It has been a rather tiring and challenging period of late, but I am so glad to have had the chance to experience a revival that renewed me spiritually and emotionally.
Even after I stopped working, work took on another form with many meetings for the freshman camp coming up. I’ve never really led any camps before apart from Youth Camp in church, thus I am pretty unused to the amount of work that goes behind a smooth flowing camp.
My goal to plan a camp for the freshman was to bless the people that came, and I realised over half a year of work, that it is no easy feat. I’m planning the games with another co-leader, and the weeks in June have been dedicated to testing out the games on weekends, going for meeting after meeting, and doing different projects within the committee. Even when the committee met for a ‘retreat’, the whole retreat turned out to be a mass work session, where we worked on camp non-stop for 2 days straight. It was really productive, granted, but I was really exhausted by the time I came out of the ‘retreat’ (more like boot camp, honestly). There was too much to do, and I was not ready for the amount of rigour of work upcoming. I left for my own church camp very tired, discouraged and very burdened with the amount of work that was to be done.
But church camp was a whole different story altogether. I was away from the team, I was not always available on WhatsApp, and the environment was just away from everything busy in Singapore. I put my phone in the safe for large pockets of time, only taking it out to answer it for work related topics. It felt good to put away the phone for pockets of time, where the time I had was solely mine to enjoy. I was not distracted with the looming to-do list that was put for me, and the other people on the comm helped cover some work for me these few days as well. I thank God that they did not push me too much over the 4 days.
There was a lot of free time during camp, so I found myself doing things that I never would do. I swam, played frisbee, and gym-ed consecutively over these few days with some friends. It felt good to run across the field under the sun, something that I seldom did while in Singapore. There was no work involved, and there was socialising be it over meal times, over activities, and I met so many new people in church. Each of us had to find appointments for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the few days, and so there were opportunities to meet people whom one has not seen for while, or get to know someone new. I had a lot of fun with the youth and the friends that I had around, be it playing the games, staying up late, cooking up maggi noodles and everything in between. It was a chance for me to let loose and have fun all over again. I really thank God for that chance to recharge.
That aside, God also spoke to me during camp… I wasn’t expecting to get much of the messages, but to my surprise, a lot of pointers spoke to me, and it hit home. I was reminded to surrender every aspect of my life to God, even those that I had problems trusting Him with. Sometimes, I put God in a box, and don’t want Him to interfere with certain aspects of my life that are perhaps more sensitive, and hurting. But I guess God wanted to tell me again that it was all or nothing. Full surrender or nothing at all. It made me realise the importance of surrendering to Him in a whole new way, and I surrendered myself to prayer.
Another thing that also resounded was the heart of God bringing us across our own difficulties. The passage was talking about the Israelites and the river Jordan, and they were unable to cross it… Even at unsurmountable odds, God had helped them get across the river, and in a way that was unseen. God had brought a miracle that was not able to be seen physically with the eyes, but with faith.
The Jordan river in my life now would perhaps be this camp that I am planning. There is a lot of emotional inertia on my side, and I have lost the joy of doing the work that was entrusted to me. This was a good reminder that God would enable me and bring me across this river, but first I have to take that leap of faith and trust Him. Be it in all our inadequacy and failure, the amazing thing is God still chooses us to do His work anyway, and it touched me greatly. I committed myself to serving the Lord once again, and I felt the tears welling in my eyes. I feel humbled that God, would choose me, a broken vessel, to do His work. And I am honoured and humbled by that appointment.
God’s been pushing me out of my comfort zone many times this year, and perhaps it is to train me to a leader that He wants me to be. I know many would look upon me and not see me as a leader, and I don’t see myself that way too. But God is going to do something amazing, and I can only trust in Him to act upon it. He gave me the courage to stand up and share my thoughts in front of the whole crowd of church-camp goers, and even as I trembled and tried to collect my thoughts while speaking, I was amazed that many people were encouraged by the speech, and came to thank me for speaking after that. I’ve never gone up spontaneously and willingly to share anything before, so it was an amazing experience. The tears had welled up in my eyes, because I felt so overwhelmed by the grace that God has given to me, and given me chances to refresh and renew my walk in Him.
After I shared, I heard a small voice in my heart that said “You are blessed, dear daughter”. And I felt reassured that God was going to bring me through the new semester and the freshman camp. I committed the relationships I had with people, and everything else. I am glad to simply surrender to Him again.