A song came on the radio this morning that made me both turn the volume up and smile with nostalgia. I’ll date myself quickly, it was The Goo Goo Dolls with their 90’s hit “I’ll Be.” I grinned sheepishly to myself, as I drove an extra block listening to the sappy lyrics, remembering vividly when this song played during a middle school dance. I had left the house that night in my chicest dress: shiny, floral print (probably polyester), you can picture the trend from memory. Strutting into the gym on my cork bottomed wedges I was mortified when I walked in to discover the older, cooler eighth graders were wearing sneakers and jeans. I had pulled a rookie mistake, I’d overdressed, cared too much. I spent the rest of the night standing awkwardly along the edge of the dance floor, my knees the widest point of my legs, the glow-in-the dark bands on my braces shining under the disco lights.
I sat in my car and sighed, wishing so badly I could go back and give that desperately insecure girl a hug; just tell her she would be OK, cheer her on. If such an adventure was possible I think I would sit down with her and just be kind to her, every little girl at that age could use a little more kindness. And what a powerful thought to be able to prepare her for what is coming by reassuring her of her own strength, her God given strength fortified through her faith.
Of course I can’t do any of those things.
But I, we, can do something even more powerful than coaching our adolescent selves. We can surround, love, inspire and cheer on our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, little sisters and friends. Today we can shape and strengthen the little girls who will someday be the women leading our community and world. The thought brings me tears of joy and excitement. I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are to meet you, to see you again, to build your little girls up through Christ, and to embrace you. Most importantly I’m so excited to rediscover our joy with what we’re planning for this August. Join us, bring your girlfriends, because finding joy is always more fun with friends. And until August I’ll be praying for the plans we’re making, girls and gals searching for us, and for our weekend of joy.
The last year has been filled with highs and lows and miraculous wonders. It’s true that this journey is as much an adventure as it is a hike up a steep mountain with a backpack full of rocks. I write you this as I’m preparing to make a big transition…after 9 years of living in Washington, DC, I’m headed to Austin, Texas to start a new chapter of life. I’m excited and nervous, expectant and scared; sad to leave my friends but joyful to start a new chapter of life and meet new people, hear their stories, and claim new territory.
Yes, claim new territory.
This year I saw a miracle happen in my family, after 5 years of waiting for a kidney donor, my 71-year-old father got a new kidney… that kidney has not just meant a new chance at life for my father, but it’s been a constant reminder that God answers prayers, gals. Every morning as I traveled down the George Washington Parkway I prayed for that miraculous healing for years and God has done it. And that’s just the beginning. I see God reclaiming his territory in my family and among my friends; and I want to be part of that, so I’m off to Texas to take my place and do what God will have me do there.
All this emotion is also filled with longing and waiting. I’m still waiting for the man that will serve next to me. I said it. Still waiting, believing that God can and will answer that prayer. It’s not easy to wait, and it’s definitely not easy to wait with a joyful heart. Maybe you’re reading this waiting on a miracle, waiting on a baby that hasn’t come, waiting for that prodigal son or daughter to return home, or waiting for change to happen. I get it. I get it. There are days where I just want to fall to the ground and just give up, but then I remember that there’s a whole world out there waiting for the hope I know, and that I’m called to bring it to them. I can’t be distracted by what I don’t have. I know God hears me, he hears you too. Beloved, He hears you, he knows those inner most thoughts, He has seen those tears you’ve cried and felt your scorn. And it’s coming…what God has for you is coming. Wait for it, but tend to that garden while you wait…get that fruit beautiful and ripe because it’s coming. I love you dearly and look forward to worshipping with you this August.
See you in Oklahoma!
We're so looking forward to this year's Butterfly Girls Camp, Courageous! In case you missed it, last year we wondered through the Stillwater Wondertorium, where we had the pleasure of hearing the inspiring story of a young girl who recovered from a brain tumor, singing our hearts out, playing dress-up, and sleeping among the exhibits. That was just a glimpse of what was to come. The next day was filled with worship, creative sessions and inspirational talks all focused on truths like we're wonderfully made, we're deeply loved, and the Lord is our strength.
I'm so looking forward to this year! Just like our vision, this year's gathering will be bigger and more awe-inspiring! We're inviting gals K-5th, hosting Courageous at the newly remodeled Oak Park Center in Perkins, and even hosting a Worship Night for Ladies before the camp kicks off.
We're praying for you and the other gals and girls you bring this August! We know God will do mighty things! We look forward to seeing you this August at Courageous! Register soon!
Want to print and post a Courageous Camp flyer for your church or school? Download it below.