Just came back after a 5 day 4 night church camp, and indeed, I have had much to think about and experience through this period away from constant Wi-Fi and connections from people.
I thank God for many good conversations and time spent with friends and people in camp. During all those talks late at night or during meal times, I got to know these people in more ways, be it through the things they go through, their experiences, the things they are doing outside church and their interests. I had a really meaningful discussion with the pastor’s wife, and I did share with her my current walk with God. She prayed for me, for direction and peace. Among all the things that I asked her, be it career or choices in life, I also asked her on how she dealt with singleness before she met her husband. She said a prayer that touched me. That God would prepare her to be the wife and mother that she could be, and should she be found inadequate or unsuitable, she would remain a single woman. That really put my perspective into things that I should be praying for such discernment, and also, for the right guy if willing to come along at the right time, and that I don’t question where his intentions lie. That the relationship will be formed with the end in mind, and the clear guidance from God.
Another thing that struck me was the message about suffering, and somehow, I felt that it was a closure to the things that have happened, and that I have put them to rest. This camp somehow gave me the answer I was looking for, on why God allows bad things to happen. The speaker gave the analogy of the 3 friends and King Nebuchadnezzar. When they were thrown into the fire, Jesus appeared and revealed Himself to them. In the fire of our lives, when we are thrown into the heat and flames, we then realise, God was with us in the fire all along. And that was the answer I was looking for, and the question that I needed answered. This camp gave me the conclusion to put the chapter behind me, and I am at peace. The pain is gone, the memories are simply memories, and I can put back the chapter of my life behind. That I am looking forward and seeing the future, that I am looking to the things beyond. What’s past is past, and I see that God revealed Himself to me in the fiery times. The times where I thought He wasn’t there. But He was.
One thing that I am happy of would be that I have come a long way from fear of playing sports. I played sports for the 3 days during free and easy time, and I did enjoy myself and get involved. My fear has been reduced to a point where I can play and enjoy the time I have with people during ball games, and I am glad to be able to spend time with people in this capacity. For a long time, this was an area of my life that I avoided to spend time on, and the girl of yesterday would not have imagined that I would be here today, willingly playing sports and getting involved in it. I realise the value of the sports ministry, that all awkwardness is reduced, and age gaps and boundaries disappear with the common activity of sports. I’ve always thought I missed out when I hid in my hotel room and watched them play sports in the field from afar, and I am just so glad I took the step to get out of that hotel room and play with the people there. No longer observing, but participating. No regrets. No fears. No longer feeling like someone who is incapable of playing sports. I know I’m learning, and slower on the field, but I know that the people are not judging me, and I know that I will get better and better as I play more sports.
Being in the camp committee was an experience that was interesting but a bit taxing on me. This was very different experience from FOC, where the set of people and skills needed was not exactly what I was comfortable with. At some moments, I often doubted my abilities and competency as a committee member. There were a lot of things that I could not do as well, such as MC-ing, or being an enthusiastic presence, and there were a lot of instances where I could not do the best I could for the activities. Despite my misgivings, and also doubts on my abilities, I think God did speak to me about this at the very end of camp. During the whole period of running the activities with the rest, I had a short but meaningful talk with a friend. When I told her about my doubts and experiences, she told me that I should not compare to others, and God has a purpose for putting me in this committee. My mother also reminded me that sometimes God doesn’t need someone who is competent or adequate, but someone who is simply willing to serve.
Likewise, added onto my role as a camp committee member, I was also a devotions leader for a small group of girls, and also a leader of a youth discussion group after the sermons. All these things did make me feel really tired, but I was always recharged after the free and easy periods and worship, where I could simply be still and worship the Lord.
All of us were given cards to write to others, and each card bore a quote in front. I received 2 cards, and they both bore the same message. The message goes like this:
“It is not great talents God blesses so much as the great likeness to Jesus”.
That served as a reminder for me that God will use me as a instrument to do His work, and as inadequate as I feel sometimes, I know that He is working through me and also pushing me to go beyond my comfort zone.
I’m leaving Singapore in about a week, and I’m glad that I went for this camp before everything. It set things in perspective. I’m at peace with God. At peace with myself. At peace with the things that are to come and will happen to me.
That I should use my Spiritual Gifts for His glory.
That I should endure suffering and be a wounded healer for Jesus. To reach others who are hurting and be a blessing to them, and use my sufferings as a way to reach out to others who are going through something similar.
To God be the glory.