It was my fifth year working at summer camp and I was thrilled about my new role as assistant head counselor. It meant that not only would I be able to interact with the campers, teaching them wakeboarding and water skiing, but I’d also get to support and encourage the female counselors. It felt like I was made for this role, and even though I was struggling in my own spiritual life, I wanted nothing more than to help these young women grow in theirs.
Part of my daily routine was to find a few of the counselors, check in to see if they needed anything, and pray with them. One day I stopped to check on a counselor (we’ll call her Beth) I didn’t know very well. Beth was quiet and unassuming and I wondered if we’d have anything in common. But from the moment we first sat down to talk, I knew my preconcieved ideas about her were wrong. She was gentle, kind, honest and wise. This girl was so full of the love of Christ, she seemed to have some kind of in with God – a direct line of sorts. And what started with me praying for her, ended in her praying for me.
The truth is, at that time in my life I was kind of living a lie. I had gone to that camp partially because I wanted to be there, and partially because I was still in love with my ex-boyfriend, whom I’d convinced to work there as well (messed up, I know). And everyday I fought against the distraction of having him there, and tried to be the “good Christian girl” everyone thought I was. But Beth saw right through it.
One day I was sitting on the side of a hill, overthinking something my ex had said to me, and Beth sat down beside me. She didn’t bother much with small talk, and instead went straight to the heart of the matter.
“Heather, I was praying for you and God showed me a picture of you as a little girl, sitting behind a closed door. He told me that He wants to show you the deep and hidden things.”
The tears began to flow. What Beth didn’t know was that I was bullied as a kid, and on the really bad days, I’d come home from school and run straight to my room. I’d close the door, lean up against it, slide down to the floor and cry. Many days were spent sitting up against that door, weeping my little girl eyes out. And as I sat there crying, she prayed for me. I don’t remember what she said, but I remember feeling God’s presence in a way I hadn’t before.
Later that day I randomly opened my bible to the book of Daniel and read this,“He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” The deep and hidden things – those were the exact words Beth had spoken to me earlier that day! I’d never experienced God speaking to me through a complete stranger before and even though it freaked me out, it comforted me to know that God cared enough about me to bring Beth into my life. But what did it mean that God wanted to show me the “deep and hidden things”? And how did all of this relate to the picture of me behind the door?
To be continued…0