Even as the halfway point in this semester approaches, I still look back with amazement at how my perspective on so many things has changed.
I worked at The Wilds Camp and Conference Center in North Carolina as a waitress for the first time this summer.
When I first accepted my contract at the end of March, I didn’t fully understand what I was getting myself into, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be pushed so far outside of my comfort zone.
Before I even left for camp, I saw God provide more than enough money from generous, loving people who were thrilled to hear what God was doing in my heart and campers’ hearts each week.
Throughout the summer, these people prayed for me and sent sweet words of encouragement that reminded me of God’s love and care. Week after week, as I sang songs, read books and heard speakers tell about the power of God’s Word, I realized how little value I had always placed on the Bible.
I had never really seen the importance of daily spending time in the Scriptures, so that I might see my own flaws and the glory of God in juxtaposition to them. God taught me to trust implicitly in His plan, because He formed His plan before He even created the world. Although I may often think my plan is better, I can rest in the fact that God only does what is good and righteous.
I used to believe I could never be a “people person,” but working at camp showed me that I had to get over myself, choose to love people and enjoy being with them. I learned how powerful prayer can be in changing people’s hearts–including my own–and increasing my dependence on God.
I was so blessed to be surrounded by people who had an intense desire to grow in their Christian walk and to point others to Christ. I learned that yawns, smiles and a passion for God are all contagious, and they help make connections I wouldn’t otherwise have made.
I had the privilege of working with an amazing crew of girls who each taught me invaluable lessons. I had never worked so closely, nor developed such deep relationships with such a large group of people. I discovered that nearly all my negative first impressions of these wonderful people were dead wrong, and I needed to be more accepting and appreciative of the uniqueness in each of God’s creations.
Coming back to school this semester, I feel like I have a fresh vision on life. I no longer view reading my Bible every day as optional, but as necessary to life itself as the air I breathe. It was so refreshing and inspiring to live and work with people for three months who pushed me towards spiritual growth and demonstrated what it meant to be entirely dependent upon God. I realized I would never grow in my relationship with God or get to know His character on a deeper level if I simply relied on other people to tell me: I need to read my Bible and learn about God’s character for myself.
It hasn’t been easy to sacrifice sleep or homework time for the sake of spending time with God. But I am far more consistent now in reading my Bible than ever before, and I am much readier to reach out to other people. I pray that God would keep me faithful to Him and use me to make His Name great.
The journey is far from over, and I have much more to learn, but by God’s grace I will continue to grow and stand in awe of His transformational power that goes beyond His work on the cross.