Looking back, my summer in one word? Restful.
Yes, I was working 54 hours a week at a rather high-paced and often stressful job at a Christian camping resort in the Adirondacks. But God is good and he always provides for me in my times of need. This past year of school was a difficult one to say the least, but now that the summer is over, there is nothing more refreshing than reflecting back on all God has done for me during my time here at Camp-of-the-Woods.
God has given me so much this past summer. Things to enjoy like sailing, conquering mountains, and cliff jumping. Or little things like strawberry lemonade from Timberline Cafe or the sound of the waves against the rocks. He has given me a love for my job and shown me the rewards of hard work. He has provided time with my family who live close by. He has blessed me with new friendships with brothers and sisters in Christ who push me to think a little harder, feel a little deeper, and love a little more.
But what I am most grateful for is that God has given me rest.
You see, the past six months before this summer started had been unbearable. I had never been more discouraged than I was during that time. But this Summer, God has given me rest from the relentless voices in my head telling me to ‘do more’ and ‘be better’. ‘After all, it's your own fault things are this way’. Or the incessant screams of doubt telling me that my faith doesn’t add up, that something is wrong, or that it's not worth it. Or those demons reminding me of what I did wrong or what I could have done better--reaching into the past like they were digging up old graves.
God prepared a place to bring me away from all that. I like to think of it as the white noise of grace, drowning out all the other sounds. When I came to this place I was able to hear myself think instead of only hearing what others thought about me. And instead of the voices of my doubts and insecurities, I was hearing God’s voice, clearly, for the first time in far too long.
But now the strawberry lemonade summer days are over and I will transition back to ‘real life’. I know I will have to face painful memories and the ever-threatening loom of monotony and apathy.
Will the voices come back? Potentially.
But the beauty of this life is in the seasons.
Without failed attempts and heartache and the utter chaos that we call life, we would not understand the true gift of rest.
“Come to be all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28