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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

session four: bittersweet

Updated: Jul 4, 2022


this week started off with our bus getting in 3 hours late and giving them little caesar's for lunch. but there were some campers that walked off the bus that so faithfully pursued friendship with me last summer. ones that came to dish excited bc they got to continue conversations with me and wanted to update me on things about their own lives. campers who made me laugh during every meal bc of their joy and kindness.

there were boys who would come to serve in socks & sandals and look at me cluelessly when i would tell them to go change even though this was their second year of doing dish with me.

there were moments of sitting around in a circle on the floor of the dining hall, writing the menu board for breakfast, and seven 16 year-old girls putting you in the hot seat.

there was a one-on-one with my boss that was so intentional and fruitful and man do i just love talking to him and learning from him. (literally so wise, he's the one who leads our bible study)

there was one night where five girls that i live with were physically in my bed and we were just talking about life and catching up as a cabin.

there was the sweetest surprise of one of my best friends showing up at camp, and me promptly sobbing (understandably so) bc i hadn't seen him since february. and there is something about being able to just sit with someone who just knows you and is just as eager to hear about what is going on in your life as you are for them. when he walked into the dining hall, it felt like it was fully home again. but he still had to leave to go back to his job.

there was also a day of exhaustion, a day where my lack of sleep caught up to me and i let it affect my work. my pendulum was out of balance, and man did i feel it.

there was an afternoon where we finally finished a puzzle we had been working on since the beginning of summer, while also having a super interesting conversation with people that i truly value. where friends came back from climbing the mountain in our backyard and we greeted them with cinnamon rolls and bacon mac & cheese. that same night being one of the most restful bc i just got to talk to two of my favorite people and watch top gun and write letters and just be present.

but then there was the morning he finally left for the air force, where chelsea and i greeted him with our thrifted air force shirts (these were the sick finds from last week). bittersweet.

the verses this week were Philippians 2:5-6:

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who being, in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;"

it may just be bc i am focusing on two verses a week that i am seeing them reflected, but it happened again. campers who truly loved each other well and served well and just showed Christ to each other.

bible study this week was sweet bc it literally was two practical ways on how to share the gospel. we started by partnering up and each having one minute to share the gospel. what was cool about that, was that almost none of us used the same scripture.

[check out Titus 3:3-7 if you want to read a super sick snapshot of the gospel]

i absolutely love these strategies bc they are easy to remember in their simplicity. they share how simple yet groundbreaking the gospel is, which is the beauty of it. if you have any questions about these, please let me know i really would love to talk about them.

during off-time, i got to see a familiar place through someone else's eyes. to return to a city full of good memories and make new ones that meant something different. i got to share favorites of mine and experience favorites of theirs for the first time. while my brain did try to ruin a great day, i did not let it. i got to cook breakfast and have a slow morning. but chelsea left for her off week. yet again bittersweet.

i had a moment where i had a pretty big realization, where the Lord basically slapped me across the face to wake me up to the person in front of me. yet then they had to leave camp, another bittersweet moment bc i wished had come earlier in the week.

so prayers for this week:

over that realization, for gosh darn peace (the fruit of the spirit i need most desperately), for clarity, decisions to be made, for intentions behind actions to be intentional and from a place of Truth, and for dependence on the Lord.

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