Tuesday, October 26, 2010

God really ACTed

Wow...I can't believe it has been August since my last entry. Such a shame! : (

What I want to share with you is completely unrelated to Camp, but I thought it was definitely worthy enought to share.

As some of you may know I am a senior in high school this year. You know what that means...college apps, college decisions, college entry tests, crazy senior activities, graduation prep, senior pics, finishing academics, and so much more!
This past Saturday I took the ACT for the second time. I wasn't nervous at all and I was super ready to get in there and come out with an awesome score. I had everything I needed, my #2 pencils, my calculator, my Blistex, my ID, and my watch. I was set. I read every direction on the board - IF YOUR PHONE OR WATCH BEEPS OR RINGS DURING THE TEST YOU WILL BE DISMISSED AND YOUR TEST WILL NOT BE SCORED and the "Oh, so nice" instructor reiterated this and of course the whole "No talking to others during the test, No sharing any information from the test, No food or drink, No using your calculator for anything but the math portion, No singing, No shouting, No juggling, No painting, No soccer, basketball, or tennis." You know, those rules we all know, yet they have to repeat them.
So, we began testing at a little before 9am. I was super pumped and was attacking that exam! Then 9 o'clock came and "BEEP!" I had forgotten that my watch made a "beep" every hour!!!!!!! I freaked out! Casually I looked over at the instructor and he didn't seem phased. "Phew! He didn't hear it!"  Even though he didn't hear that one there was still 10am, 11am, and 12am to get through. I stopped right in the middle of the English exam and bowed my head to pray.
"God please don't let my watch beep again. You are God you are all powerful! I believe in your power and I believe you can stop this watch. God, if it is your Will alone to finish this test let it not beep again. This score is important to me, but if it isn't to you then let it beep. Your Will alone, God."
I just prayed that over and over. I rested in Him and continued the section. 10 am was coming fast so I prayed again. "Don't let it beep"

9:58...................9:59.23........................9:59.54...................10:00...............SILENCE.

It didn't "beep", it didn't make a sound. God is so powerful and so awesome!!! He stopped my watch from beeping!!!!!!
11am and 12am passed by without a peep from my wretched watch. I made it through the test and it was all because God wanted me too.
I got in the car and told my mom what had happened. By this time it was around 12:50. So, I said....I wonder if it will "beep" now. I watched it:
12:50........................12:55....................12:59.....................1:00..............BEEP!
Wow! God is awesome is He not?! He showed his power and, I believe, His Will to me Saturday.

If you say God isn't real....explain this! : )

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bittersweet Endings

I apologize that it has taken me nearly a week to write about my experiences during Asthma week and my take on the whole summer. I think that the reason is that I just can't deal with the emotions of it being over...what am I to say?

To explain Asthma week....hmmmm....AMAZING!!!! I had six 9, 10, 11, and 12 year old boys. They were SO much fun! I fell in love with their smiles, their laughs, their funny habits, and the way they snored. : ) I ended up having to help another boy's cabin one morning and I made new friends there too. The youngest girl's cabin had at least three girls that latched on to me. By the end of the week I had friends all over camp. I loved getting to know all of them even though it made my "good-bye" harder. Everything last week was just that...the last...it was hard to put that out of my mind as we went to different activities. I was able to push it out of my mind and just focus on giving the "last" kids the week of their lives! I enjoyed the "last" of 2010 so much and now I can't wait for the "first" of 2011.
This summer was not all fun and games...I learned so much stuff that I could have lived without. It got rough sometimes...almost to the point of me just turning and running away. But if my God is with me then whom shall I fear? Has He not commanded me to be strong and courageous? Can I not do all things through Christ who strengthens me? God pulled me through this summer and now I know how to prepare myself for the next. He is with me and He will be. He intends on me being there and so there I will be. Even when it gets so dark that I feel like running, the thought of waking up and serving the kiddos makes it worth it. Plus...Christ is my light and He can shine through the darkness like no other. Right?
Saying good-bye last Friday was VERY hard. I had to say farewell to crying campers and then to weeping counselors. Not only were the tears that of sorrow, but I also cried because this summer has been the greatest I've ever had. God taught me so much about myself, about the world, and about His love. Serving my Diabetes, Cardiac, Arthritis, Kidney, Oncology, Bleeding Disorders, and Asthma kids changed my life. I will NEVER be the same. As Uncle Kracker says in his song "Smile" :
"Don't know how I lived without you, because everytime that I get around you, I see the best of me inside your eyes."
We played that song on our end-of-the-week slideshows...that verse got me everytime. I do see the best of myself in these kids. In Christ.
My journey of Summer 2010 started June 6th during training week and it ended August 13th during Asthma week. I can't imagine my summer, my life without the four camps I worked. Throughout the year I will look back on a week and have a new joy for the day, because of some sweet memory. Those memories will forever be mine and I praise God that He gave me each and every one of them. He led me throughout this entire journey...holding my hand. You can't even imagine my appreciation to God for this amazing summer. I can only pray that I will hold on to all that it taught me and emerge a brand new person.
Thank you so much for all of your support and prayer! You all helped me get through this too...just by reading my blog helps...haha. One thing you can be praying for now is my transition back to "normal" life. I have been wrapped up in "Camp" so long that I need to become "normal" again. : )

