by: Tiffany Armstrong, Crossroads Summer Staffer
For the past six years I've been a camper at Crossroads Summer Camp, but last summer I joined staff! It was one of the best summers of my life, although a journey.
In this blog I hope to share some insecurities to help you see you're not alone. I hope you're encouraged and equipped by what I trust and believe as truth.
Preparing to transition from camper to staffer was thrilling, but to be honest, I was a bit hesitant. I didn’t know what to expect or how my experience might change. I’m a homebody, so naturally the thought of being away from home for an extended period of time was a little worrisome. I’m from a small community and I have family and friends that are basically family, and I was anxious about leaving. But the Lord quickly worked on my heart and I fell in love with the Clayton King Ministries people and the city of Anderson, South Carolina. I was so joyful about being there and when it came time to leave, well, I didn’t want to.
Through the friendships that were created by the staff, I felt at home. I remember having those lazy Sunday afternoons where some of the girls in my dorm and I would sit on the couch and just talk. We’d talk about life, family, friends, relationships, and the Lord. We’d spend time getting to know each other, what we like and what we don’t. Through these conversations I became more open and vulnerable. I was no longer afraid to approach these girls when I needed prayer through a rough day.
I spent the summer getting to know so many new people and hearing camper’s stories about how God has worked in their life. At first, I was also hesitant to advise younger girls. Satan worked on my insecurities and I started to believe that I couldn’t give these girls advice because I’d never experienced what they had or because of my sin. Now, isn’t that silly? We all know that we’re sinners and here I was feeling inadequate because Satan was feeding me my faults that I already knew. These faults were things that I had already brought to God. It was in these moments of weakness that allowed me to relate to these girls so much more. It also allowed me to confide in new friends that I needed prayer and I couldn’t make it through without them.
I was able to use my gifts to serve others in a way that was fun and encouraging. I was pushed to step outside of my comfort zone so much, but this made me realize just what I had been missing out on by staying so cozy in my ways.
The Lord used this summer to not only break me down in order to build me up, but to help me mend other broken people. I got the chance to talk to so many young girls about their lives and what they were going through. Sometimes my heart truly broke for these girls and things they had to experience that no one should have to suffer through. Over and over again I was brought to one verse:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33
To me, this verse was one that I could give to those girls and myself as encouragement. I could tell them that the Lord has a plan for their life and know that He also has a plan for mine. I could say with confidence, “You’re going through this trial now, but trust in Him and know that He has overcome. He is control.”
These same thoughts have come to be such a comfort to me since beginning the school year. I haven’t gone through anything huge or life-changing, but it’s the little things that discourage me so much. When I feel stressed about my math test or the fact that I have two papers due the same week, the Lord gently lays this verse on my heart. Then, I know that I just need peace in Him.
I hope you're encouraged today, no matter what you're facing. The devil can’t and won’t win because we have God on our side and He has already won.
About the Author: Tiffany is currently a sophomore at Southeastern Louisiana University, majoring in social work. She was part of Crossroads Summer Camp staff this past summer, and will join us again for CRSC16! Tiffany loves being a teacher at a nearby dance studio and all things CKM!
Follow her on Twitter @tiff_strong and Instagram @tiffanylynn_3