little chunk of heaven.

This past weekend I had the absolute privilege of taking about ten of my high school friends to Windy Gap, a Young Life Camp in North Carolina.

As I read back over that sentence, I am still blown away.

I had been to Young Life camp ten times before last weekend. Each time I was either a camper, a part of the Work Crew, or a part of Summer Staff... never an actual Leader. I had watched Leaders, sat on cabin floors with Leaders, prayed for Leaders. But this time I was the Leader... like what? Crazy. But seriously beautiful. And full of grace... so full.

The Lord knew how special it would be for me to be at the same camp that I had spent a month at just this past summer. And how vividly I would remember sitting in those same cabins with my friends when they met Jesus in 8th grade. It was SO special. The whole weekend just spoke of His sovereignty, over and over again.

I went through the ropes course with them, in the freezing cold, hands all numb, and wishing for warmth. I got to be a part of my friend putting on a harness for the first time in her life and walk amongst the trees. She rocked it. The Lord pulled them outside of their comfort zones, not on their own stopping grounds, and I saw Him.

We laughed till we cried. I saw pure joy seep out of their pores. We hugged each other to stay warm. I felt loved by them.

Healing happened right before my eyes and I didn't miss it. Vulnerability and realness spilled all over that cabin floor. I sat in awe and praise as truth rang in their words.  They searched their hearts honestly and it was beautiful.

Those hours at Windy Gap were a little chunk of heaven. A picture of freedom and playfulness. I stopped myself a many of times and just smiled because it was all really happening - I was unwrapping a huge gift from God, a gift He had planned for a long while. I think I brought Him joy in unwrapping the gift. I pray that I brought Him glory.

As I was lying down to go to sleep on saturday night, on my mattress on the floor, my high school friend rubbed my back from behind and said, "hey, you've been a good leader." And all I could say back was, "thank you" and "this weekend has been like a dream come true, I love you all." ....straight up Heaven. I'm telling you.

What I learned at Windy Gap over the summer rang with new understanding this weekend... "He doesn't need us, but He wants us." Hallelujah. He will do what He will with their hearts and minds. He will change them. He will teach them. And I got invited to watch, to be on the sideline, cheering and praying and trusting.

Thank you God, for inviting me into your work. Thank you for letting me make messes and going behind me to clean them up. Thank you for being a gift-giver. Thank you for not wanting perfection. Please lead me in truth. Please hold these girls fast and do not let them go. Please reveal your grace and love and beauty to us more and more. Thank you for being our God. Amen.

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