I have made a slideshow of pictures from this summer. If you would like a copy just send me an email and I'll see what I can do!

Thanks again to all of you! I love you all!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Love is Patient

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."                                                                                       
                                                                                   1 Corinthians 13:4-7

These beautiful words from the "Love Chapter" got me through Oncology and Bleeding Disorders Week. I went into it expecting it to be hard on my emotions. Granted it was at times, but I had a great friend help me see that these kids are just the same as any other at Camp. They are just as special and just as beautiful. I should not have been so easy to....eh judge...about these campers. I was feeling sorry for them. Why? I have no idea. My friend knocked some sense into me and helped me see the truth. I'm glad she did too, because my week went so much better because of it. Thanks girl! : )
It was hard to hear about past campers who would not be returning or about those who were not doing well. Gloriously, all of my girls were in remission!!! Something I truly praise God for.
The week wasn't rough emotionally, but it was rough when it came to my job. Monday one of our girls went home because she was running a fever...we were very sad to see her go and what made it difficult was seeing her sister take it hard. We lost our leading counselor Tuesday morning because of sickness, then Wednesday night we lost another counselor who had to go to a wedding. So, that left me and another counselor to 4 girls...but then our camper that had left came back....so 5 girls. The other counselor I was with led an activity in the mornings so I was all alone Thursday! It wasn't too bad though...it truly tested my "counselor ability" haha. Luckily we had 4 volunteers who were absolutely amazing! Thanks girls!!! The week ended up being so fun and I'll never forget some of the precious memories.
Back to my above verse. I found myself remembering the words to these verses during certain situations while I was working. If a girl was grating on my nerves(never) I would remember that "Love is patient." If I felt like showing off that I was the only counselor I would remember "Love does not boast." If a camper would not listen to me I would remember "Love is not easily angered." 
I would pray these verses at night asking God to let me be patient with my girls, let me be kind no matter what. I did not want to envy the love campers had for other workers, I did not want to boast about my abilities, and I did not want to be prideful of anything(If I was wrong, I was wrong). I did not want to be rude to any camper/counselor/volunteer, I did not want my job to be something I used for personal gain, I did not want to get angry with a camper because they did something against me, I did not want to hold a past wrong against a camper/counselor/volunteer. I wanted to stray from the evil around me and find solace with my Lord. I needed to protect my campers, trust in God to get me and them through, hope in the Lord for their lives, and persevere through the hard week.
Trying my best to live out these verses day to day has made me such a better person and counselor. God threw this upon me and I'm so glad He did. I needed a wake up call to why I am really at Camp. It is to love. To love with all I have and to serve with all I have.
I can't wait to LOVE my kids this next week. Please pray that I will LOVE them the way Paul told the Corinthians to love. Like that of Christ.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week Two!!!

Well, how to begin? After such an emotional and tiring week it is hard to think of a place to start. A brief overview perhaps?

