letters that I wrote last summer and opened one of them today. The writing is sloppy, quickly scribbled by candlelight, and it takes me back to that night in Choctaw. I can almost hear the pens scratching and a few girls sniffling. The light flickers from the vanilla candles and a few people are illuminating their corner of the room with flashlights. It smells like shampoo and wet towels. You are squeezed into a circle of friends- maybe one or two from home, a couple you knew from last summer, brand-new best friends, and a handful you still haven't gotten to know. But this circle, it's safe. I remember writing these words hoping that they would give me focus when I someday unfolded this paper.
...The world has so much bad in it sometimes and we are so thankful for a place like camp where we can have these conversations, where dark secrets can come out into the open and God can enter into these girls' lives. God is good... I pray that I believe and live all of this.
The hard conversations are always worth it.
Time with people is more important than anything else.
That relationships beat activities.
That God can and will and does enter into these dark places.
That I have been blessed by God to be here, to be in relationship with these girls so that they might know you more.
That we are all beautifully and wonderfully made and our value comes from Christ. We should judge someone by their heart and their character and never the way that they look.
Living with 36 people is worth the noise and the mess and the shower lines.
We were created to live in community. It's messy sometimes but its always worth it.
God's hands are holding me...