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.