The Makings of a Life Foundation | Part 2

I had been knocked on my butt. I didn't really know what to do. Thankfully one of the other leaders had an extra set to use, CEF recycles their stories every few years so she had her previous set available.

Overwhelming. I can't adequately describe the emotions that I was feeling because of this stumbling block.

My faith was being shaken right down to the core. 

I look back now and realize how applicable it would be to the rest of my life to have this experience of being all alone with Jesus as my only leg to stand on...

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So there I was, trying to recover from being fully unprepared for two weeks away from home, people, all of my comforts and norms.

I remember the first time that I really had community with Jesus and it struck me how real and functional a true relationship with Him should be.

I don't remember what it was that He told me or what I was reading in his Word, I do remember sitting on the jungle gym during our morning quiet time and reading in my old Precious Moments Bible and it just came to me, I was supposed to be living out an active relationship with Jesus.

That was the first real time that I remember being spoken to by my Jesus.

You would think that things just got easier from there on but they did not.

Things only became harder as Jesus worked to pry my reliance off of the things of this world that I was so used to relying on and finding my identity in.

Boys.

I grew up a pretty great tomboy and knew just how to impress all of the guys (by playing sports, eating their foods, enduring pain better than any of them, and throwing the football twice as far as they did) and I ate up the attention.

So naturally I gravitated to hanging out with the guys and as per usual there was one or two in particular that I connected with (and who seemed to take just as much of an interest in me).

The next turning point for me.

We were on a hayride, there were 6 of us, three guys, three girls and we jumped off in the middle of the ride and walked back to camp together. Nothing happened, mind you but - appearances - friends.

We made it back and boy were we in a HEAP of trouble. Even my counselor was in trouble (because of her own male interest relationship)... They took each of us aside, (we left one name out when we were giving the rundown because she was a tag-along and we all knew she wouldn't have if we hadn't) and gave us each a talking to and a warning of being sent home.

I remember the most scary, the deepest, the most intense conversation that I ever had in my 14 years of life took place on that day.

I don't remember what she said, I don't remember what it was that shook me to my core but it did - I remember the feeling of it. The impact that that one conversation, that one discipline, that one lady, made in my life was immeasurable.

I hold that lady in my heart dearly. She didn't intend to hurt me with words or want to discipline me, she wanted me to be focused, to be doing my best and to know where my heart should be (as well as following the camp rules, the CYIA policies and so on). But her love for me in that instance was life-changing for me.

All this to say that my life didn't automatically change then and there that day, it was just a stepping stone to my next change, my next adjusting and my next life event that would come my way.

The people at that camp impacted me more than they will ever know. I have since lost touch with many of them but a few are still on my Christmas list.

I came to a place in my heart, during those two weeks, that created a chasm for Jesus that I had never known before. A living, active faith that needed to be tended to every day. One that would sustain me through the darkest trial that I have ever had to face.

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No, this was not the darkest trial of my life. This was the foundation for building me up to being able to make it through my darker days with faith and freedom.

So camp went on, we finished our training without another incident and headed out into our backyards and communities to bring the Good News to the boys and girls that were itching to hear it. But I was changed.

I consider this story my first testimony. I believe that our testimonies only begin, they don't end until we are dancing in front of Christ because no matter what you face in life, it can be a testimony to your faith in an Omnipotent God. Our testimonies are just beginning, continuing and growing!

Thanks for reading friend! I hope you stick around to hear more. I have stories of pain, heart ache, brokenness, failure, faith, freedom, relief, provision...all those to come!

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