So, I'm on my way home from youth camp. I was REALLY nervous about it, because it sounded a lot like Student Life which I went to as a kid, I knew we had team recreation which I suck at, and it was change. But when I talked to Brandon about it, he said just go in with an open mind, so I did. Its always wise to listen to your youth pastor; I learned that with Kimberly.
The first night we were there, I had to make four trips to my room from the charter bus because my roomate sent her luggage with us but was going to fly down the next day. I lugged my 3 suitcases, pillow, and purse along with her big suitcase and garbage bag with bedding in it and searched for our dorm. As I walked in, our suitemates were already whining. Great start, especially since I was determined to have a good attitude about the whole thing. We didn't know how to turn on the AC, and we were in the Naval Academy preparation student dorms, so there were extremely tall, squeakysqueakysqueaky bunk beds with no bottom bunk, but with a desk in place where the bottom bed would have been. As the night progressed, the food we had for dinner made me sick, I pulled a muscle in my leg, and I didn't follow the speaker during worship. But I hoped the next day would be better.
Monday morning I woke up to the sound of my suitemates telling each other that it was 8:50 and we had slept through breakfast and had 10 minutes to get to church group quiet time. So I walk in late after having a lecture about being on time the night before. A few hours later before going to lunch, I ran back to the room and called Kimberly because she had been on my heart. After hanging up with her a few minutes later, I started crying. This year is the first year Kimberly isn't at camp, and it didn't hit me till we got there. I wanted to talk to someone about it, or maybe talk about it with the whole youth at share time, but how do you tell your youth pastor that you love him to death but wish your old youth pastor was there with you too?
Anyway, I didn't really get into worship until Tuesday night. I have never in my seven years of being a Christian, let alone my first ten years, experienced anything so amazing as worship on Tuesday. I have never felt that much freedom in worship. They invited us to sit, stand, pray, kneel, go back to the back and draw or write, or do whatever else the Holy Spirit prompted us to. I sang for a bit, danced a bit, raised my hands a bit, clapped a bit, sat and prayed a bit. But best of all, I gave my life to God. He has given me a tender heart...a talent for singing...a helping spirit...a skill for listening...a love for people, and I gave it all back to Him. Even the scary things. Like, I have a heart for the people in North Dakota and I feel called to missions in some way. He gave me those desires, he planted them in my heart, but I want HIM to use them for HIS glory-not mine...cause I've been utilizing them selfishly for a while now. Do you know how terrifying it is to totally give up the closest things to your heart? It would be like giving a friend your most precious possession that you'd never shared with anybody and not knowing if they would keep it, lose it, break it, hate it, never use it, or absolutely take awesome care of it. That's how it is giving God all of these things. They are my heart, my deepest hopes and dreams. But I'm ready. I've been asking God to do great great things through me for six months now. How do I expect Him to work if I can't help him out by yielding these things? He gave it all to me, and as much as I want these things to impact other people, I want it to glorify my Jesus even more, first and foremost.
Before coming to camp, I had a desire to dig deeper into the Word, but I wasn't sure how to go about it or where to start. But God helped me out with that, too. He showed me where to begin.
But the coolest thing is how God answers prayer in HIS timing, not Jocey's timing-which is a MILLION times better! At the beginning of June in North Dakota, I asked God to give me an opportunity to talk to Alicia about Him and what He's doing in our lives and to sort of start up our relationship again, but it seemed like there never was a good time to talk. That was 3 weeks ago. I didn't even know she was coming to camp until the day before we left. But we hung out throughout the week and had some pretty cool conversations. Then the last night, Alex asked us to find someone to pray with, and we asked God to keep our emotions in check but to allow us to bawl if we needed to. Then during worship about an hour later, I had her on my heart. I looked for her in the mass of 500 people but couldn't find her. She sought me out and was in tears. We sat down and talked and laughed and cried and prayed. It was AWESOME as I realized that God is always faithful!!!
All in all, it was an interesting week, but worship was so incredible that nothing else mattered. God worked in a way that I never imagined.
Thank you Alicia, for being such a sweetheart.
Thank you Brandon, for allowing the Spirit to move and for making it all possible.
Thank you Mom and Grandmom for paying my way.
Thank you Jesus, for being my best friend and the love of my life, and for working in so many peoples hearts this week.