|One of my favorite pictures from camp|
It has been 18 years since I drove onto the gravel road that led me straight to the place where I would spend my summer as a camp counselor. That gravel road led me to Camp of the Cross Ministries where I would spend the next approximately seven summers. Little did I know the impact of that special place in my life.
18 years ago, I started that summer as a shy introverted 18 year old (yes indeed there was a time in my life when I was shy). That summer changed me and made me grow in so many ways. That next summer, the camp director and the program director were doing mid-summer evaluations. As I sat on the couch listening intently to them, I learned how much the Holy Spirit’s hand was there guiding me to Camp of the Cross. The camp director reminded me how awful my interview was. I remember it so clearly. I answered his questions but I don’t think I looked up from the table even once. Yet he took a chance on me. He told me, “I hired you thinking I would take you as long as you would make it. But now I cannot get rid of you.” In those words, the power of the Spirit had changed me.
Camp is the first place that I openly shared about my mom’s struggle with a mental illness. Tears streaming down my face, I poured out my heart and years worth of keeping our story bottled inside. It was an amazing healing moment. And then several years after that first summer, I watched my mom experience life at camp and got to share this special holy place with her.
|Sharing Camp with my Momma|
Camp is where I heard the call into ministry. Camp is the place that made me into the woman of faith that I am today. Camp is the place I met and made some of my bestest of friends. Camp is hallowed holy ground because of the many ways it blessed me and holds a special place in my life. “Behold I am standing on holy ground.”
I spent so many times at “three crosses” lifting my prayers to God. I found myself many nights, under the prairie night sky, releasing my heart onto paper through poetry. And other times, I found myself counting the stars above my head; reminded of the power of God and God’s love for all people.
|Three Crosses Campfire Site–During the Day and at Night
One of my favorite places in the entire world!
Today, camp is breaking ground for a new fellowship hall. This is something that has been needed for so long and I am so glad to hear these prayers answered. I wish that I could be there today for that special groundbreaking. But unfortunately I am not able to be there, but I am definitely there in spirit. This hallowed holy place will always be place for me where I can feel the transcendant power of God.
Even know when I get on that gravel road leading to camp, I get so giddy! It is like coming home for me…because camp is indeed one of the dear homes in my life. At camp, I look around and see God’s hand working all over that place. I also feel the Holy Spirit moving about. I look around and smile.
“For this ground you are standing on is holy ground!”
Good and Gracious God, there are so many places in our lives where we experience your awesome creation and feel your Spirit moving about. Today I pray for Camp of the Cross Ministries and the ways that that place has formed me as a woman of faith and as a leader in the church as well as for all who have been formed in their faith there. Also please bless all gathered at camp today as they break ground for the new fellowship center. Surround this place in your loving tender arms and care for this holy ground which we care so deeply for. In your name we pray. Amen!
I am sharing this with my cousin. Beautiful post, Tara!
I hope your cousin enjoyed this post!
Isn't it amazing to look back and see where God takes us, no matter where we started? Loved your story about camp. I have never been to one, but I would like to send my daughter before she is out of the house. 🙂
Your daughter definitely needs to go to a camp. It is such a great experience! And yes it really is amazing to look back and see where God takes us.
Summer camps are amazing, aren't they? I worked at Big Lake Youth Camp near Sisters, OR for seven summers. Each summer transformed me in some way and created a stronger bond between my God and I. Thank you for sharing your story of summer camp!
They are! Camp transformed me!