I’m usually scared about something. I like comfort as much, if not more than the next person, so feeling nervous and anxious is definitely an inconvenience. I am extremely aware that often times, growth comes in the form of discomfort, but that doesn’t make me like it any more than I did before.
I’m a YoungLife leader and was a YoungLife kid, and for the last two years, I’ve wanted to work at a camp because that’s usually where I’m the most at peace. So, a couple of weeks ago, I applied to work at a camp in Northern California for three weeks in the summer. Three weeks doesn’t sound like much to the average person, but I live at home, always have, and haven’t been gone from my family for more than a week. A few days ago, I received an email that I was accepted, and something that I had so much enthusiasm and love for immediately turned into something I was uncomfortable and scared about. A million thoughts flooded my head about how I couldn’t be away from home for three weeks, how my body can’t handle that, how I won’t know anyone and I won’t have contact with the outside world. So many lies flooded in.
After receiving the acceptance, I had five days to say I was going or not. Those five days were brutal. I prayed and prayed that God would tell me exactly what He wanted me to do. But, I think I assume that because I was accepted it was something that was in His will.
I’d like to believe that I have trust in God, but do I really? Do I believe that things will be okay? Do I believe that I am and will be safe and taken care of?
I don’t know a lot about the man upstairs, but what I do know is that even though I’ve had to experience pain, growth, joy, and hurt, He’s always been there. How do I know? I wish I had a straightforward answer. I really do. It’s like a gut feeling. I always wonder why if He’s listening, it doesn’t go away, but I’m coming to realize that’s not what it’s about. God is our father. My dad can’t wipe away all of my problems, but he does sit with me and make sure I know that I’m not alone. And that’s what God does.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still absolutely terrified. I have so much uncertainty and doubt and unvoiced turmoil twisting inside about it. I don’t know what this summer will look like, how I will feel as the time for me to leave approaches, if I’ll actually go through with it.
But, I do know that in the end, things will be okay. And while they’re not? He’ll be with me every step of the way. I know this because He always has.
words by Ashley Jesus and photo by Gretta Sheehan