That statement was the teaching point of the middle school winter retreat this last weekend at Camp Tapawingo. It was an amazing weekend filled with laughter, games, staying up late and learning from God's word. It was refreshing to spend time with so many mid-high girls....I don't remember laughing that much in a long time. :)
We drove up to the camp Friday afternoon, and got right to having some fun. We played a Mission Impossible game the first night...where Ashley Higgins and I got a little loopy hiding from the students in the dark by the fire pit...some dancing around the fire was in order. :) One of our girls, Emily, came bursting out of the bushes at one point and...well the picture of both her legs tells the story better than I could...I do recall "someone" telling her shorts may not be the best choice for night games... :)
Emily's Hurt Legs
Saturday was filled up with teaching times, hiking down to the river and many games of dodge-ball (Ga-Ga ball). It was so much fun to watch Jason connecting with the guys in his small group. He had some guys following him around the whole time. :) I think a couple of them are a little addicted to disc golf now too. :) The conversations and the friendships that were created this weekend were so neat to participate in and watch grow. God was doing some powerful things through these students.
Me and Sara
Sophie, Ashleigh, Sara and Emily
In the afternoon on Saturday Jason organized a game of human clue where the leaders dressed up as different characters and the students had to figure out who did the crime, where and with what. It was so much fun! Jason and I were teachers...a stretch I know ;) We made the kids do jumping jacks (P.E.) and read (first grade) in order to ask their questions. Turns out...Jason and I were the criminals! :)
Human Clue: The "Teachers"
Savannah and Me
I loved getting to spend time getting to know my girls. Middle school is such an interesting time in a girls life. They are struggling to figure out who they really are, and where they fit in. I am so thankful that God meets each of them exactly where they are, and that He loves them where they are at. Each of them holds a special place in my heart...I pray that we would all place God as our one purpose...what an amazing weekend!
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this [trial], that it should leave me.
But, he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with
weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I thank the Lord that I can rest in His grace and His plan, and that when I go through trails, and the people around me go through hardships that He is in control.I will be honest and admit that I do struggle with wondering why God does not take certain afflictions and hurt away, but I also know that He works ALL things through for His glory and for His plan. I know that I may never know the full extent for why He allows specific trials to cross my path, but I am resting in the fact that when I am walking through those trials, I am not walking in them alone.
Jesus overcame the ultimate trail, when He was crucified on the cross for me; a fact that is so easy to ignore and forget. He overcame the grave and rose, so that I would not have to have sorrow and pain, but that I could come to Him and allow Him to fill my heart and heal me. He is the rock that I can stand upon; a rock that is stronger than a job, stronger than relationships, stronger than me.
That section of verses really impacted me...to feel strong in weakness....when I am feeling weak the last thing that I am feeling is strong, and yet I realize that when I am feeling so weak, it is when I need Him and seek Him the most. It is so "easy" to think that I have it all in 'control,' and that I can make it on my own, but the truth is God is waiting for me to turn to Him and lean on His power, grace and love.
From now on I choose to let His strength get me through, not my own, "For when I am weak, then I am STRONG."
I will leave you with this video of one of my favorite songs, I Will Rise, by Chris Tomlin: