As many of you probably know, I have the amazing opportunity to work at Gull Lake Ministries this summer! For those of you who don’t know much about it, it is a family camp in Michigan. A couple days ago I got back from an 11-day orientation, and I will be returning to officially work there during all of July into early August!
Well, orientation was a whirl-wind. Quite literally (almost). It was crazy. It was very busy, with a lot going on. Some bad attitudes on my part were brought up in my mind, hoping that Christ will help me get rid of those as I prepare to actually start working there for about a month. Maybe to you, a month doesn’t sound like a long time at all. Okay, in reality, it’s really not. But let me tell you something…
EACH DAY DURING ORIENTATION FELT LIKE A WEEK!
Not that that is a bad thing, but when Orientation was finally over, I couldn’t believe that I had just been there for a week in a half. I felt like I hadn’t been home in forever! So, anyway, yeah…being there for an entire month scares me a little. Okay, maybe a L O T . Not that that’s bad. I think maybe that’s a good thing. Anyway, let me stop rambling…
I just wanted to share a few things that God has put on my heart and taught me…in 11 days! at orientation.
- Working at a camp is hard! So, I knew it would be hard. Obviously. But it was harder than I thought it might be. In fact, during the first couple of days, I really didn’t think I would be able to make it through orientation. 11 days felt like forever to stay there, and then I had to come back and work for AN ENTIRE MONTH??! How in the world would that even be possible?! I thought I was wayyyy in over my head here! This was NOT comfortable at all. I felt like I wasn’t qualified enough and fears tumbled through my head about not being able to do what was asked of me and being completely embarrassed and having to leave.
- But it’s so worth it. Did I mention that I was only there for 11 days?? But after that time, I didn’t want to leave. Maybe not all of my motivation came from wanting to serve the Lord and others and all of that… (I had to admit, that wasn’t a lot of it, although I will say that I really am excited to see what God speaks to my heart through all of this this summer!). But I really didn’t want to leave. I had made friends…people that I didn’t know at ALL (except King). At the very beginning of orientation, Ambush (one of the leaders) said that we would become close to these people. At that point, I really wasn’t all that sure about that…but it’s amazing what happens while you are there, working side-by-side with these people! I was so sad to leave the people that were first half, especially, because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to see them hardly at all anymore!
- Service is hard, but it’s possible. I remember thinking several times throughout orientation that I might not be cut out for this. I’m not “good” at service. I didn’t think I was “enough of a servant” to do well in this job, in this place. But for some reason, I got through all of orientation. I even enjoyed certain parts of service, when my head was in the right place!
- God knows where I’m at. And He even has me there for a reason! I applied to work as a counselor. I got kitchen. YES, you heard me right. KITCHEN! Me? Ha! If you know me much at all, you know that I don’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen. Not that I hate it, or I’m terrible at it…I just haven’t spent the time learning all of that stuff…growing up, I was much more interesting in being outside. Being in the kitchen is HARD WORK. And people don’t really even think about you being in there all day. It may seem easy from the outside, but believe me, IT’S NOT! You are literally in there ALL day, working 14+ hour days, just working 0n all of the meals for the day! You are standing on your feet all day, until they get numb…and then you’re STILL standing on your feet for hours and hours and hours after that! What has helped me is singing along with the Christian songs that are often playing in the kitchen all day. This helps me to get my head in the right place and focus on having fun and focusing on Christ, instead of my aching feet, how hot or cold I am (grilling 100+ hamburgers, or organizing the fridges and freezers, I’ve done both!), etc. It is a struggle to not want to be recognized by other staff more often by the hard work that I am doing, but I know that I should be doing this for God, anyway. It’s rough and some days are much harder than others, but overall I actually am starting to enjoy myself in there, WHEN my head and heart are set on the right things!
- Little blessings, are BIG blessings! So, at camp, I’m not allowed to spend much time at ALL with my boyfriend. I completely understand why and it is really a good thing. But, it’s tough. Especially some days. I have REALLY good days, and then I have some not so good days. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the other staff that I work with, which I may not have done so well if I was ‘allowed’ to spend more time with King. Also, I have come to appreciate the tiny little blessings, which now seem like a huge deal to me, which I LOVE. While at camp, I appreciate being able to catch a glimpse of King, even if he’s across the room, and smile at each other. That helps me know that I’m not alone, and that He is thinking about me too, and that He loves me. And I am appreciating more and more the small amounts of time that we DO get to talk to each other. Even if it’s asking what he did that day. Or how it went. Doesn’t have to be deep. We don’t really have time for deep conversations, at least in person (also, writing letters, although hard, is completely AWESOME!), but that’s okay too! It’s these little things that are sooo so amazing and I absolutely love!
Maybe there’s more, I’m not sure at the moment, though. If I can learn that many things in 11 days, think of what God can do in a whole month! As I mentioned before, yes, I am a little scared. A month is a longgg time. I’m gonna be tired. Irritated. Exhausted. And probably many other feelings such as that. But I also know that I’m gonna be alright, because God has put me at GULL LAKE MINISTRIES, and in the job KITCHEN, for a very specific purpose. It wasn’t a mistake. So I can do it!
Also, if you could send me encouragement/letters/etc. while I am there in July, that would be completely awesome!! I will include more information on that later, as it comes closer! ❤