"then a little bit of hope came singing from cabin 9."

i found this in my journal from summer ’09.
it was written during the lowest, darkest point of my camp “career”.
someone had left. again. but the entire staff was feeling it this time. i didn’t see how we would be the same without this person to look up to.
i didn’t want to be there anymore. i wanted to leave and never come back. i didn’t see how i could go on.
laying on the cabin leader’s bed in cabin 10, so numb i couldn’t even cry, i suddenly heard hannah failoni’s cabin singing this song(i miss that song, i’ll have to remember to teach my campers next year. it had awesome fun hand motion things to go with it. anyways…)

bind us together lord, bind us together
with cords that cannot be broken.
bind us together lord, bind us together lord
bind us together with love.

and with that, i knew i could stay. it wouldn’t be the same ever again, but God would fix it. He’d given us each other for a reason, and we could suck it up together and go on. and we did.
and i still have. truth is, i thought about that every day this summer. i saw how much it forced me to grow. my first one and a half summers were like riding a bike with training wheels; the middle of last summer i had to learn to stay up on my own. well, correction: i had to learn to stand up with God’s help, and not primarily find my strength and encouragement from other people. i had to see God as the center of camp and the reason it was so amazing.
i think that’s why this summer was so exponentially better than the other two. the first two, i was leaning on somebody else. both years, that person got taken away. thank goodness the second time around i learned. and it made all the difference in the world.

back in time.

i don’t have a lot of regrets, and even those few things that i do, i wouldn’t change them.
but i’d still like to be able to go back in time. for very different reasons than most people.

i want to relive my junior and senior year, exactly as they happened. i wouldn’t change a single word of a single conversation, not a single a moment of a single event. (although, when we got up to senior year the week before ridge haven, i think i’d try a little harder not to get sick. that still turned out to be a pretty great weekend, but i slept through more of it than i would have liked to)

i’d cement the memories as firmly in my head as i could, knowing now that there wouldn’t be many more moments like them. i think i would try to journal more. just a subtle change that wouldn’t affect any outcomes.

i’d have to fight to not change my naive senior’s mind and tell them not to go to csu. i had to live through all that pain to get me to ciu. i wouldn’t have gotten this rainbow without that storm.

then i would skip freshmen year and go right to this summer, and continue from there to now. basically i’d live over all the happiest years of my life and ignore the bad ones, leave everything as it was, no messing with history or anything.

when will someone invent THAT kind of time machine?

hibernating/family.

i’ve never seen camp in the winter, but i’ve thought about it. i figured it would be sad to see, but even when everything is brown and dead, and you can see unit 1 from the admin and the lake from cabin 5’s deck since there’s no leaves on the trees, it’s still the most beautiful place in the world. it’s just sleeping. in the summer when we come back, it’ll wake up and be all green and alive again.
i think working at camp gives people a bond that can’t be explained by anyone or understood by those who aren’t in it. in two short months you go from coworkers to friends to sisters. so when i got there yesterday, after bruising a few people and hugging everyone in sight, i sat down and it was like a sunday night when we’d only been apart for a weekend. i was home with my family and nothing had changed. with them, i am who i am and everyone loves me for it. i don’t get that anywhere else.
once a camp friend, always a camp friend. i’m starting to see the truth in that more and more.

oh. and as per jane’s request, this is how my mind works towards camp.
i think about camp probably about once an hour, sometimes more or less. if you notice me zoning out now and then, i’m probably there in my head. i don’t talk about it much because it annoys people, but i am always either thinking about it or praying for it or just plain missing it.
and i dream about it a LOT. so a lot of times i’ll wake up really sad cuz i’m not actually there.
so when i’m there for a short time, like yesterday, or open house, it takes a while to sink in that it’s real and i keep waiting to wake up(i have really vivid dreams, see, and it’s NOT fun to wake up from them). but it makes me happy when i don’t. lightbulb: maybe this is why i don’t sleep much at camp. i’m subconsciously afraid of waking up and being somewhere else.
this all probably makes me sound crazy. but we knew that already. =]

misconceptions that need to be cleared up…

1. ciu is full of people who drink and smoke and do drugs.
–full of them? no. like everywhere, i’m sure there’s definitely some(and even that, i don’t personally know anyone who does, i’m just assuming since we’re living in a messed up world, and this is college, there has to be at least a few). but outside of camp, i’ve never met more people in one place that were so on fire for God, and actually living like it.

