Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Post-Camp Trama

Ever had that experience that was just too good to be true? You go on a mission trip and realize God is calling you to be a missionary or work with the homeless. Or you go to camp and meet Jesus and realize your life has been incomplete up until that point and you suddenly have huge dreams for your life and you can't wait to share them with the world. And then you get home... and suddenly you don't know if you imagined the whole thing. You still feel whatever that goodness was inside of you, but it seems to lose its power as the environment around it changes.
It happens to me every time! I get in a mood where I am irritated at everything, and I try so hard to keep that camp-high but it so quickly becomes a post-camp-low. It's like you're at camp and it's so easy to believe that everything is right with the world and then you leave and suddenly there's pain and sin and evil again, and it can be seriously depressing. I was talking to my mom about it earlier and she pointed out that just about every time you're on a mountain top like camp or mission trips there is almost always going to be a valley following. And you know what? Satan knows it too. It's like he sits there waiting for us to falter just a slight bit and then shoves us down the mountain.

So how in the world are we supposed to deal with it? I've been wondering that myself. And the only thing I can come up with is that we don't have to. And I don't mean just let it go and wait for it to calm down. I mean My God conquered death. My God beat Satan. He beat the grave. My Jesus got up there on the cross and he died for every sin I ever commited and ever will commit. So why should I lay on the ground and let Satan trample me? Why should I put up with the lies he tells me? Why should I allow him to beat me down like i'm nothing. I am Megan Stevens, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and I am a part of the Family of GOD! You just try to get me down!

Do you feel the weight of this? I'm not saying it's easy, believe me, it's a challenge. But when the same God that conquered death and the grave is on our side, we have no reason to fear. We have no reason to shy away. If we will lean on Him, who was and is and is to come, He will walk with us through the days when it seems like too much. He will hold us up when our strength is gone, and be with us through every hill, mountain and valley of our lives, and all we have to do is ask! I still struggle with 'post-camp trama' as I like to call it. But all I have to do is remind myself whose team I'm on. There is a God who loves me and sent His only son to die for me, and this may be tough, but My God? He's tougher.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." ~Matthew 7:7

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am, You are, We are the Kingdom!

This past week I got the most incredible chance to be a counselor at camp with Granger Student Ministries at Spring Hill! And what an amazing time it was. There was a lot of freaking out on my part as we were heading up there and even the first couple of days. What if my campers don't like me? What if I don't get along well with my co-counselor? What if I get in the way of my girls walks with God instead of leading them in the right direction? Those were just a few of the questions that nearly overwhelmed me leading up to camp. Looking back I realize I didn't need to worry as none of them panned out. But it was harder than it should have been for me to trust that God put me there for a reason and He had a plan in all of it.
Once my girls got there on Monday morning everything changed. I wasn't really sure how to lead these girls or get them to trust me, but somehow it worked out. It's amazing to see how God takes your weaknesses and strengths and uses then for His glory. If there was something I had no idea how to do or what to say, He'd either give me the words or bring someone else, typically Brandon Ellsworth my co-counselor, to take the lead on it. Some of my girls knew eachother to begin with, but it was such an awesome experience to see how He knitted us together throughout the week. At the beginning it was a group of girls who were maybe a litttle anxious and unsure but excited to see what would happen through the week. By the end, we were a little family, brought together by the life and death of Jesus Christ, who loved eachother like I wouldn't have believed possible in a weeks time. God really can take our brokeness and use it for His glory. He can take the things we don't believe ourselves capable of and strengthen us so that it's clear, no one but Him could do it. I believe that happened again and again this past week, for me as much as anyone.
My Co-counselor this week was another of the many ways God showed Himself to me this week.
Brandon is one of the coolest people I know. He's an incredible man of God whom I learned to respect very highly as the week went on. Brandon lead worship at GSM for a good part of the last year, so I already knew him from that. But I had no idea how the week would go since we didn't by any means know eachother well. It was such a great experience though. He happens to be a very talented musician which helped since I kinda like music. Seriously though, It was an honor to serve with him and get to know him and I would not have changed it for the world. Where I was unsure of what to do, Brandon took the lead and he did it like a pro. It was a blessing to have him as a co-counselor and to learn from in the places I was unsure.
Our group was incredible too. I had no way of knowing how amazing it would be to see a group of people so different and unique come together over the course of a week. I can only pray that the relationships formed this week will continue to grow and that these beautiful creations of God will learn to love and walk through life as Christ did. They may not know how special they are but I pray they never forget that they are loved. God did huge things in the lives of so many this past week, I ask that you pray that whatever seeds were planted continue to be watered and grow so that they may be a Kingdom Catalyst to all who come across them. God Bless!