This week was a lot different, because I worked in a boys' cabin. Boys can be a blast....if they behave. haha We had six little boys from age 6-age 10. RAMBUNCTIOUS!!!!! At the beginning of the week I didn't know if I would be able to survive some of them, but by the time I left they were all precious to my heart. I had five that had kidney disease(four with transplants..yay!) and then one with a left heart syndrome.
Kidney disease stunts growth at times and one of our boys was six, yet only two feet tall. He was beautiful...sometimes the other boys treated him as a baby and I think it upset him a lot. The only time we had trouble out of him was after the others excluded him. One of my eight year olds could always make you smile! Every day he had something to say that would make your day so much brighter and you wouldn't even worry about how tired or cranky you were. Each of the boys had some way...even if it was rare...to make you feel happy to be there. Whether it be their smile or the way their imagination soared while they swam in the pool. It brings a smile to my face as I think of them right now.

So much energy, so much ADHD, so much boy! haha

I ended up having to leave mid-day Thursday. I had felt sick all day and eventually my supervisors sent me home. It's actually a good thing, because I got worse when I got home. Friday I woke up fine! This made me sad, I wish the sickness had waited until Friday so that I could finish out my time with the boys, but I know it was all God's Will. It was so hard not saying good-bye...maybe that was His Plan, to save me from the emotional strain of having to hug them good-bye.

Now I think I'll move on to the tough stuff....

It wasn't all fun and craziness though, there was so much pain last week. Those beautiful children were put through so much and are going through so much that it is heartbreaking. Every kid there had a scar or multiple scars from operations or tubes hanging from them or just anything that their disease control required. I could feel and see the healing hands of God, and in those moments I could feel Him whispering to me that He was using me to be those hands for these kids. What an incredible feeling. I can't even begin to fathom why God would chose me to carry out this mission, but He has, and I will honor it with my entire life.
I held all the emotions bottled up at camp, but when I would leave it would hit me. I lost it once or twice. At times I would question why God would allow such a thing to happen to a child, but then I would thank Him for allowing them to be alive and be here to show us what life is all about. God has a purpose for each and every child there and it is beautiful to know this truth.

Working this past week has, without a doubt, shown me what God has given me and what He has in store. He has shown me so much the past two weeks...hard stuff...but He has me there for a reason. I knew working this summer would be hard, but it's much more than I expected. All I can do is pray for God's strength and know that I am there for a purpose. His heart breaks just as much as mine and for some reason I feel that's a huge part of why He is using me this way. I am prayerfully preparing myself for my next week, which starts on the 1st, and I hope you will join me in this prayer wrestling.

Here is a simple prayer I wrote down in my Camp Journal:
"God, I pray that you will give me the strength of your Son as He faced heartache. Help me to stand strong for the weak just as He did. Give me a Garden in which I can fall at your feet and weep...and in which you will comfort me."

When Christ was here on Earth He served the lowly and the broken selflessly. He did it with strength and courage, but in His secret place with His Father He let it all go. Asking God...why? Even when He knew He faced the cross He braved it with honor...but in that secret place He cried out.

One thing I need more than anything as I work at camp is a very special place in which I can fall at the feet of my Father and let it all go. Please be praying that I find this "Garden" while I am there.

Thank you so much for your prayer and support!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Week That Stole My Heart

I spent the last week with eight amazing 11 and 12 year old girls that have Type 1 Diabetes. The week was incredible!! I learned so much about myself and about those girls. I fell in love with all of them and to me, they're like sisters. I wouldn't have traded my cabin for anything in the world.
I'm not going to lie, this week was super hard. By Friday I was so brain dead I didn't know if I would make it home or not. With counting carbs, checking sugars(sometimes at 2 am), doing all of the normal activities, and being always on guard for an emergency can wear someone out quickly. Even though I was completely exhausted I didn't give up and I never wanted to quit.
I served God in a way that I never had before and don't think I ever will again. There is something so special and rare about what I experienced last week. Something beautiful and life-changing. I could never describe to you what those girls and that camp really mean to me.
My heart is not guarded well I fear...I can let go of pieces of it so easily. Diabetes Week took one of those pieces and each of those girls did. But, you know what? It's perfectly fine. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Diabetes Camp...you stole my heart! See you next summer!

