Two of my most memorable trips to Camp Cedar Cliff occurred during my senior year of high school. I remember being incredibly skeptical before I went the first time. Who on earth would want to spend four days in the woods? (Five-and-a-half years later I would argue that I do!) However, after being forced out of my comfort zone in more ways than one (HELLO hike to the rappel site), camp was slowly but surely forming a small place in my heart. After spending another week there at the end of my senior year, I knew I was hooked. I wanted to work at camp.
When I think about the person I was during freshman year and the person I am now, I sometimes want to go back and slap myself. Why in the world did I ever think I could go off to camp for six weeks without a) preparing myself physically (camp has some hills, y’all) and b) preparing myself spiritually. Freshman year was such a TRANSITION for me that I could write post after post after post about how weird yet good yet WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE that year was. So, when I fell on the third day of staff training and broke my ankle, there was this weird part of me that was at peace. I wasn’t ready to spend a summer at camp. I just wasn’t.
Fast forward two years later, and I’m off to camp again. There was this part of me that consistently thought YOU’RE GOING TO BREAK A BONE. AGAIN. But, there was another part of me that just knew, oh I KNEW, that God had planned for me to be there that summer. I was so sure of it. And, He had. I spent the whole summer working, growing, healing, serving, loving, receiving, and so much more. One of my favorite parts of that summer? My friendship with Kasey.
That was Kasey’s first summer on full-time staff. She didn’t work the summer I broke my ankle, and if I had worked that summer, I can probably guarantee that our paths wouldn’t have crossed like they ended up crossing. But, God. Y’all, His sovereignty and goodness just blows me away. BLOWS ME AWAY. Like, only God could redeem my broken ankle.
Kasey and I celebrated our birthdays together this past weekend. We painted and dined and laughed and talked and even cried. It was bliss. On Saturday night, Kasey and I were making dinner while snacking on chips and hummus and salsa. She’d just shown me something rather personal, something that was an answer to many prayers we’d both prayed over the past year-and-a-half, and I started crying. (What a shock that I was being emotional.) All I could say was, “I just keep remembering what you walked through last summer and this just shows how faithful and good God is.” She teared up a bit, too, and said, “Look at us now.”
Look at us now. She was standing in her kitchen wearing socks with chacos, my stuff was strewn about all over her apartment like I lived there, and we’d spent the afternoon getting tea at an Asian tea house in Black Mountain that was more of an adventure than either of us had expected (one for the books, huh, Kase?). To me, it was just so God. She has grown to be one of my dearest friends, and I love how God has used her story, her life, her struggles even, to minister to me. It has been one of the sweetest blessings in my life.
All because of that dang broken ankle.