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The Best Week of Your Life

"The Best Week of Your Life."  It's the tag line for Young Life camp, and it truly is not an exaggeration.  Last year was my first time at RockRidge Canyon (the camp in Princeton, BC where we take our group of teens every summer), and it far exceeded my expectations.  Everyone can tell you that RRC is the best place on earth and that camp is the best week of your life, but it's a completely different thing to experience it first hand.  My first time at camp I remember as a total whirlwind of activity and adventure.  It was a week long party and I loved every second of it.  I was excited to go and excited to be there and somehow my excitement/energy level remained at 110% all week.

This year though, was a bit of a different story.  Being on a Summer Grant with Young Life this year, I was working on a lot more of the behind the scenes projects, and saw how much work truly goes into a week at camp (as well as the other duties of running the ministry at home and preparing for the fall and upcoming year).  And, being the crazy person that I am, I thought I could handle 2-3 part time jobs on top of working full time for YL.  And have time for family and friends and a relationship on top of that.  I'm so funny sometimes!!  Being that busy, it was inevitable that something fell to the wayside.  It just so happened that the things I allowed to slide were my emotional and spiritual health.  Everyone was stoked for camp and I was just focused on surviving the week in one piece.  I was exhausted.  Knowing how exhausting camp was last year on a full tank, I had no idea how I was going to make it through this week running on empty.

The night before we left, I broke down completely.  Despite knowing exactly how to fix my problem of feeling so empty, I was too stupid and stubborn to turn to the ready solution.  Thankfully, my boyfriend is much smarter than I, and as I sat crying in his arms, he asked what I needed.  I told him I hadn't been spending any time with God lately and I knew that He was what I needed to be refreshed and refilled.  Without another word, he pulled up the Bible on his phone, to the place we had left off reading together weeks ago, and began to read to me.

Hosea 6:1-3
"Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."

I was certainly in that place of brokenness.  Empty.  In pieces.  I had been trying to do everything in my own strength, and maybe God allowed me to tear myself down to nothing.  But there was hope.  He promised his love and refreshment and peace.  All I had to do, was acknowledge him.  So here I was, coming back to him.  I just wasn't sure when that hope would be fulfilled.  I assumed it would come after camp, when I had a chance to rest.

I went to bed that night feeling much more at peace, but still exhausted and unsure of how well camp was going to go.  The next morning, as we packed up the bus full of teens to go, I was still praying that I would be able to get through camp without another major breakdown.

But guys, spoiler alert: the God I serve is unbelievably faithful and loving.  Double spoiler alert: I didn't just survive through camp like I was expecting - I can truly say it was the best week of my life.

God started healing and refreshing my tired body and soul that very night, and it didn't stop all week.  I saw and got to be involved in amazing and incredible times that can only be called God-moments.  I was able to live out my faith in practical ways in front of the teens, that I later found out spoke to them deeply.  I was able to take several of my girls on "lady dates" and have meaningful conversations about Jesus and having a relationship with God.  My girls asked so many questions, and were truly thinking and delving deeper into who God is and what he means to them.  I had teens begging me to take them to church when we got home.  Not a day went by that I wasn't encouraged in my own faith, as well as my relationships with these amazing teens, and in my ministry to them.  

Being so utterly exhausted and empty beforehand, I was completely unable to take the credit for any of these amazing occurrences.  There was 0% of me left, so I know that everything that happened that week at camp was 100% God.  It was amazing to be a part of it all, and to see how God can use me and work through me, even when I don't see how he possibly could.  I learned that his strength truly is enough.  More than enough.  He is always there, waiting like a refreshing spring rain to revive me.  All I have to do is turn my face to meet him.

That week at camp was beyond amazing - full of friends and fun.  But seeing God at work is what truly allows me to say that this was the best week of my life.


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