I leave for Camp again tomorrow morning. I will be working with kids that have Cardiac complications, Kidney diseases, and Arthritis. Continue praying for me as I work this week. I pray that God would use me in incredible ways just like He did for Diabetes. I can't wait!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Diabetes

Well, it's finally here. My first Camp!!!!!!! I leave tomorrow morning and begin Diabetes Training at 9am. I'm all packed and ready to go. I'm so excited I can barely stand it!!!!!!! : )
The past 4 weeks that I didn't have Camp went by faster than I thought they would. I visited Camp every week for the weekly dance. I had such a blast at each one and it's amazing how fast a child can fall in love with you and how much your heart can melt in just 3-4 hours.
As I work with children with diabetes please keep me in your prayers. A) That I would have the strength to make it through the week B) That I would give myself fully to each and every child C) That I will make smart choices and D) That I will follow God's Will during the week.
I'm so ready to get there, get through the training, and see those wonderful smiling faces. Camp, here I come!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Letter To Me

A few weeks ago in my youth group our youth pastor asked us to write a letter to ourselves. It was fun at the time, but little did I know that when I received it in the mail, it would significantly help me.
This is what I wrote to myself:

Dear Hayley,
      When god told you to live for Him 100% and to surrender your life to Him, He meant the whole thing! Every minute of every day should be for His service and His glory. Take some time today to think about what He wants from you, then act upon it! He wants all of you Hayley! So, give yourself to Him. All for His glory, to God alone!

Pretty powerful words being said to yourself. It was kind of like my conscience speaking. Sometimes I get so caught up in my day that I forget to take time to speak to God and listen to Him. I've gotten better, that's for sure, but I still have my days of worldliness.
God wants to hear from me just as much as I want to hear from Him, but sometimes I neglect to talk with Him and instead just expect Him to answer my heart. Granted He listens to the desires of my heart, but He still wants to hear my soul speaking directly to Him.
It is really sad to think about how much I'm breaking my Lord's heart by "skipping" our time together. I want to please Him so much!
Today, I'm sharing the life He gave me with Him and I'm going to our secret place to be surrounded by His awesome love.
I'm keeping my note on my bulletin board so that every day I am reminded of His presence and how much He desires mine with Him.

Here is a great quote from Corrie Ten Boom:
"Don't pray when you feel like it, have an appointment with God and keep it."

I'm scheduling my appointment for every day, all day because I never want to leave my God on the sidelines. I want Him right there with me and so I'm striving to give Him 100%.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The End of Training Week

Hey Everyone! I got back Friday afternoon from Training Week! Here are some of my experiences...I say some because if I shared them all then it would take forever! haha

Enjoy!



The week before training I was so scared and I didn't want to go. I'm not really sure why. The devil tends to put fear into our hearts, but with God we can fight through it! Sunday morning pulling in I was still scared and I just wanted to turn around and go home, but by mid-Monday I was in a new home. My home-away-from-home!


We had physicians train us about the different disabilities present. It was very boring at times, but it was good to learn more about them. I know when I actually get to experience the diseases I'll be able to understand them better. I'm a hands-on learner! : )


We had a whole day of inclusion training, which was to work on keeping kids engaged and helping them be accepted. This was so much fun because the guy doing it kept us really “engaged”!!! It was definitely not boring! We played a bunch of games that could easily be used to keep kids occupied.


We had CPR/First Aid training, which I am now certified in. If you were at the training you will laugh when you remember it. SO BORING!!!! Now if someone is dying, I can save them! Wow, that sounds really bad!

I am part of the arts and crafts now and I’ll be working on that almost every week I’m there. We came up with a bunch of crafts that go along with our dance themes. I’m really excited about it.


We got to do each activity: Canoeing, Ropes Course, Fishing, Archery, Pool, everything!!! It was really fun!!! I felt like a camper! Hee hee


This week wasn’t all fun and games though. At times it was very stressful and physically trying, but I pulled it through with Christ! I was tried more spiritually. Trying to follow Christ in a setting where some don't makes things tough. But every night I did my Bible and "God" time. I prayed a lot last week too. Just those simple ones where you send up a little message to God.
On a happier note though…I did find some people who did feel the same way I did and that were “true” believers. It was great to have those people surrounding me. I talked about my faith some, which I was really happy about. I had the courage!!!! Well, God gave me the courage to stand for Him.


I made some great friendships and I can’t wait to see everyone again. I’m gonna go visit the next few weeks that I don't have camps! We all became a family and have a new home in just one short week!

I learned a lot of great medical things and learned a lot about myself! Even though it was scary at first, I wouldn't change my experiences at Training Week for anything.



Thank you so much for praying for me this week. I’ve needed it so so so much! God gave me His hand and His strength through it all!


