Summer 2016 was a roller coaster. In a word, it was freeing. I unhinged from all of my responsibilities at home this summer and set off for 10 weeks. When you are a teen and a twenty-something you have opportunities and freedoms that adults sometimes have to let go of. These freedoms can shape who you are.
Freedom to go. This is a big thing for me. This is our time to go, see, and experience everything. Before you grow up and get your big adult job, you have to go and see this huge world we live in. Over the course of the summer I only spent one week at home. I understand this isn’t possible for everyone, but go and see somewhere you’ve never been PLEASE. You will never be as free as you are now.
Freedom to fall in love. Falling in love is one of the most beautiful and magical experiences that God has given us. I love the picture it paints of how God loves and pursues us. I am always reminded of this when I’m obsessing over these initial “falling in love” feelings. It’s freeing to let your guard down and open your heart to someone. That being said, protect your heart. Be careful. Falling in love is awesome, falling out of it is hard. Being young is a whirlwind.
Freedom to be a friend, first. When you’re young, you get to make your friendships your most important thing, and I was so lucky this summer. I got to spend so much time with my friends. The whole month of June I spent traveling the whole earth with my bff Emily. We roadtripped to Florida to work for a few weeks, and then drove straight home to board a flight to serve with World Hope in Kenya. I will cherish that time with her for the rest of my life. We made approximately 750 thousand (just an estimate) pb&j’s while in Kenya, and were obsessed with making hilarious Boomerangs (those GIF things on Instagram, ya know.) I got to bring my other bff Emily (confusing, I know) to Ohio with me for the week I was home. We played Pokémon Go for a whole two days and ate so much sushi. This girl keeps me laughing nonstop and we both cried when she left. I turned 20 while Emily was here and I cried huge happy tears the day we celebrated with everyone. I am so thankful for these friendships God has blessed me with. Also, while working at Camp Andy for 5 weeks this summer I was able to see some old friends and make new friends. Camp Andy crew: I heart you guys so big.
Freedom to serve. As young people sometimes we have more time to give. Let’s do something important with it. As God’s people we should be running towards opportunities to serve and help others to know Him. I was fortunate to watch God transform lives this summer. It is such a gift when you get to be where you know God is working every single day. At camp I was able to see dozens of kids come to accept Christ each night. I hope I always get to be part of something that big. Find where God is working near you and get involved. Serve. Be part of the change God is making and hope that it changes you too.
Freedom to let go. It is freeing and so necessary to let go of past hurts. This summer I got to face some things from my past that I had been quietly carrying for years. I got to have a bit of a healing process and was able to give those hurts back to God.
Freedom to change. One of my favorite things about being young is all of the change. I know change is scary, but it is sort of freeing that nothing ever stays completely the same. I love that as a teen and as a twenty-something, no one is surprised at how quickly we change our minds and change our ways. At camp I was able to have my quiet time with Jesus by the river each morning. On some mornings the river would be so still it looked like glass. Those were my favorite mornings. God is incredible and it’s amazing to me that in all of His power and glory He wants to be part of our lives. Let Him. Draw near to Him and let Him change you every single day. It is freeing to know that you’re allowed to change. Change your hair, change your mind. Change anything you want and know that He still knows you better than you know yourself. Knowing that He has got you in the palm of His hand and knowing that you are clothed in His grace and love is the most freeing knowledge you can have.
Thanks for reading.
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