Camp.


So I’m at camp again.

The Lord is funny.

I never thought in a million years I would ever again be pulling long days, late nights, and super early mornings. Wearing matching t-shirts with 27 other people. Driving a 15 passenger van across the country. Mic-ing up and acting ridiculous on stage in front of hundreds of people every week. Having timed Walmart runs. And proclaiming Jesus to thousands of students and leaders.

But here I am. And my heart is so thankful.

The healing process has been long, slow, and hard these past several months.

I looked at my teammates through flowing tears and apologized that all I had was a shattered heart. It was in pieces. I only wanted to give them my whole heart. But I felt I didn’t have a whole heart to give.

Thankfully, God uses broken things. He still shines through the cracks of our brokenness. To the praise of His glorious grace.

And sometimes His grace and His mercy and His healing come in the form of camp.

In the form of 27 beating hearts that surround me daily and love me.

I struggle with love now. I struggle with “real.” I struggle with “true.”

But every day those 27 souls make me laugh until it hurts. Every day those 27 encourage me, build me up, help me, serve me, listen to me, walk beside me. And every day those 27 love me. And every day the Lord uses those 27 to mend the cracks. To pick up the pieces. To ease the ache. To remind me and reteach me what is true.

And sometimes it is in the form of students.

A camper walked up to me last week. She was maybe in 8th grade.

She put her hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Hey, Shara. I felt like the Lord was telling me to come tell you that He loves you. And that you are valued. And that you matter.”

The words caught me off guard. It took me awhile to register them. To let them be real.

How I have fought with “matter” these past months. How I have wept uncontrollably over “matter.” How the lies have screamed and shouted and ripped and torn away at me. How I have struggled to fight back. How I came incredibly close to losing that fight forever.

And the Lord whispers to a student to remind me of the truth. To reteach me what is true.

It has often been in the form of the men on my team.

They truly are men. And I’m proud to know them. They love and serve hard. They don’t want anything from me. They affirm me and encourage me. They tell me that I’m beautiful. And they aren’t lying. And through them, the Lord is reminding me what is true. He is reteaching me what is true.

I am slowly relearning what is true. Rejecting the lies that still fight to fill my mind. I am slowly relearning to breathe again. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe at all. Every breath hurt. Every breath was agony. Every heartbeat unbearable.

And the Lord’s mercy came this time in the form of camp.

And He is using camp as a stepping stone to healing. To teach me to breathe again. To ease the pain of each breath. To remind my heart to beat. And that it is not a wasted heartbeat. That my life is not a wasted life.

I am so thankful. The lessons are still coming every day. Grief is still there. Life is still hard.

And God is so good.

Psalm 34:5 “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

Those who look to Him will never be ashamed.

Whatever may come. Whatever the Lord allows to come. Trusting Him. Looking to Him–I will never be ashamed. His way is perfect. His Word is true. I will never be put to shame when my trust and my hope are placed in Him.

Through it all

Through it all

My eyes are on You.

And it is well with me.

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