My first camp isn't until July 11th. During this month of waiting you all can be praying for my patience. It's hard to wait to go back to a place you love so much! : )

Thanks guys! Love you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Training

The day has come!!!
I'm leaving for Training Week at Camp today. Please keep me in your prayers this week!
I'll let you all know how it goes!!
Love,
Hayley

Friday, May 28, 2010

Truly "Falling"

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to experience "falling in love". Those sweet romance ideas of being a beauty whose prince charming comes and sweeps her off her feet one unexpected day. To have that someone to have an to hold forever is a beautiful dream.

Well, I'd like to inform all my readers that I do have a prince charming, I have been swept off my feet, I have someone for forever, and I am falling in love! This wonderful man is so beautiful! He never leaves my side, he is my protector, he loves me selflessly no matter what, he would do anything for me(even die for me), and he helps me be the best person I can be.

Are you thinking: Can such a man really exist? Someone is blinded by love! Haha

Such a man does exist, although he is no longer a man. His name is Jesus Christ. The Savior of my life, the Lover of my soul, and my All in All.

I cannot even begin to put into words how much I am falling in love with Him. Everyday it grows stronger and more pure. With this love I want to serve Him constantly! This life of mine is meant for Him! I am asking Him to take me as I am and use my hands and feet.

The great thing about our love is that no matter what I do, what I say, or what I think He is always there waiting for me to run into His arms so that He can cover me with His redeeming love. Even when I break His beautiful heart, He is still waiting to forgive. How could someone love me so much that they would be willing to forget everything I've ever done wrong? This is a question I find myself asking all the time, but then He simply calls me into His arms and whispers, "Beloved".

Christianity is a religion, but I'd like to tell you that being a Follower of Christ can be so much more than that! Throw out technicalities and rituals; and instead replace them with passion and love for your Savior and God! I use to treat my faith as a religion, but now that I have experienced the all-consuming love of my Jesus I know that it is so much more than going to church every Sunday. I want everyone to experience Christ like I do!

The passionate, sweet, loving, beautiful romance with the King is better than any relationship available on Earth. I still want a earthly man to share my life with, but I know that if God never sends him my way then I will still have the love story of a life time with my Savior. The King of Kings holds my heart.

"It's more like falling in love, then something to believe in. More like losing my heart, then giving my allegiance."
                                                                  - Jason Gray

If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray for/with you then please don't hesitate to email me at melovethe50s@gmail.com. I'd love to talk with you! : )

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Best News EVER!!!

Well I endured many months of prayer, patience, and fingers-crossed and Thursday it all came to an end.
I received an email asking me to be the newest Counselor at Camp!!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't believe it at first. My heart was bursting so much that I could not thank God audibly! My heart was just pouring with thanks and gladness. It is so wonderful that He can hear that too!

I quickly ran into my living room and jumped up and down screaming to my parents that I got the job! They were definitely happy for me, though their excitement was not as grand as mine. haha Then I called my dearest friend Mariah and told her. She was super happy as well!! She has been a comfort throughout these past months and a great friend overall! : )
All at once I started crying and laughing. I was so overwhelmed with joy!
I proceeded to call, message, and email other people about it. It is so great to have those special friends that pray for you about stuff like this. Without them I don't know where I would be. Thanks guys!
So, there it is, the best news I have received in....well.....forever! I think this was better than knowing I would be a volunteer at Camp.

I know now, without a doubt, that this is truly where God is leading me. Whether I go to college or not, He is directing me down this path. I am completely ready to just walk alongside Him wherever He goes! Like I said, it was hard to express my thanks to Him, and even now I find it hard to form the words. Mostly I simply smile wholeheartedly and just say "thanks". It doesn't have to be a long and beautifully scripted prayer to mean something to our God, it just has to be completely from our hearts.

This summer will be tough, 4 weeks of Camp in the middle of the summer, but I know that if I truly give myself to being Christ then it will be the most fulfilling and joyous thing I've ever done. I cannot wait to get started!

"Dear God, may you guide my thoughts and actions as I embrace this journey you have laid before me. Jesus give my your eyes, so that I may only look at the heart."

