We survived youth camp! We are exhausted though. Dare I admit that my husband and I went to bed last night at 8:30 and didn't get up until 6:00 or 6:30 this morning? I almost have the laundry done too! Yahoo!!
God moved in the camp and we expected Him to. Not just for the campers but for us counselors and presentors also.There is so much pain out there with our youth today, so much pain....
We have a blessing to share until I can figure out how to download the pictures from our new camera onto this computer. Last year at camp our girls did not respond to the messages. This year, they did. On the third night of camp they went forward and prayed-we left them alone and let another counselor pray over them. That was so hard but we knew they needed their space. We tried to give them lots of that this past week-it's hard being a teenager at a camp where your parents are not only presenting workshops but also serving as counselors. The second night they went forward I followed and I prayed out loud so they could hear my heart, hear me as I admitted my failures to God as their mother and my commitment to love, support and care for them better. I am not for sure why they went forward and maybe in time I will learn but they went and I am so thankful for it. I am thankful for their tears and the heart they were presenting to God. We have been praying for them daily for 4 years. Each day I would ask God to capture their hearts and I hope my prayers have been answered.
As we have been home less than 24 hours my daughter has faced a tough situation with a unchurch, unsaved "best friend". I have been cautious with this girl since she has enter my daughters life a few years ago and this " best friend" has finally proved my intuitions and shown herself not to be a friend at all. She has even suggested my daughter cannot walk away from the life she has been living or the way she has been living. My daughter was at her fathers house and was alone when all this went down. Trust me, there is so much more here and her pain is very real at this moment. She texted me that she wanted to come home. At first I didn't want to drive the distance it would take to get her but then she said "I want to be a better Christian but it is hard when [friend] keeps telling me everything I have done wrong". I immediately texted her "I'm on my way". I was not letting this teachable, loving moment slip from my hands. I know those thoughts. She can walk away from "what she has done wrong" with God's grace-I have. I had to tell her how.
We talked openly and candidly on the drive home. I did not come down on her-I had promised her I wouldn't. She is in so much pain and rejection. She has made some bad choices and we laid them out before God. She commented, "I want to be a good Christian and I want to forgive her mom". My heart swelled and we talked about pressing forward, not looking behind except to see how far we have come from what we have been or where we have been (thank you Lysa-right from your book!). But I am also feeling a bit guilty as I do not want to forgive this "best friend" and what she is trying to do to my daughter (this girl kept texting me about my daughters faults and "sins"). I want her out of my daughters life...but .....this girl needs Jesus. Pray for us as we walk through this trial. Pray my daughter will cling to Jesus and if this "friend" finds her forgiveness and enters back into our life that we will help her find God. Pray I can approach this with the mind of Christ. Pray for good Christian friends for my girls, and your children.
My stepdaughter is also struggling. We have temporary custody of her. It is her desire to live with us. She turns sixteen on Saturday. This Thursday we go to court to finalize this custody but last week while at camp we received an e-mail from our attorney. Her mother agrees to give us custody of her but only if we agree to not change the child support. In other words, the mother wants us to pay her to have the child live with us. If we do not agree the mother will fight us in court. My stepdaughter is feeling rejected and she too is in a lot of pain. Why do kids have to choose between parents when there is a divorce. We have always been supportive of her and her time with her mother and we encourage this strained relationship. In some cases maybe that is not wise but in my view a child of any age should be able to love and visit both parents without a cost involved, without a need to take sides. Pray for my stepdaughter and pray God will work for her best in Thursday's court date. I want her to have a happy 16th birthday in her eyes. Pray her mother will change her mind and grant her wishes. She needs structure and rules and we are so thankful that she see's that and honored she chooses to live with us.
From one drama to joy to another drama...I chose to live victorious anyway!!
Thank you for the prayers~~MrsJoeB