It’s been so long! After three months, I have finally updated my mission trip page. You’re welcome to go read it HERE. Overall, it was such a beautiful opportunity to relationally connect and share the gospel, and additionally the joy and peace found in Christ, with those we encountered. If given the opportunity, I would definitely return with no hesitation.
Previous to the mission trip, I had participated in camp counselor training! I absolutely love my summer job and all it encompasses. Instant family, special needs children, JESUS, and free food. I will be working there for the rest of the summer, and it’s scary to think I’m way more than halfway through the summer. Immediately after I came home from training, though, something kinda odd happened. As each day passed, I felt a growing pain in my chest and great fatigue. I immediately dismissed the idea and decided the pain was resulted from lifting heavy things from our trailer and fatigue could be traced to not sleeping. After two days, however, my neck and arm tightened and breathing became a hassle. I felt myself concentrating on each breath going in and out, and solely wanting to rest on the couch, despite these days were the few I wasn’t working and had the opportunity to see some friends one last time. Going back and reading through my journal for those days, one entry started off as “I am scared I will not wake up tomorrow.” Three days later, we went to our normal doctor, who immediately sent us to the ER. The nurses preformed four-five different tests, which all proved my heart was working fine. Three hours later, they determined it was a prolonging allergy attack. Some new species of plant or something had triggered this reaction, and my immune system surrounded it, but in doing so started to block my lungs. Yet again, God was faithful. The nurses gave me oxygen, medicine, an inhaler, and some roids. To think my life could have been terminated within those days or hours really made me question some things. Was I ready? Did I feel like I lived my life to its full potential? Probably not. I was angrily confused as to why I might be taken before I had the opportunity to be a sneeds counselor and go on my mission trip and go to college. Would my death lead people to Christ? I hope so. Do I trust God’s timing? In theory, yes. Of course! He knows all, loves all, has all power. It seems like an obvious yes. But within me, there is a small voice saying, no, I can’t. Death has seemed to prove itself present in my life and my family’s life, and when it comes to my life or the lives around me, there are parts of me reluctant to trust. Really, though, moments like these should force me to trust more, because I have absolutely no control over anything at all. Also, I’ve come to believe if you are living, then you have purpose. If you are breathing in this moment, right now, God is trying to do something within you, through you, with you. He has a plan, and you are needed. You may be on the receiving end of the plan or maybe the plan concerns you giving your time, money, love, wisdom, etc. I firmly believe you have purpose here on this earth.
Also, something else really cool happened this summer. Towards the beginning of the summer, I quietly decided if the song Lord, I Need You played five times during camp counselor training, I would know for a fact the college I had chosen was truly God’s plan for me. I knew if it wasn’t, I would need to be prepared to drop out and find somewhere else to go. Deep down, I don’t know if I was prepared, but I did it anyway. During training, the song played four times. Four. No longer than two week after the last day, I was at my church attending service. Our worship leader began to tell the congregation how his youngest son was receiving intense speech therapy due to numerous ear infections as a child. He went on to add his son was also involved in occupational therapy – my intended major. I shrugged it off and was like wow cool. Seconds later, though, the song Lord, I Need You started playing again, and all of me was so filled with joy. It was such a reminder how God listens to us and cares and wants us to depend on Him. He will give us the desires of our hearts. But now as college approaches, I am filled with excitement rather than worry and doubts.
Also, on Saturday, August 13th, I got baptized! What follows is what I read before the plunge, but I think it summarizes everything pretty well. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while, and I’m so glad the opportunity finally came.
I’d like to start by reading Psalm 63:1, which reads “You God, are my God. Earnestly I seek you. I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” This verse has become the cry of my heart. My entire soul longs for my Creator. Growing up in the church, I’ve sat through numerous baptisms, but always to afraid to initiate my own. I feared talking in front of people. I feared I wasn’t ready. I feared it was to big of a decision. Today, however, I cast all those fears away and proclaim that I want no more than to follow Jesus. I want Him to take all of me and use me for His glory alone. There will be no turning back, because my purpose rests in Him alone. I have been made to make the name of Jesus famous. This summer, I’ve seen hearts changed by Him while working at SpringHill Camps and while on mission in Tucson, Arizona. He has moved in me and through me, and my peers. As a camp counselor, I have seen young children accept Christ for the first time, and moments like those create in me a longing to see many more lives impacted by Christ. I want to lead people to Christ for the rest of my time here on earth, because there is no greater gift than Him. I stand here and surrender my desires and wants for God’s purpose for me. I lay down my doubts and fears. He is greater, and His plans are for His glory alone. My God is victorious. So I stand here and say with boldness, I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS.
Baptisms are mighty empowering, and I found such strength in publicly proclaiming the greatness of my savior. If you’ve been thinking about it, I strongly encourage you to do it if you feel so called. If not, pray about it. Our God is so good.
Aside from the completed Tucson Journals, this is all I’ve got for today. I’m sorry it’s been so long!!