boom.crack.pow. onomonoLEAH.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I love Sherwood Forest.

You know, that magical place down the hill, where the colors orange, green, blue, gold, red and purple reign over feathers, belts, and horns. That area where if you scream Disney songs at the top of your lungs and dance everywhere people think you're cool, not weird. The one place where I can be a kid again, and revisit my childhood. I love Sherwood.

I was blessed last week with the opportunity to join the Sherwood team for a large week of camp, fill in the duties of the Craftiest Lady of the Land, and hang out in the forest with all the campers, counselors, and characters. Needless to say, I jumped at the first chance. I spent three years as a camper in Sherwood, and being able to come back and experience it for a week was exactly what I needed. Even though I struggled with getting the hang of everything in a short amount of time, trying to fit into a team that already has set relationships with each other, and somehow not trying to be stressed out, I had one amazing week.

It was a week of watching God work, move, and shape his beloved children in an area of camp I don't usually get to see. It was a chance to peek through the window into Sherwood and watch camp happen. Be apart of that camp experience. Meet kids who love Sherwood, who love crafts, and who are beginning to love and seek after Jesus. As the youngest camp we run on the mountain, it was a struggle against homesickness and chaos for most of the week, but it was a rewarding one to say the least. I laughed, I cried, I managed to work a 12 hour day on 6 hours of sleep, and I came out of it with a renewed faithfulness in Christ.

A faithfulness that was sowed into my life because there is no possible way I would have gotten through last week without Him in my life. Without God, without his constant and amazing way to multiply 6 hours of sleep into something that feels like 10, without his peace that this is where I am supposed to be, without the words he spoke through other staff, and without his constant and steadfast attitude of "you can do this, Leah" that I heard throughout the entire week. He is the reason I made it through last week, through both the crazy and hectic life of Sherwood and through the trials and tribulations I'm facing this summer out of my work life.

The night of one-on-ones, I sat at the fire pit in Purpledale, as I need to Maria-rrange my sock drawer went around checking in on cabins and with counselors. I spun my black horn around my fingers, zipped my jacket up a little higher and stared into the flames. The same thing had inspired me last summer to write a song titled "In Us" and I began mulling over the words as I watched the heat eat away at the logs, devouring them into coals. In that moment of time, my emotions began to overwhelm me, and I began to pray. Under my breath, I began to pray the way I always do when I am talking to God. "Hey's me." I began to unravel the knots of my heart, my frustrating desires and fears about the end of the summer, confusion over friendships and everything else that has been weighing my heart down. I prayed the only way I know how to in that moment - in complete and total honesty. "God, I don't understand. I don't know why. I'm not sure. I feel lost." And that honesty is when I feel God the most. When I feel his peaceful embrace wrap around me and tell me I'm going to be okay. That this all is going to be okay. 

This week, I am filling in for a late-arrival counselor until tomorrow morning, and am getting the blessed opportunity to hang out with a cabin of high school girls for a day and half. This morning we went down for morning watch at Vespers, bright and early at 8am. As Josh led us in a small lectio divina, I looked out across the lake. I watched the rising sun reflect off the waters, peek through the trees and begin to warm my skin. I took a deep breath and just sat there, waiting for Him to speak to me. And He did, once more. In a full and complete thought.

This is a hard summer.

I know it is God, I've been through enough in the last two months to realize that. My initial reaction was something of frustration, that I'm only hearing what I already know. But as I tossed that complete thought around in my head, I began to build onto it what God probably wanted me to add to it. And that is when I began to understand. Something I've needed so much this summer - to understand the frustrations and irritations, to have clarity and begin to see things the way God sees them as.

Not as a roadblock, not as something that stops me in my tracks, but something that requires me to work and stretch and perhaps breathe a little harder to get over. Something that might slow me down, but through dedication, motivation and a little elbow grease, I will get past. I will get past, and what beholds me on the other side will be something great. It will be something marvelous, a taste of the Kingdom of God that I yearn to bring into creation every day. It will be worth everything I have been through this summer.

This is a hard summer.
I know that.
I understand that.
I am with you in that.
This is a hard summer.
But it is difficult for a reason.
You will be stretched.
You will be torn.
You will struggle.
But in the end,
When it is all over, my beloved.
You will find something great.
Something marvelous.
Something that will make all of this,
This hard summer,
Worth it.

I am three weeks away from my summer ending. There is something at the finish line, something that will make this all worth it. And although I have desires that I hope will be fulfilled through that, I need to understand that accept that whatever meets me at the end of another season @5,000 feet was in the plan from the beginning.

Fight for love, and take the risk.

Respectfully submitted,