A Camp Do-Over

Don’t you love it when God gives you a do-over? He has graciously given me MANY do-overs, and my most recent was at camp last week. This camp was for the church I grew up in – where I got saved, where I got married, where I interned in college, and where I served with my husband for our first year of marriage. Last year we kicked off our summer with this very same camp. Curt had been invited to be the camp speaker and we were so honored and excited. Since college, I had been at that camp as a co-counselor and then as a counselor with my eighth grade Sunday School girls. I was used to running around with my middle school girls, getting really muddy on the rec field, enjoying worship and the Word, and getting to witness God’s work in the hearts of these kids. Some of my favorite memories happened there. I always left with a new picture of God in my mind and joy in my heart.

When I returned last year as a nursing mom of a three-month-old, it was just a little different! Now my eighth graders were all grown up and old enough to be co-counselors. The baton had been passed. It rained the entire time and Jackson and I were largely confined to our room. It seemed like just when the sun came out or something fun or meaningful started to happen, it was time to go back to my room and feed him or let him nap. I was still very new to motherhood and my insides were still grasping for my old freedoms. That is a frustrating time for new moms. Once that dies it’s a lot easier. I was also struggling with being around old friends with my new baby for the first time. I wanted to look like I had this motherhood thing down. Ha! Even if that were true, I was so thrown off by the rhythms of camp that any semblance of having it together was out the window.

Needless to say, camp was a struggle. Isolation and self-pity set in and I became what I hate most in myself…the needy wife. Just what every camp speaker needs, right? Gross! I’d been defeated.

When Curt was invited back this year I was determined not to go with him. I had one of my best friends praying for me because I was having such a hard time with the thought of going back. God worked on my heart and I eventually changed my mind.

I’m so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to go back this year. I still didn’t get to play on the rec fields, have meaningful conversations with kids, or experience much of worship and the Word, but my heart was different. I decided to enjoy fellowship with old friends rather than use that time to “prove myself.” I decided to let my husband be free and not make him feel guilty for having fun when I had to be in the room. I decided to take advantage of Jackson’s nap time and early bed times and catch up on sleep and some good reading. God gave me victory over self-pity, over the desire for old freedoms, over isolation, and over being a needy wife. He redeemed the personal failure that last year was for me. I walked away with joy and not shame. Praise be to our God who loves to redeem, who loves to get glory through second chances.

To our delight, my parents got to swing by camp on their way home from the Life Today taping. The 400-something of you who commented on the PMS post might be relieved to know that they seemed as happy as ever. He must have called. And Mom’s probably getting really excited about her own do-over in a few weeks.



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