God is writing chapter two of my life's story......this is just too exciting!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Patience

Throughout the past few months I have really been (surprisingly) patient about the prospective counselor position. Thursday was the deadline for all applications, so soon I will find out! Though it is just around the corner I am getting very nervous and impatient. I can't resist checking my email, even though I know that there won't be one on the weekend.
God has been so great to have blessed me with patience so far, but now I really need His strength to get me through the next week or so. I know that if I simply ask for His peace and truly desire it with my heart, knowing that no matter what His Will is perfect, then He will happily grant it to me. I am reminded by Psalm 37:4 to "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." If I am truly seeking God's Will with my heart, then God will bless me with this job.
I am in prayer, that He would give me the patience of Christ and that He would, if it is in His Plan, grant me with this position.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Exciting(Yet Unofficial) News!

Today I got some very exciting news from a staff member at camp......

As you know, I applied to be a counselor back in January. They told me that it would be the end of April until I knew if I was hired or not. Today I had sent an email asking for my service hours from the past three camps I had done. When she emailed me back with the hours she also told me to not bother filling out a volunteer application for the summer(then with a smiley face). So, basically she was telling that I was hired, but that it wasn't official yet!!!
I am so happy and excited!!! I know for sure now that this is God wants me to do!!!!!

I am still so completely amazed every day that God would want ME and want to use ME!
Why? Why oh Lord? I am just a teenage girl....why would you want me?

Song for the day:  How He Loves-David Crowder Band

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Making of a Beautiful Day

Today I went grocery shopping with my mom. Kind of an escape for the two of us to get away and talk. Odd that a busy grocery store is a great place to hang with your mom! haha

Anyways, as we were scanning the juice aisle I saw a mother with her teenage son. As I watched the two of them I noticed that he was a special needs teen. I cannot begin to guess what exactly it was, but I recognized some things from kids at camp.
I heard this young man talking to his mom and her responding and both of them smiling and laughing. I couldn't help but smile! A lump welled up in my throat and my heart sang!!
Watching them made my day bright and made me praise God for His beautiful creation!!!

Later I saw another boy and from what I could tell it seemed like he was autistic. He looked like he was having a blast! This child made me smile from ear to ear again!

Most of you know what it feels like to have your heart ache, but mine aches with so much love when I see a child! Any child, whether typical or special needs.

Well, there you have it, God's way of making my day beautiful!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Taking out the "DIS"

The other day I came across this quote by Robert M. Hensel:
"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability."
and I aslo read this one by Marlee Matlin:
"It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I'm not crazy about using."
After reading these it got me to thinking about all of the kids I have come to know and love at camp. Sure, when they first come we look at their charts and find out what their disability is, but as we get to know them we learn that they are so much more than what most would think.

I remember one girl I had, she was in a wheelchair, but boy was she smart!!! She made up all of these stories and she even writes books! Crazy right? NO! I think that God has compensated that for her. I see it in every child....in a place where something does not function properly another part of the body is unbelieveably GREAT!!! This makes me think of another boy...I'm not sure what he had, but this kid could draw!!! I looked at his paper one time and there before my eyes was a cartoon character that looked exactly like the original....it was amazing.

God is so awesome and everytime I look at a child at camp I can see His majesty and His wonderful love. To these children whom the world looks on as disabled, God looks at them as ABLED!!!

I have never felt pity for any of the kids, but instead I treat them like any other child. The thing is...they are just like any other child! Smart, beautiful, loving, and strong.

I can't tell you how much my heart aches with love when I see a child at camp. Each time I try to see them through God's eyes, see them as His precious children.

From now on, I am taking the "DIS" out of disability. Join me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Intro to Chapter Two

So, on my last post I said that I couldn't wait to read the second chapter that God is writing. Well, as I started thinking about that I realized that He has already written the introductory paragraph. : )
Here it is:

I am a junior so it is time to start considering the future and getting ready for college. Well, I wanted to study English Composition, but last week that all changed. Let me tell you about it:


A couple of weekends ago I went to a Set-Apart Girl Conference with Eric and Leslie Ludy. The conference was SO moving and it completely changed my life for the better. I have been getting closer and closer to God and I know that He and He alone should be my focus in life.


Well, the couple was talking about letting God direct your path and being Christ's hands and feet and doing His service. Well the Sunday after the conferenc I spent a long time in Bible Study and prayer asking God to show me what He wanted me to do with my life.


So, I waited. Sunday and Monday of that week I kept having Special Needs children come up. In a book I was reading, in a missions email, in a church bulletin, thinking about camp, and more.


