Monday, April 16, 2012

Give me your eyes for eternity!

God continually blesses me through Camp Cho-Yeh.  I can't even begin to describe it.  Just driving into Livingston I am swamped by the overwhelming feeling of being back in a place where I know God is present, where I have so many good memories, and where so many of my closest friendships have sprouted.

This past weekend I went to camp again.  They were having Family Fun Day, which is basically like a premiere day for camp.  Families get to experience camp a little before they send their children there for a week.  They get to see some of the staff, activities, and the beautiful camp itself.

The actual event was on sunday for about 6-7 hours.  I got there the day beforehand, however, to help set up and such.  We filled goody bags for retreat groups, painted, talked, moved hundreds of chairs (no exaggeration), cleaned inflatables, and had a good time doing it.  It's funny how I forget how camp is hard work.  My body is aching today after not working at camp for 9 months.  Over the past 3 years, camp has changed me a lot and made me a harder, more diligent worker.  I am thankful for that.

After we were done with all of that, we had a opportunity to go worship with the band that would be playing the next day.  I don't think any of us specifically knew what this meant, so we were kind of apprehensive about it at first since we only had one night at camp, and we wanted to catch up and such.  We ended up going, and honestly, it was some of the best worship I have had in a long time!  I think all of us were so grateful that we went.  It was a group of college-age kids from the School of Worship around Tyler, Texas.  They had a guitar, a djembe, and their voices in this intimate, acoustic, worship time.

As I started to worship and dive into a more intimate setting with God, I quickly became aware of my walls, the scars that had edged themselves into my heart recently, and the opinions of others... many of whom weren't even in the room.

Being a religion major and studying theology, I get so bombed down with theological stuff: interpretation, denomination, salvation concepts, etc.  I do think that this stuff is very important, but it gets in the way.  For me, many of the walls that I had were those of theology.  "Well people are saying this when the Bible really means this...", "That's very Calvinistic/ Armeniest...", "Do I personally agree with what they are saying?".  These kind of things can really get in the way, because sometimes all we need to do is worship God, completely let go, and just let God take control.

Over the past few months I have been dealing with several things that have left scars on my heart.  The loss of friendships, not allowing other people's faith to impact mine, carrying burdens, church shopping, etc.  My heart has scars and over the past few weeks specifically, I have begun to notice those scars.  Knowing the symptoms is the first way to healing.

Sometimes I get caught up in thinking about what other people in my life would think of my relationship with Christ.  I know that this is often a reflection of what I believe their relationship is, but it can be challenging.  Sometimes we care too much about what those around us think.  A relationship with God is something that is so personal that it hurts when we know others don't appreciate it or look at it in the same way we do.

So this worship was really needed.

A couple of the most impacting moments for me where when we were singing "Set a Fire" and the lyrics "there's no place I'd rather be than here in your arms" were sung.  It's funny how I can sing those words, yet my times with God have become more scarce and fragmented.  It's hard when you get caught up with life and the business of it to recognize your need for God.  We get so wrapped up in our ideas of theology, our own bruises and scars, our own plans, and other's opinions that it becomes hard to recognize our longing to be at the feet of Jesus.  And even then, once we recognize it, sometimes it becomes challenging to actually do it (kind of like working out).

One of the most transforming times for me was when they were prophesying.  Personally I think there is nothing wrong with telling a person what you believe God is telling you to tell them, if it is truly spirit led.  I have done it, but only when I know that it is God speaking.  You can often tell based on a person's heart and the way they live their life whether or not you take their prophesying seriously.

Something that one of them said hit me so hard.  In that moment I felt some of my scars being scrapped away and walls falling.  All I cared about was God and his love and my personal relationship with Him. In this moment he was telling me that he had unfailing love for me, and that his plan for me wasn't going to change just because of circumstances in my life.  God is doing so much in my life right now, and even though it is a confusing time for me, I can evidently see that.

The rest of the weekend was filled with friends, hard work, belaying for hours, memories, new memories, rain, and Jesus.

I am so blessed by Cho-Yeh!

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