“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go to Hume Lake, an amazing Christian camp near Sequoia National Park up in the beautiful mountains with some of the most amazing people ever. I got so close to so many people I rarely get to spend time with.
This is my experience. 🙂
I didn’t know whether I was even going to make it on this trip. My eczema had gotten so bad that past week, and I had literally been crying in an urgent care clinic a few days before. School had been hectic and exhausting. My head was consumed with negative thoughts and worry, and I came to Hume searching for something. I just didn’t quite know what it was.
The car ride up itself was life changing enough. Mountains upon mountains, rocky browns and greens were all mixed together, and the hills rolled on in a never ending fashion of highs and lows. In the mountains, remember the valley.
The trip consisted of trying to figure skate with the worst rental skates alongside of one of the coolest leaders ever, Chris, playing card games and catch phrase, box sled races and chapel. The second day Hume endured the biggest storm in 10 years so ice, snow, and slush was everywhere. We got so wet walking from our cabin to the cafeteria or anywhere else we wanted to go. I tried broom hockey for the first time. I walked two steps on the ice and fell, got up again and then feel, and then just resorted to trying to sweep the puck into the goal on my knees.
At night all the girls got together and talked about what we heard in chapel.
Chapel was the best part.
The speaker, Bryan, was so amazing. Every word he uttered you couldn’t help but lean a little closer, longing to absorb his words a little bit deeper. He dissected the bible stories with passion and emotion. His words vividly delineated who God was and is, urging us high schoolers to love him with all of our hearts and minds and souls and strengths.
He did the alter call with everyone’s eyes open, saying that if all of heaven gets to celebrate when people accept Christ for the first time then everyone at Hume should get to also.
When the first timers stood he asked them 2 questions.
“Do you believe that the Jesus is the Lord your God?”
“Yes!” They’d say.
“Do you commit to following him for the rest of your life?”
“WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!!” He’d yell enthusiastically. After morning chapel and watching all the new kids accept Christ, I burst into tears.
“Hey, are you alright?” Patty, another one of the most amazing leaders ever, said gently.
She held me while I cried, and then we went downstairs. I told her I had no idea why I was crying.
So we dissected my life story. Haha.
She told me some things I will never forget.
“When you’re passionately living for God, the devil doesn’t like that, so he attacks you more and you feel it. Sometimes when I’m comfortable and I’m not doing what God wants me to do, the devil is happy and leaves me alone. But God doesn’t want that.”
“And that sucks. You lose both ways!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah. When Paul was doing all these amazing things for God, he would always have this thorn at his side. He would pray for God to take it away, but God replied saying that he put that thorn in his side to keep him humble.”
I thought about my eczema. I use it all the time when I’m talking to patients in the hospital, which makes patients connect more to this teenager who also gets fed up with doctors and medicine, who also gets discouraged, and who also lacks confidence. It also forces me to look deeper into myself, pleading with me to see myself the way God sees me.
“So eczema might be my thorn?”
“That sucks too!”
We talked more, about how it sounds like my eczema is probably correlated with stress, and then she prayed for me. I nearly cried again because I could feel God right there with me.
“Thank you so much,” I breathed with a smile.
“Of course! Now let’s go watch broom hockey!” Patty and I then went to endure the raining, icy, slush.
Later that night I was still so confused as to why I cried. I was talking to Tomiko, another one of the most amazing leaders ever.
“Why is it that I can be so distant from God for a while and still end up in situations where I serve him or pray for patients and such?” I demanded.
“Well, just because you’re not doing your part doesn’t mean he isn’t doing his,” she said, with a smile.
I always feel God with me, but the fact that he was not only with me but fighting for me opened my eyes.
As we worshiped him during chapel, I could feel his presence. The last sermon inspired me as it reminded me how God was such a loving healer, wanting me to know that I was his daughter and could trust him. I knew God was always mending my brokenness.
During cabin talks we talked about how being a Christian isn’t supposed to be easy, but how good things almost always come from the bad. We talked about artists who purposely broke vases to glue them back together with gold, making them more beautiful.
Was I going to keep taking all theses risks following God, even if it meant Satan would attack me all the time? Was I still going to follow God even if my eczema may or may not be my thorn? Was I going to have God esteem or self-esteem? Would I climb mountains with small valleys or simply not choose to climb mountains because they are so freaking hard?
I remembered then how God always moves me to tears when I feel his presence. This morning I felt it. His presence is powerful.
Is He worth it?
He’s worth the mountains. He’s worth every broken piece of me. He breaks me down only to build me up again into something greater, stronger, more like Him.
When I am that discouraged sheep that gets caught up in all my problems, he will always be the Shepard that finds me. He found me at Hume. I wasn’t sure what I was searching for, but he was and is always running after me.
Dear God, I want to follow you with all of my heart and mind and soul and strength. Shaping me is going to hurt, but I know it needs to be done. Following you after all is worth all of my brokenness. I’m not afraid. Following you is worth my everything.