From the age of eight or so through my high school years, I’d usually go to a week or two of church sponsored camp every summer. I often attended with members of my youth group I’d known since I was born. Every year we would reunite with other youth groups from churches throughout the southeast for some scripture memorization, warnings against premarital fornication and praise music.
I loved it.
Each summer I made more friends, and being the writerly type of girl I am, I’d write them letters throughout the year and eagerly await their return mail that would hopefully contain tangible Kodak moments of our good times. Those pictures were proof that those magical weeks actually happened. That we were truly all together there for the same reason, shacking up in unair-conditioned cabins for a week, trading clothes, and scoping on which boys we’d like to possibly dry hump after sharing our love for JC at the Friday night bonfire finale. Inside I dreaded going back home to the reality of school pressure, dysfunctional family life, and other tween/teen angst minutiae.
During those weeks I felt alive. Like I was among my people. My faith was rejuvenated and I was reminded that there were people in the world who wanted the same things I did. Who struggled with their faith the way I did (and still do).
While I was there, free of distractions, I could see everything so clearly-where and whom I was meant to be, and how I could get there.
I felt like I belonged.
When I’d get home and go back to school, I’d wear the t-shirt emblazoned with the camp logo. It showed everyone else that I’d been somewhere special. That way it felt like it was okay if they didn’t get me. Because some people out there, somewhere, did get me, and they had experienced those same intense and powerful emotions there that I had. That was enough for me.
It still is.
I need time with people who get me and blogging as a whole. A quick weekend together never seems like quite enough, but I love coming away from them feeling focused, inspired and holding new perspective in a Figure Four Leg Lock so it can’t get away.
This is my love letter to all of you who attended the Aiming Low Non-Conference this weekend. And to those of you who put it together, thank you. It was exactly what I needed. I’m so sad it’s over, and I can’t wait to see you next year. (Extra special thanks to my slam piece, John, who stayed home with the kids so I could go, and to Heather, who drove my Miss Daisy tail down and back.)