After something life changing like camp, you often are left with a hole when you come home. You feel different, but your life is the same. Something needs to change.
When I was sitting in one of the closing rallies at camp, the speaker began to talk about when she returned to her church, and the work she does with the children. She loves kids. The more she talked; I started to feel a jealousy creep in. I wanted that.
All my life I wanted to grow up and be a mom. Now that I am one, it's still my heart's biggest desire. I love children. All children. My own. My friend's kids. The kids at my children's school. There is something so rewarding in spending time with children.
You can be anyone with them. It doesn't matter if you're big or little, tall or short, skinny or fat, white or black... appearance has no weight with them. As long as you listen, be their friend, and show love to them, they will accept you just as you are.
During that closing rally, God started stirring something up in me. I didn't want camp to be the end with these kids. I wanted more time.
On Sunday, I went to church. God continued to speak to me; however, I was still feeling a little selfish. Working with kids is a big commitment. I didn't think I was going to be ready to make it. There's already so much I feel like I'm doing. How could God possibly ask me to commit to one more thing.
The sermon had three points to it. First, we must love those in front of us. This literally means anywhere you see a need. The second thing is we must be willing to serve those we don't have to. Service begins where obligation ends.
And the last point, the one that really hit home with me, give what you have. There are two kinds of people, givers and takers. Almost all of us believe we are the givers, when in fact, we take.
Worthless is not when you have nothing, it's when you're willing to give nothing.
Hearing a statement that had the word "worthless" in it really caught my attention. I had just struggled with that days earlier. God showed me my worth, and here I was fighting back saying, "I have nothing to give."
I was beginning to feel pretty selfish. God was asking me to give some of my time, and I was holding on to, hoarding it, as if it was mine to do with as I wished. I promised God I would listen to Him, and try to do what He said. Then moments later, I was taking it back?? Because it seemed like work?
So, I ran to our children's pastor and begged him to let me help out. Right? WRONG. I'm pretty stubborn sometimes. I just didn't want to make a commitment right now. I wanted to pray about it.
Sunday night was friendship group; more discussion on the morning's sermon, a time to dig in a little deeper.
"We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16
Giving is a sign of what God has done in us. Our money, time & talents are all ways to give. Ouch! I was getting hit hard. Giving is a sign of what God has done in us? I had an awesome week where I came home feeling changed, like I was a new person. I didn't want my life to go back to the same exact way. I wanted to continue making a difference.
I have always felt called to work with elementary aged kids. I believe God hand-picked me for kid's camp this year, because this year it was time to start again. I've been feeling a pull in that direction for the past two years. Something happened, and I got discouraged. I let the enemy take away what I felt called to do. The sad part was I didn't even realize it. It had been sitting on the back burner for so long it had grown cold. I was convinced I was doing exactly what God wanted, yet I always felt like something was missing still.
I believe God's timing is perfect. He never pushes us. I totally stink at that. I'm not a patient person, and when I see someone struggling I want it fixed right here, right now. So what if you got barriers, I'm here to break them down. Aren't you glad I have no power, and that I'm not God? His timing is always perfect. He gets all the pieces and He starts putting them together one by one. I jump to the end too often. I start gluing them down thinking I have a 100 piece puzzle, when God has the masterpiece over 5000 pieces.
It wasn't until the end of our discussion on Sunday evening that I was finally convinced. I knew exactly what I needed to do for this moment in my life. I've already talked with our children's pastor. Steps have been taken; I have officially made the move to continue the work I began last week. I am so excited!
The most comfortable place you could ever sit is right in the middle of God's will. Have you ever been on the outside of His will? If you've ever been there, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You can feel the difference. Life isn't the same there; it's full of discomfort, confusion, and heartache.
I'll leave you with the final two questions I had to answer on Sunday night. What are barriers you have that can keep you from giving? And how will you let the ideas of serving, love, and giving change the way you live tomorrow and next week?
Kid's Camp 2012
Worthless? Or Worthy?