It’s been awesome seeing a lot of familiar faces back home, seeing most of the people I grew up with and seeing the ways they’ve grown up in the last year or two. Even though I haven’t been at daycamp since two summers ago, it’s been so comforting being back. Yes it was weird at first, knowing that I didn’t have my own group or my own set of counselors, but seeing my campers as counselors and being able to serve them and see them grow into their counselor roles has blessed me so much.
I must admit that when I see these counselors, I can’t help but think back on the times I served with them or had them as my campers and all the situations where I could’ve stepped in to show them more love, show them more patience, show them more humility as a senior counselor. I guess I’m still holding onto the regrets, shame, and guilt that I felt when I knew I fell short of the counselor that they should look up to and follow. There were so many times when I would let my emotions get in the way, when I would get so frustrated that they could hear it in my voice, when I said hurtful things without thinking about the consequences, when I would take advantage of my senior counselor role and discipline them harshly, etc. Sometimes when I see these counselors lash out at their own kids, I think to myself, “Was I the root of that? Was I the one who made it seem like all the anger and frustration is okay in this place that’s supposed to be loving and caring and a mirror of God’s love to the children?” And I can’t help but wish that I could go back in time and take back all the times I yelled at them or the kids, lacked grace and forgiveness, voiced inconsiderate words, etc. Those were definitely not times that I’m proud of.
I feel like God’s been giving me this opportunity at daycamp this year to make up for all those times. He’s giving me opportunities to show these counselors the love that I never showed them when I was their counselor. And I’m totally holding onto every perfect opportunity to take the extra effort to be encouraging and loving. It’s still hard to break out of my normal tendencies to yell and get frustrated easily, but I’m praying that God will just release His ways of grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness to me so that I can do the same for others. I don’t want to be the same person I was two years ago, and I definitely want to set an example to be loving and encouraging so that daycamp can always be an environment for love and encouragement. However, I’m asking for more of God’s humility, because I know that as a senior counselor, I prided on my own abilities and how if I got things right, then everyone else will, as though every counselor’s skills and abilities depended on my own. It was extremely selfish and prideful of me to think that I was the only reason why other counselors were doing their job correctly. So God, I’m asking for more humility to do all the dirty work / behind the scenes stuff that I would have asked other counselors to do for me two years ago. I don’t want to do all these things for myself, as though I have to prove a point, but I want God to work through me. I want Him to speak to these counselors and allow them to reevaluate how they want to set the example at daycamp. It was never about me and what I had to prove to anyone; it’s about God’s glory and love shown through people’s actions and words. I just want to be a vessel, and I’m really praying for this not to get to my head, that I’m doing this for all the right reasons. God, I’m praying for my heart and mind to be in the right place to serve these counselors out of love for them and not out of my own desires for attention or pride. Let every act of redemption be one of Yours and not of mine. Let every word of encouragement be from You and not from me feeling obligated to say something nice. Let every moment be used to glorify You and not me.
Still praying for my heart to be aligned with God’s heart, but as of right now, I feel filled with joy and peace and love for everyone here at camp. Last night was such a good time of healing past hurts and showing encouragement to one another. I’m so proud of them, and I’m so excited for God to show Himself even more to these counselors.