This is a little snippet of a letter that I sent out to my donors after having the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE at Frontier Ranch, a Young Life camp in Colorado. It still brings tears to my eyes to think of the holy things that happened that week which has now been a short 4 years ago.
You cannot be multiplied enough to be shared. You can only be broken enough to be shared. -Robert Benson
And now I know that Mr. Benson was right. I just got back from taking 9 of my high school friends to Frontier Ranch in Colorado. We truly had the best week of our lives! (for me, every new camp experience is better than the last) My sweet friends found Jesus on that holy ground tucked away into the Rocky Mountains. They heard of His massive love for them, how He willingly went to the cross, not as a victim but as their Savior, how He loves them before they ever even have to change, & that because He loves them, they will change.
It was a beautiful week.
I was especially impressed with them as we met up after club every night for cabin time. They were open, vulnerable, & honest right from the start. Which is impressive to me because I remember what I was like in cabin time during my high school YL trip.
I was that kid...
Oh I was listening, but you couldn't have paid me to open up & actually talk about my personal life in a room full of girls who I barely knew, didn't know, or just didn't trust. I was also not about to let people know I was as unhappy as I really was, lost as I really felt. I was tough, I could handle it. But then Rachel, my leader, asked me to talk 1 on 1. We sat down at a picnic table on the porch behind the office and I knew as soon as we did, that my carefully constructed walls protecting me from the group, couldn't hold up when one person's energy was completely focused on me.
I remember that boys were walking by the whole time because we were sitting next to a frisbee golf tee-off. I remember her reaching across the table & touching my arm. I remember that she asked me if I was ok. I remember saying yes, but I couldn't look her in the eyes. I remember her asking again. I remember laying my head down & crying. Right there in the middle of all those guys playing frisbee, I let it out. I knew she loved me & I knew she could tell me how my life could be different. And I couldn't handle the pressure of keeping it to myself anymore.
7 years later, I found myself at a picnic table next to the snack shop with one of my friends, then in a rocking chair gazing off the cliff, also on the side of the pool near the slide, & with another under the seemingly endless starry night sky.
7 years later, when I posed the question "When was a time in your life that you have felt entirely alone, empty, or like your walls were crashing in on you?", I heard 9 different stories. Stories of pain & guilt & shame & heart break & emptiness & brokenness. And I got to be the one to tell them of a heavenly Father who would never leave them, never disappoint them, & never break their heart.
I got to share all of my brokenness & thankfully, I was able to end my story by telling them of the healing Christ brought to my life. I wasn't brave enough to share while I was a 17 year old, but I am so glad they were. And I am thankful that I have been broken enough to be shared with them now.
Praise be to my Lord! To God Almighty! Whose great plan for my life is revealed in His time. Who is making everything new. Who met 9 high school girls during the best week of their lives. And who meets me every day.
July 10th, 2013