This past weekend I traveled to South Carolina to pick up my youngest from a week of summer camp. This was the very first time Lan had ever been away from home for that long and it was not with immediate family.
I admit to having a bit of apprehension, but he was eager to go. More than that, it appeared Lan was ready to go. The over-protective mom in me immediately imagined a dozen reasons why he would be better off at home when the idea of camp first surfaced. The very idea of sending him anywhere for a week no matter how competent the staff was incomprehensible.
But God has a funny way of making me eat my words. The “ain’t gonna happen” that played in my head actually happened and with stunning results!
My “little man” though he now towers over me, appeared cool and confident when we arrived to pick him up. He had made new friends, other kids were calling for him and he simply adored his counselors.
I realized a few days later when we were back at home that Lan appeared a bit more confident. He stood a bit taller and dare I say even acted more mature.
According to his counselors, Lan was able to show off his art skills drawing pictures for them in addition to a mural of college mascots on one walkway in chalk. His art is something Lan does well and could share with others. It is something he could share and take pride in!
I have often been a stickler for structure and routine, years ago learning structure curtailed chaos and calamity. Meltdowns (mine and his) were minimized when we didn’t deviate from the norm.
However, I now realize that when we dare to open ourselves us to new possibilities and ideas that we once shunned, good things are possible. I’ve learned that for Lan to grow as I pray he will, we are going to have to step out of the comfort zone more often (mine more so than his) and simply see what happens.
Camp Hope actually sparked hope in me for what possibilities the future can hold. I now realize I hadn’t been exactly looking toward the future as much as dreading it in regard to potential opportunities for my child.
Thankfully, the camp counselors once again ignited my faith in people, the kind of people who give kids like mine a chance to be the people God created them to be!
Lan returned from camp confident, optimistic and a wee bit taller than when he left. He readily let it be known that he wants to return next year. I quickly agreed that it is probably a good idea.
I received not only a content teenager on Saturday but a renewed hope and faith for the future as well.
At the end of the day, Camp Hope made us both “happy campers!”
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God,” Psalm 42:5 NIV