It was a crazy, beautiful, amazing week!
My friend Miss K and I have been teaming up for the last 6 years to co-lead this week and every year, God does some nifty stuff.
We are so blessed. And so humbled.
We had 134 kids on Monday. A record. We had 143 kids on Wednesday. Another record. We gave away more than 25 Bibles to kids who either had no Bible or who accepted Jesus. That's another record. That's not counting the more than 60 youth and adults we had volunteering their week to love on kids.
I know records aren't terribly important in the realm of eternity. But they are indicators of God's hand at work. They are beacons of hope that He is moving in our kids and in their hearts. And when it comes to little people who have asked Jesus into their hearts, it changes their eternity.
|All photos taken by our awesome Kids Kamp photographer Sam Ferrand!!!!|
I'm always humbled by His faithfulness despite my faithlessness.
I'm always overwhelmed by His grace even when I yelled at my kids to hurry up on our way out the door that morning.
I'm always washed away in His love when my heart soaks up the lesson, even as I speak the very words that are ministering to my heart to the kids.
Every year we have always wondered if we would have enough help. Every year God has brought more than we need right when we need it...most often Monday morning.
Every year we wonder if we are doing enough, if we have forgotten something big, and every year, we have kids decide to ask Jesus into their hearts. And making Christ followers and discipling Christ followers is the whole point so nothing else really matters.
Every year we are astonished by what God does, how He shows up, and our kids are watching and our kids somehow manage to open our eyes wider because they see Him bigger.
The whole theme of our Kids Kamp week was teaching our kids that God has made each of us a masterpiece. We are that special just how He made us. And we don't have to try to be someone or something else. We just have to be who He made us to be. He carefully crafted and molded all of those little things that make us unique and different, and which so often can separate and make us feel strange and weird because, well, we are different.
One of my professors in college equated the body of Christ to a very large wheel. We each have a spoke on that wheel. If I spend my days trying to be the spoke over there because I like that spot better, then my spot is empty and the body of Christ isn't functioning as it should because I'm trying to be like someone else and noone can be me quite like I can. Not only that but I can't be that spoke over there nearly as well as the person to whom that spoke belongs.
I know it seems like such a simple no brainer, but in a world that exalts money and power and physical beauty and materialism and not being different or weird or quirky, it becomes very easy to fall into the trap of I'm not enough.
And I think it's the same on a smaller scale for our kids. Whether it's size, color, shape, or skill sets, kids know when they are different.
They know when they can't run as fast or read as well or throw as far.
They know when they are rounder or taller or skinnier than someone else.
They know when they aren't like everyone else, and their little hearts feel that alienation keener and deeper but they don't have the words to explain it. So maybe they withdraw. Maybe they act out. Maybe they overcompensate. Maybe they misbehave.
All because they feel as though they don't belong.
And doesn't it grieve the Creator's heart when the very nuances that He impressed into us become the things that divide and cause us to measure and cut and come away believing we lack something, or yes, that we aren't enough.
When the truth is He is enough. He's always been enough. More than enough. And when we walk in confidence that He is enough, then suddenly our imagined lack disappears and we move confidently in His footsteps. And we realize we are enough because we see who we are through His eyes. We are enough because we are His.
Last week we celebrated our quirks, our foibles, our idiosyncrasies because that's exactly how God made us. And He calls the very things that make us different beautiful. And when we believe we are beautiful because He has made us beautiful, we make those around us feel beautiful too.
There's nothing quite like the person who, because she is free to be who she really is, unconsciously allows others the freedom to be who they are as well. There's nobody quite so, well, nice to be around as someone who embraces and speaks the truth about the very quirks in me that I feel self-conscious and insecure about. As though she is Jesus with skin on, teaching me what beauty really is and what love really looks like.
Oh, to be that person.
Oh, to live in a world full of those people.
Grace Always Rises,