I was sitting there enjoying my Christmas dinner when my dad suddenly asked, “So, have you heard that Red Rock Bible Camp is looking for a Camp Director?”And suddenly my stomach did this big lurch thing that made me almost throw up my Christmas dinner.
It was such a weird moment. Ben and I had often talked about how we would love to do camp ministry at some point in our lives – at any camp, but because we had worked at Red Rock for a number of summers, we had always kind of dreamed of what it would be like to work there full time.
But it wasn’t in the plan. We were loving our life in Niverville. Youth ministry at the church there was going better than it ever had in the five years that we’d been there. We were feeling satisfied and fulfilled, and were not thinking of going anywhere.
On the way home from that Christmas gathering, we decided that although working at Red Rock had been a dream of ours for a long time, we weren’t going to pursue it. It wasn’t the right time. The end.
A week later, my dad asked if Ben had applied yet. I said no.
A week later he asked again. I said no again.
Ben and I talked about it some more. We finally decided that he would at least send his resume in. We weren’t going anywhere, but it would seem kind of silly not to apply, when it was something that we’d always wanted to do.
And then we were interviewed. We still told ourselves that we weren’t going anywhere.
And then we were offered the job. We asked for a week to think and pray about it.
That week was so hard. How do you wrestle through that question – “What is God’s will for my life?” And even once you think you’ve figured out the answer, how can you say with complete confidence, “God has told me to do this”? Was it really God? Maybe it’s all in my own head…
That week, I was reading through the book of Exodus. And I was praying constantly that God would show us what to do. I prayed that somehow, through Scripture, that He would speak to me. And this is what I read:
In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out – until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. (Exodus 40:36-38)
And suddenly my worry and stress lifted, because I realized that all of our plans were in God’s hands, and when He said “Go”, we would go. I didn’t know how He would communicate that to us, exactly, but I was praying.
When I told Ben about what I had read, he said, “Great. If the sun shines all week, we go, but if it’s cloudy, we’ll know that the cloud has not lifted from Niverville!”
The sun did shine all week, but that’s not how we made our decision.
After a few days of the “Think and Pray About It Week” , I asked Ben how he was feeling about stuff. He said that God had told him we were going, but Ben hadn’t made up his mind yet! It kind of felt like deep down, we both just knew that God was calling us to go, even if our thoughts and emotions hadn’t caught up yet.
So we went.
And while we were really excited, it was also incredibly hard. Telling the youth that we were leaving was heartbreaking. But at the same time, there was peace. God worked out so many details that seemed impossible to us.
And now, here we are.
When we first came, I thought I knew exactly why God had brought us to camp. Now I’m not so sure. Kind of like that whole idea of the more you learn, the less you know. The last three and a half years have been filled with so many rich experiences, but also with a lot of challenges and times of stretching, learning, and growth. And I keep finding that I don’t always understand God’s purposes or plans.
But the amazing part is that I don’t have to. I am so glad that there’s a bigger picture that He sees, even if I can’t. It’s better that way, because I want to follow Him by faith, not by details! To pick up when He says “go”, and to settle in when He says “stay”. To be ready for anything, and to live a life of obedience, even when I don’t understand His ways. To serve fully and faithfully wherever I am.