Tuesday, December 2

It might not look like a beautiful sunrise

I have never gotten so much comfort out of reading from the earlier dates of my journal until today. These past couple days have not been fun. I just feel unproductive and unmotivated and very overwhelmed. My stress is affecting me physically, and getting out of bed is lame. My eyes stick together and I just want to lay in a ball and hide until December 16.

Anyway, I was reading in my journal... It was an entry from week 10 of camp this summer... Wednesday of Week 10 to be exact. I can't remember writing the entry, but I imagine it was around 6:30 in the morning and I was sitting on the counter in the bathroom with my back against the wall and my knees up in front of my face. That or I was laying on my stomach across the counter. I had 5th graders that week. By that point, I knew it was my last cabin. My girls were studs, but there was one who was very hard to love. This is what I wrote:

I can't love Madeline. She drives me crazy. Completely crazy. Please! Love despite me. Shove me out of the way and love regardless of my agenda. Because I can't. Break those walls and give her JOY! I know You want to teach me something through this. Make Yourself clear!

I'm so tired! I feel so bad.
Give me patience when mine is wearing thin.
Give me joy when I'm not content.
Help me smile when I can't.

I was obviously struggling. It's funny that I don't remember being as miserable as I sound. I know that I had been there for 11 weeks... 75 days to be exact. I know that I had been sick for weeks with no medicine and no rest. But I what I remember is my girls... the joy they brought me... winning the spirit stick 3 times with their crazy cheers, watching them dance around the cabin during FOB, listening to their crazy stories during one-on-ones. Here is what I wrote 2 days later, on Friday:

Lord! You have taught me so much!
I am inadequate. I can't love, be patient, be joyful, wake up without Him.
In my quietness, He speaks loud and clear.
My body is falling apart yet He continues to give me strength.
My voice is gone, but He speaks.
My only reason for being here is to give myself away.

aaah... I love that God used those hard times to challenge me and teach me then... and He is still using those same hard times to encourage me and stretch me now. I can't finish these two weeks. He is going to have to live through me. I am tired and worn out and stressed and my head hurts and I feel so so so worthless. But He is worthy.

I took a study break and just read my Bible earlier, and this is what I found:

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness, His mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him."
The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for Him and seek Him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of His discipline.
Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord's demands. Let them lie face down in the dust; then at last there is hope for them. Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them. Let them accept the insults of their enemies.
For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion according to the greatness of His unfailing love...
[Lamentations three]

Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?
No, despite all these things,
[Romans eight]

I'm so glad He still loves me.

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