We sat in anxious anticipation, making our way down a bumpy dirt road, sticky from a long bus ride without AC. 60 high school freshmen buzzed with excitement behind me, unaware of the epic demonstration of God’s great love that was in store for them in the coming days…minds tangled with enthusiasm and fear.
As for me, fear had no place. We passed the welcome sign to camp and a tangible sense of peace moved through my body. This was home.
Young Life camp is the one place in the world that feels like home to me. I breathe deeper. I sleep better. My head and heart feel clear. The burdens of the world melt away. Things just seem to make more sense.
I had the privilege of spending the last five days at home. I laughed until my stomach hurt, danced until my feet were sore, and cried all sorts of tears because twenty (TWENTY) high school girls somehow managed to steal my heart in the midst of all of it.
I sat next to one of my dearest friends on the way home tonight and tried to ignore the inevitable… but the heaviness wrapped around me like a cloak. The campers were heading back home, but I was leaving mine. And it hurt.
She looked at me knowingly and asked if I would be okay. I told her I would be, but I think sometimes she knows me better than I know myself. We picked up thai food and found a quiet place outside on the grass to giggle over our inability to use chopsticks correctly and we praised God for a stunning sunset.
She asked questions and the tears flowed from my eyes as I realized that five days at home wasn’t enough and I wasn’t ready to be back in the place where such a huge abundance of past hurt lingers like a thick fog in the air. A mosquito bit her forehead and I laughed so hard that I spit a mouthful of chicken out, so we hopped the fence and made our way back to the car. She asked more questions. The tears continued to fall.
And now I’m back at my house and things haven’t changed since five days ago when I left. And I find myself on my knees, praying. Because it’s hard when the place that you’ve called home all of your life doesn’t feel like home. It’s hard to feel committed to people and things in a place that holds so many reminders of past pain and hurt. It’s hard to leave the comfort and beauty of home.
So I stay. Stay in this place that doesn’t feel like home. Stay vulnerable, without all of the answers. Stay on my knees. Praying to a God whose love is more faithful than the morning.