Sep 9, 2012


"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:10,11

Ok, now for the ironic side of the last entry.

There is one lesson that I have been taught repeatedly over the last few years. It's quite simple, but evidently I have a difficult time letting it stick. The lesson is this: I am not God.

"You know, you're kinda like God to me," she'd said. Oh goodness, child, please phrase that sentence differently! Let me explain my severe discomfort.

A week after hearing this phrase, I found myself surrounded by girls in sorrow and pain. Naturally, I loved on them. I hugged and listened and questioned and prayed and cried. The floodgates of hurt flew open in a fashion that I know began by God's leading: that was the only time this summer that I felt that I needed to have this particular worship. And there was a healthy space for it. There were words that needed to be said and heard. There were hugs that needed to be received.

But somehow it became unhealthy very quickly. I became an emotional crutch for a number of children. Very subtly, my focus became problem-solving: how can I help/fix/restore? Yet whose mind should be on these matters, mine or God's? How embarrassing it is to examine this in retrospect. But in the midst of it all, I was a blinded wreck--emotionally, physically (late night conversations were taking a toll on all of us), and spiritually. Thankfully, I have people in my life willing to continue sentences that start with, "I know you won't want to hear this…" Camp isn't therapy was the gist of that conversation. Also, Katelyn has limits.

God doesn't have limits. Katelyn has limits. And sometimes, most of the time, God will bring healing to someone without using Katelyn as a primary conduit. I wrote a while back about the concept of serving a limitless God. I think limits and inabilities and problems crop up when the emphasis on serving God and following His lead is disregarded. The more the focus is on me and what I can do, the more problematic the situation becomes.

Codependency. I don't like that word. I like even less that I participate in it. I'm working on that. I'm realizing that I have been given gifts and abilities that can be of great benefit to others in their walks. But if I am making a significant appearance on a stage set for God and His child, I think I can often be of more harm to all of us than the help I may intend. Restoration is something that God alone can provide for people. When I try to provide it, I become less of a friend and more of a crutch. And really, I don't want people to hobble through life with me supporting their weight; I want people to be healed.

God's working on restoring me. Ultimately, I want to see Him restore and heal those around me. And for that to happen, I just might have to take a step back and let that happen. Because I'm not God.

I'm Katelyn.

Sep 2, 2012


"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:12
"Miss Shasta?"
She was my girl who could never remember my name. She'd started calling me Mrs. Shasta after the name of my cabin, a name I constantly cheered throughout the day. I'd happily agreed to the name, requesting a slight modification to the title.
"Miss Shasta?"
I had come back from my weekly day off just before cabin worship and bedtime. Now I had just turned the lights out, an indication that all talking should cease. But one of my kids was calling me. I crouched down next to her bunk. "Yeah?"
"I'm glad you're back."
"I'm glad to be back with you, sweetie."
"No, I mean, I'm really glad you're back. I didn't go all the way up the giant swing today, and if you'd been here I think I would've."
"It's ok. You went as far up as you felt safe going. And you did it! That's what counts. That's awesome!"
She shifted in her sleeping bag. "I almost didn't do it. I was too scared. But then I remembered your face and how you helped me at BMX, and I did it."
I smiled. "Way to go, girly. I'm excited to do the activities with you tomorrow. But for now we need to get some slee--"
"You know, you're kinda like God to me." I gave a small chuckle as she continued. "I just thought of you, and I felt better."
"Sometimes God is easiest to see and feel when we experience Him in others. His love and His strength and His courage become more real to us when we see them reflected in other people."
"Uh huh. I missed you. Thank you for coming back."
"Glad to be back, sweetie. Now let's go to sleep."
There's a lot of irony as to when this exchange took place this summer. But I'll get to that on another occasion.
I didn't have any grand, teary, Friday night conversion experience with my girls this summer, a little different than the last two years. And I'm ok with that. Instead I had conversations about predestination while getting ready for bed. I had girls requesting me to intensely pray about dismal situations at home. I had "I love you more" wars with my cabin on the way to activities. And as I research and ponder and imagine what mission work looks like to me, whether in a primitive land or at a summer camp, I keep boiling it down to just two simple things.
First, I'm going to enjoy what I believe. I'm going to enjoy God. I'm going to enjoy what His salvation story looks like in my life. Because it really is quite fantastic.
Then, I'm going to love people. I'm going to love all kinds of people in all sorts of ways. And I'm going to enjoy it, because it's something I believe in.
Really, God can take it from there. I'll just follow His lead. I mean, if I'm asked to give Bible studies or a sermon or what have you, I'll very gladly do it. I by no means intend to be silent about the one I call Lord. But honestly, I don't want to be called a Soul Winner. That title makes me cringe, and I think it makes the "Winnees" cringe, too.
I think people today would much rather be invited to a party than be sought out as quarry. If I'm finding true life to the full within what I have chosen to believe, and if someone finds that appealing, then there is a beautiful, open avenue for good news to be shared. Telling people repeatedly that the Christian lifestyle is the way to go is nothing close to physical evidence of what such a lifestyle is like.
Some people call it friendship evangelism. I think I'd like to just call it friendship. No hidden agendas. If you like what you see, feel free to join the movement. If you don't, let's just enjoy the friendship. I'll cheer for you as you go up the giant swing. And if you see God in that, well, it makes sense. He can be kind of hard to dim at times. That's one of the things I enjoy about Him.