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Current Life

Let me tell you something. When you get into the early 20’s of your life, words that you use to describe your life contradict each other. Scary fun. Unfamiliar, but comfortable. You will find that there are some days when you are constantly questioning what in the world you are doing with your life. How did you all of sudden get to this point where you have to plan your own meals, buy groceries and cook dinner every night? Where you actually have to pay your bills for real, and where you might be eating peanut-butter and jelly for a week just to make sure you have exactly enough to pay rent. All of these things have become a real reality to me this summer as I live on my own. During the school semesters it’s a little different, yes I could say I’m  “on my own” (whatever that means) but honestly your first summer living on your own, away from home, you actual feel like a real adult. It’s both super fun, and terrifying at the same exact time. Terrifying because WOW I HAVE TO COOK, CLEAN AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO ADULT NOW. But super fun because WOW I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO ADULT NOW AND THAT’S KINDA COOL I GUESS.

Being an “adult” (whatever that means) is honestly a whole new world and a whole new life journey. And I’m only on the brink of it, because I’m still a college student, and I don’t actually have a “real” job yet, so I feel like this is just the shore line of this ocean of life.

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Living away from home, trips back have become so much more important to me. My family has always been a huge part of my life. The few trips I’ve made home this summer (very few, the 10 hour drive kinda cuts into the reality of that) are some of my most treasured moments. Those 6 people I call my family are ridiculous, and I love them.
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I’ve found that you don’t have to be traveling all the time to have cool adventures and find joy in life. Being on your own is an adventure all it’s own. A while there are some days when you just have NO idea what you are doing I take comfort in remembering that NO ONE really knows what they are doing. We all are just trying to figure it out. And everyone trying to figure it out is what makes it fun. It provides lots of topics for conversations at 1AM in the morning while you push the homework and unfinished papers out of the way and talk about anything and everything over cups of coffee until you realize it’s 3AM. That is when you realize what brings joy into life. Loving people and doing life with them.

I’ve discovered that the best way to move through the changing times in your life is this: hold on to what you know to be true and steady, and push through the rest. Push through as you discover what it means to live in whatever stage of life you are in. And when you have good people (whether it’s one person, or twenty-five) you will be okay. Everything will be okay.

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meganandi

Take your time. Don’t be in a hurry. Focus on yourself and becoming the person you want to be, the person you should be, and everything else will fall in to place.

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a year

There is this quote that I love. I love it a lot actually, because it accurately describes how I feel about life. There are a lot of words that resonate with me, but this set of words comes back more often than others.

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”

– Agatha Christie

I read that on tumblr a few years ago. And if there was ever a few sentences that described the past few months, it would be those.

I’ve never been one to have ton of flowery words to describe things. And I think that’s okay. All I really want to say about Junior year was that it was full. I was full of friendships, stress, coffee, laughter, tears, failures, triumphs, learning, joy, and most of all it was full of living.

I think we like to romanticize life sometimes. It makes things sound better when we put it in to words that way, but sometimes I think it’s okay to just let the simplicity and rawness of life come out. Which is why I don’t want to say a lot about my Junior year. I just want to show it through snapshots.

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Midwest Bible Camp || Oh my heart. This place. THIS. PLACE. Every year I’m convinced that it takes a bigger chunk of my heart. I grew up spending several weeks each summer in these cabins. Running around on the green grass. Sitting around the campfire each night. Laying on my back, on the hills looking up at all the stars that weren’t being out-shined by city lights. Pure nature. Only sounds of frogs, crickets and other woodsy things. No cars, no phones, no t.v. Just the wind, dirt, you & God.

This place and the people involved poured so much into me and my life, I can’t even describe to you the things I’ve experienced and learned during my summers there. I’m so ecstatic that I now get to pour myself into the kids and give back by volunteering a few weeks out of my summer to be a part of this place that means so much to me.

But let me tell you about this year: In January, I was almost positive I wouldn’t be returning to camp this year. I thought I would be in a different state and I would be too busy living the “summer college” life that I wouldn’t be able to spare a week of my time. I had the thought “Maybe I’m growing out of camp, maybe it’s time for me to do something different with my summer.” But as my plans changed, I had this gut feeling that I needed to be at camp this year. Something inside me (probably God) was saying “Look you need this. You need to do this.” So I went with it. I agreed to do one week, and then before I knew it I had agreed to do two weeks. Let me tell you something. I do not regret it. I was reluctant to do two weeks. I didn’t want to take that much time off of work, I didn’t want to be in the woods that long. But they needed counselors, and I was available. So I said yes. At first, I wasn’t all that excited, but as the emails and Facebook messages were being sent out, and everyone in the “camp community” started talking to each other about spending a week together, my attitude changed. “Why wouldn’t I be excited about this? I love that place. I grew up there. Last year was amazing. I should be excited!” So I allowed myself to get excited. And those two weeks ended up being two of the best camp weeks I’ve ever experienced.

I wish I could put into adequate words exactly what I experienced this year at Senior week. But one thing that everyone who experiences camp agrees on is that it’s the hardest thing to explain to people who didn’t experience it. I can’t put into words the feeling I get when I’m out there. But camp has a feeling. Time seems to stop, nothing matters but the moments and the people inside the gate. We all have this common goal to experience and learn about God, to heal, to worship, to grow. Words can’t describe what happens, but God just moves in powerful ways. He changes lives out there.

Intermediate week had a totally different vibe for me this year. I don’t know what it was, but I miss that week more than I ever have before in my years of counseling. The kids just have my heart. Their love for life and joy brought a smile to my face and laughter to my lungs every day. They might be entering into the “awkward years,” but I still love them. I am honestly so glad I agreed to be at that week. I didn’t want to at first. I honestly didn’t. But I needed that week just as much as Senior week. My sister wrote a great post about camp, and in it she said:

“Sometimes God calls you somewhere and you’re reluctant about it. Say yes. Say yes because there is a reason why you need to be there. For other people, for the kids, for yourself––there’s a reason.”

I can’t put it into better words than that.

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IMG_5561I let myself go those two weeks at camp. I didn’t use my phone at all the first week, and barely the second. It felt good to not rely on it. Because I was able to focus on the kids, the week, and myself. Camp has such special memories and moments, ones I’ve never forgotten, and ones I never will forget. And I hope, oh I hope, that you have memories and experiences like camp, too. Because they mean the world.

// Marissa

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