okay, finally. a free second to get my thoughts together and actually update this little guy!
Today was a fairly normal day at windy gap. saturdays are always pretty easy for me in the office, so in the morning I went down and had some pool time with Jill and Becky for a couple of hours before i went into the office. I ended up having a really good talk with one of the summer staff girls that i’ve been trying to sit down with for the last few days. she’s sort of starting to struggle with depression so it was neat to get to speak some truth to her about God still being present even when it feels like He’s not. I’ve actually had a ton of good talks this week…I got to hang out with a couple of work crew girls and we talked for an hour just about contentment and obedience and not basing our peace on the way things are going in life, but in the fact that the Lord knows us and that our names are written in the book of life, because those things are actually stable. It’s been SUCH a reassurance to me that the Lord is calling me to pursue counseling somehow, which is great timing because I just started seminary applications. I’ve been freaking out about the fact that all the programs I like are super far from the South. There’s Covenant in St. Louis, DTS in Dallas, Gordon-Conwell in Boston…and it just sounds ridiculous to me to move to a huge city like that all alone as a 21-year-old college grad. And what person is going to come to a 23-year-old for counseling? And St. Louis is like…the #3 most dangerous city in America. What am I thinking?
So all of that has put me in the mindset of “I can’t do this, I’m too young, I should have stayed a bio major, I should be applying to medical school right now.” Andthat drives me crazy because I know that none of that is from the Lord and that it’s 100% scared Amanda speaking. And so it really has been great to be back in situations where people affirm that I’m gifted with wise counsel. I don’t say that to be arrogant, I just know that counseling is the spiritual gift God gave me…to see people where they are and to discern how to point them back to Jesus, even as a twenty-year-old who has been through some junk but really knows nothing about the real world. But it’s like the Lord knows that I’m questioning whether or not I’m equipped for it and I’m just blown away by the random affirmation I’ve been getting.
A couple of the work crew bosses approached me today to tell me that the server girls were sharing the advice I gave them with the other work crew girls the other night, just things about contentment and struggles, and that they were amazed that I knew exactly what to say.
One of the freshmen girls I mentored last year in Spartanburg is transferring to USC in the fall, but she’s here on summer staff for horses. She shared her life story today with her intern, Becky (who just so happens to be my roommate). Becky came by the office today and told me about how Ashley said that I was the only healthy friendship she had in Spartanburg, and that she wouldn’t be at Windy Gap this summer if I hadn’t pursued her and brought her to wrangle last semester, and that the only reason why she was getting out of the bad community she’d been in at college and was here on SS growing in the Lord right now was because of me.
Steve Chesney, the camp speaker this session, stopped me today on the sidewalk and said that I had a composure of grace and a certain peace about me that made him feel totally at ease. Nevermind that Steve has been one of my spiritual role models for years and that words from him have been spiritual handholds in my battle with depression, and nevermind that I never dreamed that someone would describe me as peaceful.
And then it was full circle with Jodi at the pool this morning, who started crying while sharing her story with me, and said that it was the first time she had felt comfortable crying in front of someone in about a year.
God is good. And I’m learning a ton here. And I’m getting really excited for the next chapter of life. I feel like I’m finally at the point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is depression and I can see the day where depression will leave and it will not return. That’s a good feeling. Anyway, I have to go finish climbing out of a hole now. Maybe you do too.
“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift…”
1 Timothy 1:4-15