2. there are too many rules here.
–again, what school are YOU going to? we have more freedom than at least a few other Christian schools i know of. they trust us here. ask someone who goes to north greenville about their rules(no offense to my lots and lots of friends that go there) and you’ll be thankful for how we have it here.
and, to be honest, i actually thought this about us before i came here. i was totally against coming here because i didn’t want to go to “a strict, rules-y Bible college where nobody is allowed to do anything.” but i was stupid and didn’t know what i was talking about. if you go here and you still think this, well, i’ll pray for you or something.

3. everyone here is a judgmental hypocrite and lives in a Christian bubble.
–ridiculous on so many levels. first. nobody is perfect. you’re probably a judgmental hypocrite too sometimes. this problem is not unique to ciu. second. yes, there are plenty of them, but there are also plenty of legit people too. and at the very least, the professors and all the people who count are real. they live what they believe and they encourage us to do the same. sitting around talking about how other people are judgmental hypocrites is judgmental in itself, so worry about your own self and make sure YOU are living what you say you believe and giving this place a good name. (seriously, listen to yourself. you’re saying you’re better than the people who think they’re better than everyone else. there is no difference in you and them.)

4. and finally…i hope complaining about the complainers doesn’t make me one of those judgmental hypocrites you speak of. but it just bothers me that some people don’t see all the great things that i see here. i wish everyone was as happy with it as i am. not that this will probably change anyone’s mind…but maybe they’ll stop venting their opinions to me. much like a homesick camper crying to me about wanting to go home, i’m not the best person to complain to about my second favorite place either.

ok. that’s all i have to say about that. long story short: i love ciu and everyone here and i have nothing but good things to say about it. i found where God lives when it’s not summer. =]

thank you God for orange juice.

[written january 27th 2010. freshman year at charleston southern]
it’s a kind of out there metaphor, but it works for me.
don’t worry, i’ll explain my, um, unique way of seeing things, further down. i’ll get there.
as of this morning, i’m not going to guatemala. God very abruptly closed that door, and i was upset about it this morning, but now i understand. and it’s the most perfect thing He could have done for me.
i didn’t know why exactly. i thought, i can see why He’d want me TO go(which i assumed He did but didn’t give half enough thought to), but why would He NOT want me to? how is it such a bad thing? it wasn’t, but it turns out it wasn’t the best thing either.
i asked God why a million times, but didn’t listen too hard for an answer. as usual, He decided to speak through music, since i listen so much more closely to that than to His voice.
one of the things i love best about cru, is that almost every week there will be one repeated line from a song that we end up singing for five minutes straight. tonight it was like it was just for me. one short little song, over and over, for half of forever. but i could have sung the words for an hour.

And I’m madly in love with you
And I’m madly in love with you
And I’m madly in love with you
And I’m madly in love with you

Let what we do in here
Fill the streets out there
Let us dance for You
Let us dance for You

All of my life
And nothing less
I offer to You, my Righteousness

the longer i sung the words, and the more i said “i’m madly in love with you” it hit me. i AM madly in love with Him. that should have been my whole motivation for wanting to go on this trip in the first place. i want that love to spill out of me wherever He puts me. as much as i want that to be in another country, it isn’t right now. but that doesn’t mean i can sit here and sulk about it. i can serve Him right here. and i think He wants me to learn to do that, before i go off across the world to do it.
going to guatemala would have been a good thing, but the best thing is for me to learn to be content serving where i am.
and back to the orange juice metaphor. earlier today i was trying for like 10 minutes to open this bottle of orange juice. after much frustration i discover, i’ve been turning the cap the wrong way all this time. i laughed at myself like i do, but remembering it now while thinking what to title this post, it actually makes sense.
in the same way, i’ve been trying to re-find God the wrong way. for years, instead of 10 minutes. i’ve always heard how no one ever comes back the same when they go on foreign missions. i thought i had to go to some different, far off place to find God. so naturally i jumped at the chance to be able to do that. but He said no, so that i would learn that He’s right here, patiently working on me, waiting for me to notice. and always has been.(how many times have i learned this lesson?) this time i’m not letting myself forget. i’ll need people to remind me now and then, but to add to the long list of realizations i’ve made today, is that i have people like that here if i look hard enough. i’ve been lazy the past semester. this time around i’m promising myself to look harder.
i think i have the “cap” on my life off for now. the right way. and i couldn’t be happier.
(don’t you just love how my mind works? admit it, you’d laugh a lot less if i was missing from your life.)

