I’m Back!!

Wow. I am officially back from my summer job. Crazy, right? It feels like just last week I was writing and scheduling out all of the posts for this summer. But it’s been over 11 weeks since then. Here we are!

So how to describe this summer… It was the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. God stretched me and grew me in so many different ways this summer. And I can’t wait to share that with you all. But this is going to be throwing a lot out at once as I just kinda dump everything that Christ has taught me this summer in the simplest and most straightforward way that I can. These are my experiences and the things that I learned- and I am sure that there is so much more that I am forgetting- but I understand that sometimes it can be a lot to read and hear about other people’s experiences with God, especially if you have been struggling in your own relationship with Him. So if you need to take it slow or come back to this one, here’s your fair warning because we are about to dive right in!

First of all, I learned to trust God, even when I can’t see His plan. I’ll be honest, there were some days in the beginning that I wondered why God had put me there. I was doing great but mentally and emotionally, I was going through some difficult things. I didn’t understand why God, knowing that I would have those issues, placed me in that position. But by the end of the summer, it became so so so clear why I was there and what my purpose was. It just took me a bit of time- and a lot of prayer- to actually trust that God knew what He was doing and I was there for a specific reason.

That leads into my next lesson: focusing on God. There were so many moments this summer where I could feel my focus slipping from God. Whether it was because of things I was doing or things other people were doing, there were moments that I struggled. But as time went on, I learned to continually be bringing my focus back to Christ and what He was doing this summer and it was so very rewarding. When our eyes are on Him and not everything going on around us, things become clearer and everything that would stress us out or seem difficult falls into the background of His amazing grace and glory.

I also learned just how much God sustains us when our flesh fails. You always hear it but I had never truly experienced it so fully until this summer. Day after day, I could feel myself growing weary and longing for more rest and less chaos. Because summer camp is chaotic. It just is. And it is exhausting. But there has never been a greater feeling than being at the end of your own energy and feeling God carry you through three, four, five more days with His energy. We only need to surrender ourselves to it and allow Him to take control to feel His great mercy to sustain us.

Another super important lesson I learned was the importance of being in the Word daily and reminding ourselves of Gospel truths every day, every hour, every moment. It changes your response to situations that arise and really does strengthen your relationship with Christ. Being in His Word and talking to Him every single day was so incredibly rewarding. I talked to God like I never had before this summer and for the first time in a long time, it truly began to feel like a relationship again. I had felt distant from God for a long time. But this summer, even through the hardships that I was facing, I felt close to Him in a way that I hadn’t before. And that was largely due to reading the Bible daily and truly understanding passages of Scripture that I had never taken the time to understand. It came from writing in my prayer journal every morning, whether it was praising Him for the good things happening in my life or crying out to Him to tell me what in the world He was planning.

I learned just what it means to be surrounded by a community of Christian people who are all working for Christ right alongside you and lifting you up in the process. I believe in being friends with a diverse group of people and being a witness to those that are not believers through your friendship with them. I do think that there is value in that. But this summer was SO refreshing in so many ways when it came to the people I was surrounded by. The discussions we were able to have and the memories that we were able to make based off of our shared beliefs were ones that are so special to me and I will never forget. Walking away from a conversation about karate and coming back to find it is now about predestination is a truly unique experience. The atmosphere was so different from anything I had ever experienced and I think that is very telling. All that is to say, finding Christian friends that know you and love you and will challenge you and lift you up is so very important.

I know that there is probably sooo much more I am forgetting about this summer. And I have so many stories… but those are for another time! This is all you’re getting for today. But I can’t wait to share so many of the beautiful views I saw this summer and the other little funny lessons I learned along the way- and let you know where life is at now that I am back!

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and I can’t wait to get back into posting more regularly again!

Check me out on Instagram @rcalife for updates!!