We were seated in the middle of a couple hundred folding chairs, under high ceilings built together with wooden beams, with windows opened around the perimeter to let the summer breeze bring any refreshment it could afford. My friends were on the stage in front of me, playing their instruments and singing to the Lord. I was drawn to the words in each song, and was wondering if this was new to any one else.
A family camp, nestled into the hills of Pennsylvania. A retreat for families, and our first time ever to go away as a family to a “christian camp.” There was a pool, and a snack-bar. We stayed in a cool cabin, and took long walks. There was volleyball, and a lot of other families that shared meals together three times a day. It was rather surreal to a 12-year-old that was use to time in her room, writing in her journal, taking walks, and designing nerdy seasonal bulletin boards. A far stretch and the beginnings of a call to not be so introverted.
Evening chapel brought us all together again. It was a great place to be, in my estimation – away from the mosquitos and a time to hear our friends sing and play their beautiful music for everyone. That is how I saw it. They were there to “play for the people.” Not with the people, or for a grander, Greater Purpose. Just “part of the program.”
Now kneeling in humble repentance with my brother by my side, and tears of joy upon hearing that Christ died for my sins, and He offers us the gift of eternal life. How did this happen? How had I never heard of this gospel message before? As the words left the Pastor’s lips, I knew in that very instance, that God wanted me as His child. He died for ME. Standing up, walking to the front with my brother behind me step by step, was a memory I could not even rehearse. I don’t really remember walking, or thinking. More like a pulling, a hearing and a following.
The stars were shining brighter the evening I left the Camp Chapel, knowing that I was saved. Saved from myself and unto Christ. His Story had just begun.
My room and my writing, my quiet introverted life could not hold me in any longer. I was beginning to see my life in a different way. Still unsure as to what this meant for me in my every day life, I began to search the Living Word – The Bible for answers. My friends that allowed God to use them in their talents and music, walked with me for a long time, showing me the truth of Christ’s love. They were not mere performer’s. They were called unto Him. And I was drawn to this example of living for Jesus.
Three years later, I went to the Ocean with my YFC friends. I can still remember that my biggest concerns in life were choosing which side I would part my hair, or if my white tennis sneakers would stay white through my summer trip. Little did I know that on trip God would call me to dedicate my living, active life to follow and serve Him. The Spirit drew me out of myself this teen summer. Calling me to LIVE for Him. Not just saving me, but calling me to learn to listen to Him, see Him and serve Him.
There was not a shuffle in my step after this salty air evening. I was ready to dive in. I couldn’t read or learn enough about the Bible fast enough.
Fast forward to today. His future grace is enough to keep me alive in Him.
Because this life I live, and every breath I take – Is His Story.
What is your story?