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Monday, July 21, 2008

These Two Things

I want to say one more thing about the camp I volunteered for last week. Ashley taught me a lot about God's love for us in a very practical way.

She did share some of her story with me. I feel like out of respect for her and the moments God presented to help me speak to her, I won't be sharing anything about her with the entire blogosphere. She's a beautiful girl and I can't let her be another story on another blog. Not to mention, you're probably not as ready as you may think to hear what she's been through. I sure wasn't.

The 2 bracelets pictured above were on my right and left wrists all week long.

H.O.P.E. This bracelet was to remind me to "Have Only Positive Expression". If you know me at all, this is probably funny to you. I'm terribly sarcastic and only saying good things is quite difficult at times. OK...all the time.

It turns out, that while it did serve as a reminder to check my mouth before I open it, it mostly became a literal beacon of hope to me. I looked at it and was reminded that no matter what matter what Ashley tells me about her past...there IS hope for her life. I refuse to believe she'll be another statistic. God knows I'm praying hard for her present and her future.

Courage. Well, let's face it; it takes courage to leave a 15 month old home for a week and trust that he'll be alright. It takes courage to go and make yourself available for whatever plan was intended...especially when you don't know what that means. It takes courage to let go at the end of a week when you pour your heart and soul into a little girl's life. I wore this bracelet and looked at it often.

Hope and Courage; these two things were my anthem of sorts.

Now, about what I learned about myself. A series of questions ran through my mind as I sat down for one last devotional before leaving camp.
How many times do I need to be redirected in a day? (We're constantly redirecting children at camp).
How many times have I been so dependent on God He had every right to be thoroughly exhausted with me?
How many times have I run from Him just to see if He'll catch me? How many times have I yelled at Him because my own pain was too much to handle?
How many times have I cried and not been able to utter words?
How many times have I whispered my prayer because I lacked the confidence to speak? How many times has He held me and I did not remember?
How many times has He lifted my head?
How many times have I shut down on Him and rejected Him?
How many times have I been forgiven?

All of these things were things that I witnessed with the girls in my cabin. All of them were things that seemed to be so day-to-day. I'm glad I was shown how chaotic my own life can be. I'm glad that I was reminded of how good God really is. I'm glad that I'm forgiven.


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