Every summer our church organizes and hosts Summer's Best Two Weeks (SB2W), a two week camp for kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade. Kindergarten through second graders attend a Junior Camp that is similar to a two week Vacation Bible School. The older children go to Day Camp to be thoroughly worn out with more activity than I would ever be able to handle in one day! The kids hear the Gospel, learn Bible, and do crafts, play games, and learn songs together. For some children and young people, it is the time in their life when they remember becoming Christians.
Since last year was our first full summer at the church, it was our first year participating. Elizabeth went to Day Camp, Brian attended Junior Camp, and Katherine was in the pre-school room for staff helpers, while I taught the Kindergarten class. What a fun and exhausting two weeks! This was my favorite moment:
So, you might wonder why I am giving you all of this introduction to SB2W. Well, it has everything to do with being OPEN. Everything. I still don't believe the story myself, though I am a part of it and very confident God is at work in it.
Camp registration forms go out at the beginning of February. Yep, you read that right, February, for a camp that starts at the end of June. The kids were so excited to get their registrations and I quickly announced to Ashley, the current Jr. Camp Director, and Shari, the Children's Ministry Director, that I was "in" to teach the Kindergarten class again. Everyone was excited!
Then I had this little voice in the back of my head, Heather, you know this is Ashley's last year to direct camp. Maybe you should say you'd be willing to consider taking her position in 2016.
Was it the Spirit or was it me? I was not sure, but I could not shake the thought. I let it simmer.
It kept coming back.
I needed to say something.
One morning last week we were in a local coffee shop (Commonplace coffee!) and ran into one of the college ministers, Linda. I love talking with Linda; she is often a great counselor and encourager for me. I decided to mention this thought to her. And she immediately said something, "Oh, Heather, you should tell Shari. I think it would really encourage her."
I have to confess that I was a little nervous to say it out loud to anyone, because then I might actually have to do the job. And friends, let me tell you, it is no small potatoes. I was in awe of Ashley all last year!
But the time had come, I needed to. I sent Shari this note:
So I have this out-there idea that came to mind when I started thinking about SB2W again. Since this is Ashley's last year directing Jr. Camp, should I consider taking it on next year? Not sure if this is my crazy brain or God's idea, but wanted to let you know that the idea is in my head. What do you think about this?
Almost immediately I received a response that began like this:
Whoa that was a huge Holy Spirit at work moment. Ashley and I have been discussing that exact scenario!!!
Okaaaay, so maybe it was the Spirit. Maybe I needed to be OPEN to pursuing this because God prepared me for something out of nowhere that Shari and Ashley had been planning to ask me about. I would not have been surprised, because God was already shaping the idea in my mind and heart.
But the story got even better last night when Ashley's mother said to me after a Youth Ministry meeting, "Heather, I have to tell you that Ashley and I have been praying for you specifically for the position, since last August! I didn't really know you then, but as I've gotten to know you recently, I know you would be perfect for the job."
Okay, okay, now I'm really taking this seriously. As I said to Shari in a text, I don't know whether to be excited or terrified. I'm feeling both in equal measure, full of awe and wonder at God's kindness and an awareness of my need for His help to ever do this job. It is incredible to be right smack dab in the middle of God at work. So much confirmation convinces me that this is good and right.
And so, being OPEN in 2015 has led to thinking about being OPEN in 2016. Crazy! God has a way of surprising us, doesn't He?
Time to Take Action: Have you had any nagging feelings lately, ideas or thoughts you just can't shake, but that you think might be a little nuts to say out loud? Maybe today is the day to step out in faith and see what the Lord does!
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.