Monday, August 17, 2015

"I want people to feel the joy I feel."

I don't brag on God enough. I really don't. But I'm about to.
So if you have time, or even if you don't, read this, yo:

There was this girl named Carrie.

She came to the summer camp I worked at during Week 6 of camp, closed off and angry at God for things that had happened in her life. Being a missionary's kid, Carrie was familiar with the Gospel and how she could be saved, but because of her circumstances and past interactions with Christians who seemed fake and insincere, she wanted nothing to do with the Lord.

Carrie was very bright and sweet and a really cool camper, so it broke my heart to see that she was so hardened to what God had to say to her. One of the struggles of being a camp counselor this summer has been watching the unsaved campers leave. Although it's not up to me to "save" anybody {mad props to 1st Corinthians 3:7}, I do have a small window of time to influence campers while they are in my care. And so sometimes to see them leave unsaved is to feel like you failed them somehow.

Once again, only God can change a heart.
But it's still discouraging.

So, we were all very burdened for Carrie. My co-counselor and I were praying, my Unit Leader was praying, my entire Unit was praying, my friends were praying, my parents back home were praying. Everyone and their mother was prayin'. Like legit, I don't even know how many people were praying for Carrie.

Campfire Night came around, but Carrie still wasn't saved. We had had some good conversations. Nothing. We prayed some more. There were really wonderful rallies and services. Nada. We prayed some more. And it was with tears that we watched Carrie leave camp unsaved that week, still hardened to the Gospel.

And yet, as in all things, a glimmer of hope.

I kept getting these feelings that someday Carrie would get saved and God would use her in massive ways. She was a very bright and ambitious girl - a future leader. I thought that if only the Lord could harness her leadership, He would use her in incredible ways for His glory.

Fast forward a few weeks. Carrie and I were still keeping in touch every now and then through Facebook. It was encouraging to get little messages from her saying that she was feeling more responsive to God and that He had used her week at camp to open her up to reading the Bible. So we kept praying. To hear her become more and more receptive was such a beautiful thing.

A few nights ago, I decided to send Carrie a message, since we hadn't talked in a little while. Imagine my shock when she responded that she'd been doing better, since she had just gotten saved! Only a few minutes earlier she had sat down and prayed in her heart to accept Christ as her Savior. It was insane! To hear her testimony of how God took her out of a very dark and depressing past and to see her joy only in the first few moments of being saved was incredible. It encouraged me so much to see that raw, real joy of the Lord shining through her already.

"Just now I kind of realized that God loves me and He saved me a lot of times from death, so I need to trust Him. I also realized that so many people in the world have trusted Him and big change has happened in their life. So who am I to say that He can't do that to me?" -- Carrie 
In short, never give up on people, because God doesn't. And never give up on God. I feel so blessed to have been a part of witnessing firsthand the life change that can happen when Christ gets a hold of a heart. He is still in the business of radically transforming people's lives.

If you're not sure where you stand on all this Jesus stuff, click here.

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