things are changing, it seems strange and, i need to figure this out.

i am not good at predicting which of my friends will stay the same forever.
i am EXCELLENT at predicting when things will go wrong.(seriously. every time i say something bad will happen, even in a joking way, they happen. this is how so many of my middle school crushes ended up marrying some of my worst enemies, why all the girls on my hall got asked to formal, and why my granddad died the time that he did. [not that they wouldn’t have happened otherwise, but i did happen to say that these things would happen and then they did. i’d rather be surprised.])

the worst part is not even being upset about it. when i suddenly can’t stand someone who was once one of my best friends, and i don’t even care…what’s wrong with me? i used to fight harder to keep my friends in my life. i never used to choose to let someone grow apart from me. as rascal flatts would say, i feel bad that i don’t feel bad.

it’s not that i’m not happy with everyone else that’s replaced them. i don’t miss this person or notice their absence from my life. ever.(which again, is such an unfamiliar thing to me. how can i miss jamie when she leaves the room for ten minutes to take a shower, and not miss this person when i go a week without spending any time with them?) honestly, after seeing them, i leave them feeling much more annoyed with the world than i was before. i’m pretty sure both of us are fine with having our own friends and not being in each other’s lives anymore.

but it still bothers me that i don’t feel bad about any of it.

the best part is that the more this friendship deteriorates, the more i see that me and this girl will never change.

no matter how much time we spend apart, no matter how many hours away from each other we live, no matter how many boys come and go through either of our lives, we’ll always be the most important. we’ll always find each other again. we know all this from experience. not like middle schoolers that say they’ll be best friends forever but have no idea what that means. most people like us would have already grown apart; we just got closer as we grew up. we let our friendship change with our lives instead of fighting to keep it the same(that never works). and in ten years when we’ve both got kids and we’re living in different states and we only call each other once a month and see each other once a year, we’ll still be the same. i think that’s what makes us different from other people who call each other best friends. we don’t need that constant reassurance, daily phone calls, being together every second, whatever. when college and life gets in the way, we don’t fight to make time for each other or get mad that we can’t fit into our schedules, we just accept that we’re both busy and settle for knowing that we’re thinking about each other. and when we do manage to find time together, it’s like no time has passed. we’re comfortable in silence but don’t stop talking very often. we think exactly alike and think the same stupid things are funny. we were meant to be twin sisters, but God loves our parents too much to do that to them.
we didn’t just get bored and decide to call each other best friends, we just realized one day that it was a fact of life. and the longer we go on, the more we see that that won’t ever change. anyone who says different either doesn’t know us or is simply jealous.
velcro besties. forever and ever.

holy crap. it’s been over a week since i wrote anything, period?

nothing meaningful comes to mind, so, another of these.

1. i have never been this mentally checked out. even in the last few weeks of classes at csu i was more with it than this. i am sick of homework. and early mornings. and tests to study for. and cafeteria food. and people on the hall when i’m trying to sleep.(seriously. i LOVE my hall. to death. but if i hear one more loud voice at midnight, i might just open my door and scream until everyone shuts up.) i hate that i only get 8 days in my christmasy house.

2. i am SO excited to see my camp staff again! 19 days until i get 24 hours with some of my favorite people in the world. i’ve missed them so much more than other summers.

3. i will be living longer because of dearblankpleaseblank.com. go check it out.

4. i’ve been posting a whole bunch of those in my facebook statuses, so actually…see my next post.