I kept waiting. Then guess what?! Tuesday morning that week I awoke to the thought of 47:10 somewhere in the Bible. GOD SPOKE TO ME(I only wish he had told me the book...haha)!!! So I go digging into my Bible and there are only 3 books that have a 47:10. Genesis, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. I kept reading and reading these three verses and I couldn't figure it out. Then, I think it was Wednesday after I had this verse pop into my head I re-read Ezekiel 47:10 and this is what it says: "Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds - like the fish of the Great Sea." Ok, when you first read that it just seems like some description of a place in the Old Testament world. But, when I read it Wednesday night it hit me that THIS IS IT!!!


"Fishermen", Jesus told his disciples to be fishers of men. "The fish will be of many kinds", not all the same!! Special Needs!!! It just jumped at me!!! God showed me exactly what He wanted me to do with my life!!!!!! Excuse the excitement, I've just never had God actually SHOW and TELL me something. It is quite exciting!!! : )


So, now I am trying to find what I can study in college and where that college is that will help me to work with special needs kids. I think I want to get a degree in Child and Family Sciences. This will give me a broad range of work I can do with children...special needs or not. I have, so far, found two-three schools here in my state that offer that major. One is a great Christian college, but I have to work really hard to get a scholarship. I know that God will show me which school He wants for me.


I still want to write, but I know now that that is MY plan, not God's. I'm sure I will still write in my spare time...haha...if I have any!


It is a long and grueling process, this college thing, but now that I know I am doing what God wants then it will all work out!


The only thing I am dealing with is Trust. Trusting in Him to guide my path and not having doubts about whether or not I AM doing what He wants is hard. And it is only the devil tempting me and wanting to destroy me and not wanting me to further God's Kingdom.

God has begun this new chapter....now I just have to live His life He has for me and see how it closes. Waiting in Him is all I can do. I'm not worried....I'm excited!!!!

~His Hands

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Beginning of the Blog Saga

Well here it goes...my first blog post. It is just a little exciting! I'm really happy to get to share my journey on this path God has chosen for me with all of you. For this glorious beginning I want to tell you about how my journey began.

God blessed me with a wonderful ministry this past year! I have been a volunteer at a beautiful little camp specifically for special needs children since June 2009. The camp has changed my life in so many ways! One being that I now have a desire to work with kids like the ones at camp for the rest of my life! Another is that God is showing me how wonderful these children are. They are teaching me so much.

Let me go back to the very start:
While I was with my youth group on a conference trip we went to a church the Sunday we were going to head home. During the service they had a young man speak about how a camp had changed his life. This camp was for disabled children. He met an incredible wheelchair-bound camper who showed him Christ and the two have been best friends ever since. As I watched these two and saw how incredible the camper was I was touched DEEPLY. I walked away from that weekend knowing that I wanted to do something with kids like that.
My youth pastor's wife suggested a disabilities camp that was in our home state. I got the information and quickly sent in my application for a volunteer position. Unfortunately, with so many volunteers I did not get a summer week camp. I was truly bummed, but I knew that I would be able to do the weekend camps that they offer throughout the year. I went through my summer just the same as always and then in mid-August I got a voice-message from camp. "We have had a volunteer cancelation. Can you work next week?" it said. I felt excitement, fear, and happiness fill me as I listened to it. After about....ten minutes of consideration I called them back and said "YES!" It was a week away and I was more nervous than I had ever been.
I arrived the Sunday when camp started and I could barely breathe. I was doing this...all alone....I knew NO ONE! I thought I was crazy!! With all the nerves guess what they made me do first? Be on phone duty in the camp office! Fun? NO!
Finally I was able to go to the cabin I would be staying in and meet all of the campers. Never have I fallen in love with someone so quickly as I did with those eight girls.
The week went on and after a day I was over the nerves and I was singing camp songs louder than you can imagine! That week was so much fun and I will never forget it.
Looking back, I think that God made all of that happen. He wanted me there and He made it happen!
I applied for a counselor position for this next summer, but I won't know if I got the job until April. Right now I am learning patience and learning to just rest, knowing that God will do what is His Will.
So, now I am doing weekend camps and waiting to hear about this summer.

God has written the first chapter in my life-book! I can't wait to read the second!

~His Child