Let me first apologize because I have not posted since the beginning of the month. I can make excuses, but I will not. I am behind on one of my yearly goals, but I am getting back on track today.
So in my She Reads Truth (http://shereadstruth.com/) community we have been studying the book of Nehemiah and have been charged with reflecting on how the book ends and what we feel God is wants us to see. Now the book of Nehemiah is about rebuilding, repenting, and reorganizing. Nehemiah, who by the way has an awesome job working for the king and no worries, finds out that Jerusalem’s gates have been destroyed and the city is in disarray. He sets out on a mission to rebuild the gates and the city, and even asks the king for help. Now that’s favor. He goes and rallies the people to build the gates despite others telling him not to and threatening to attack them. These people had to not only build the gates, but protect themselves at the same time. After the gates are completed Nehemiah gets the people back on track by first having them repent for straying away from God’s word and than praising Him for the chance to get it right again. Nehemiah reorganizes the people and the city. He then returns back to his job with the king. He later goes back for a visit, and wouldn’t you know the people are not following God’s word again! And, this is how the book ends.
This is another story in the Bible where I want to go back in time and shake these people! God has yet again delivered you into safety and set things right, and you go and mess it up again! How many times does it take for you to learn? And then, I go look in the mirror. And I see myself in these people. I have lost count of the number of times God has had to rebuild me, I have had to repent, and I have had to reorganize my life. And let’s keep it real, it is going to happen a bunch of more times. God wants us to see that no matter how many times we mess up, He will be there to help us rebuild, to repent, and to reorganize.
There are many areas of our lives where this can occur. Instead of being frustrated we need to embrace the process and work on learning from the experience. I am currently in the process in a couple of areas, and I had a moment of wanting to feel sorry for myself. I realized that will only prolong the process and let’s face it I am the one who put myself in this position. I chose to look at this experience in a positive manner, work on getting back on track and remaining on track. So I encourage you to look at what areas in your life need to be rebuilt, where you need to repent, and where you need to reorganize. And remember that this is a continual process that you may go through at different stages of life and in different areas, but now He has your back!
Today is a #SheSharesTruth moment with my http://shereadstruth.com/ ladies. We are focusing on the “Great Commission” from Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20) and discussing moments when God commissioned us to go out and spread the Gospel. I have had the pleasure of God using me numerous times. Coming off of the Dunwoody Baptist Church Jamaica Mission Trip 2014, I want to concentrate on my call to camps. I have grown up going to camps all my life. I remember going to Sunbeam and Girl Guard camp with the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club throughout elementary school. I would also attend camps through Young Life during high school. so it is not hard to believe that as an adult, somehow my journey would lead me back to camps.
During undergrad at Georgia State University (GSU) I was an active member of the Baptist Student Union. I remember one day my campus minister coming to me and stating that there is a new mission trip opportunity that she believes I would be perfect for. She was contacted by a friend who manages a camp in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, NY, Camp Olmstead. I interviewed by phone and was selected to be a Female Camp Counselor for the whole summer. Now telling my mother this was a different story. She was like “No. I do not know these people and you do not have family up there that I can have check on you.” Now I had prayed about this and I knew that without a shadow of a doubt God was calling me to go. So this is the statement I made to my mother: “Mom I love you and I do not mean any disrespect, but God has called me to go. Since I am more afraid of God than you, I am going.” After holding my breath and realizing that I was still standing, my mother stated “Ok.” Years later my mother told me that when she came to visit if she did not like what she saw or the people she would have made me go home. LOL The following summer I worked the camp again as Head Female Counselor. The experience was wonderful and I was able to work with children teaching them more about God. I am known for my discipline of having the campers memorize Bible verses related to the issue that the camper were having. I like to think that was the start of a few Bible scholars. LOL
My senior year at GSU, 2002 (hey stop trying to calculate my age LOL), my camp counselor once again came to me about another mission trip. This time she stated that a local church goes to Jamaica to conduct a camp for girls. “A international trip?! Who me?! What will my mom say about this?” were my immediate thoughts. I talked with my mother who by this point knew that if I am called, I am going no matter what. I interviewed and was selected. That year was the start of many years of Jamaica Missions. I have had the opportunity to serve with camp, as well as with workshop. For not only do we go conduct a camp, but there are workshops for workers of the Child Development Agency to enhance their skills of working with the children under their care.
The team has watched me graduate with an undergraduate degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree. I was able to create a program for my dissertation to teach the campers. The camp has evolved over the years to reaching more youth all over Jamaica. This country has become my second home! As I reflect back over my journey, I think about how God has prepared me all my life for this type of mission work. I have other mission work that I do locally, but there is a special place in my heart for camps.
Now, camps may not be what God has commissioned you for, but He has commissioned you for something. Pray and search for what you are commissioned for. Talk to others and take a risk. It is amazing to see how God uses you to change others’ lives, but I feel that my life has been changed even more by sharing God’s love!