This summer I continuously prayed a prayer asking God to “break me and remake me.” Sounds pretty weird to be asking to be broken, I know, but I discovered something throughout this past year that basically rocked me to my core. However the journey to that hidden treasure was filled with trials and blockades, as most treasure hunts are.
The journey that led me to my discovery started at the beginning of my freshmen year of college. Heads up to incoming college freshmen… its hard. Although it was by far the most exciting, eventful, and best year of my life, it was also the most difficult. Maybe if I had actually known I was on a treasure hunt, perhaps I would’ve stayed focused on the end goal instead of the seemingly never-ending mountain in front of me. However, instead I found myself allowing the stress of a to-do list to run my emotions and quite frankly my life. Before I knew it, I had left the safety of a Savior for the feeble attempts at controlling my life. I focused on how to perfect my resume and reach worldly achievements, thinking that this is the definition of Baylee that I wanted. Whats sad is I think we all do this a little. Needless to say, I was empty, confused, and hurting in my place of self-dependency and tiring strivings for perfection. In the midst of all of this hurt, I found myself packing for the best summer of my life.
Camp War Eagle was the treasure chest that I had been on the search for, containing beautiful works and truths of God. However, I wasn’t convinced that my job at Camp War Eagle was the answer to my prayers. Thank goodness God’s plan for me couldn’t be trumped by my ignorance. God, in all of his love and utter goodness, used the amazing Camp War Eagle to show me even more amazing truths about Him.
While I was on my treasure hunt during spring semester, I felt like I hit empty on the gas tank that I was fueling for myself. And DUH, of course I hit empty. I was trying to control everything and do everything on my own, looking to my friends for relief. However, the rest and peace I needed couldn’t be supplied by my friends. The relief I needed could only be supplied by the One I was desperate for the most. Its easy to feel distant from God when you’ve spent so long focusing on the storm and not the rainbow that follows. I had been praying for God to make me dependent on only Him. I wanted my life to be His, because boy was I tired of it being mine. However, I was too busy trying to find what I thought God’s answer should look like that I almost missed it completely. It was like I was drowning and was so caught up in looking for an obvious buoy that I was blind to the huge rescue ship in front of me. During my first two weeks of camp orientation I realized that my prayers had been answered. God had put me in a place where my only option was to depend on Him. I had quickly realized that there was no way I could do this summer alone, and I didn’t have my cellphone to call my friends or the comfortability of home to lean on. As unhappy as I was about the challenge God had called me to, I submitted to His plan. Soon, through trusting Him, my fear turned into joy. Throughout my weeks at camp, I was reminded daily of my need for God. I was completely desperate for God, and its the best feeling I’ve ever experienced. My need for His help led me to more joy and growth in my faith than I have ever experienced. And despite the challenges that came with being a counselor to 6-8 year old girls, I never felt more at rest. Learning to lean on God and put Him first in every interaction and conversation was the greatest lesson I could have learned this summer. I learned to abide in Him, not just walk through life holding His hand.
God was everywhere. He was in the joyful spirits and beautiful smiles of my campers. He was in the hearts of the other counselors and in the life-long friendships that were formed on His love and serving His children. I truly have never been in such a loving community. He was with me as my campers shared stories of their broken homes and family tragedies with me. Loving on campers and getting the opportunity to show them God’s love all day, every day was the greatest blessing. God’s children are so precious and I was greatly reminded of how powerfully He works through them. God was breaking and remaking me in ways I never could’ve imagined. Words truly can not begin to explain my love for Camp War Eagle and the kiddos there. I am so thankful that God led me to Rogers, Arkansas. God is so good and so powerful y’all. My heart will forever be in awe of how God worked in me and the campers this summer. My prayer is not only that I can return to that place where God’s presence is evident in everything, but that I may realize that His presence is that strong everywhere else too. That includes study sessions, club meetings, and hangouts with friends. My heart was beautifully wrecked this summer. And I am so thankful for a God who puts it back together in ways it never could have formed before.
Camp War Eagle, its not goodbye… its see you later.
P.S. ask me more about camp! I’d love to chat your ear off.