Camp

This post has a lot of words like faith, Jesus, and Bible. If that isn’t your thing, go spend some time here. They have lots of pretty things.

I grew up going to the same summer camp every year.  It is where my faith began; it is where I first started to understand what it meant to have a relationship with Christ.  My senior year of high school I wanted nothing more than to be on staff.  I applied and wasn’t hired.  It was a crushing blow for me – I remember crying in my bathroom.  I don’t know why I wasn’t hired.  Maybe I wasn’t ready.  Maybe more qualified people applied that summer.  All I knew is that I would be on staff the following year, come hell or high water.

And I was.  It was more than I expected in some ways and less in others.  The work was just as hard as I thought it would be.  I remember crying in the pantry because I was just that tired.  I have been told that it was a weird summer at camp that year, and, in hindsight, it was.  Our team had difficulty coming together.  I never felt the cohesive sense of community that I expected.  There were far more tears than I thought there would be.  There was pettiness and spite and division.  Some of this was my fault.  Maybe a lot of it was my fault.

Over that summer I had become entangled in a relationship that would take me months to get out of.  Even when it ended I really didn’t let go.  I wasn’t over it for several long months.  I wanted to run away from my faith and everything that happened at camp as fast as I could.  I applied and was hired again for the following summer but didn’t go.  I couldn’t muster the energy.  I didn’t want to face another disappointing summer.  I didn’t want to admit that I had spent a school year running from God.  I just continued to run.  I ran in the other direction and headed off to England to study abroad.  I guess that makes sense; if you want to get away from Christianity go to England? I fully intended to spend my time in England doing slutty English things, but the first man I met there is now my husband.

My plan was foiled.  And I am pretty okay with it.

Yet, I kept my faith journey under wraps around him.  I never wanted him to convert for me and I didn’t want to have to explain my actions.  So I didn’t.  For a significant part of our relationship he thought I was a “Sunday Christian,”  though he probably wouldn’t have said it that way.  I don’t even think they have that term in England.

As time slowly ticked by I started to feel pushed and pulled.  I wanted to hate the Christian law school I was accepted to with every fiber of my being, but I couldn’t.  It was a fit for me.  It was as if my faith, my religion, my relationship with God, whatever you want to call it, was slowly waking up again.  I missed my relationship with God and I wanted to be able to share that part of my life with Rob.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the barriers that had been put up were crumbling.  Rob and I began attending the Wednesday night Bible study on campus. We both started attending a small group.  Without even really being aware of it, I started thinking about what I expected of my relationship with God and wondering when I would be ready to move forward.  I wasn’t ready to move forward, but I was thinking about being ready to move forward.

Finally, summer rolled around.  Jillian was going to camp this year and had no counselor.  I was hesitant, but ready.  I hadn’t been to camp in six years. It was as if being back at camp opened the floodgates.  I felt so clearly what I had been missing. It was the first time I saw how much I missed out on by separating myself from the Christian community I had grown up in.

Rob has jumped on board with surprising enthusiasm.  I have slowly been sharing with him.  We are starting to read the Bible together.  Starting a new phase as a Christian couple.

So thus, I have accomplished number 8 on my 40 Before 30 List and so much more.

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