What I Learned at Church Camp

Isabelle and I at church camp.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” – Psalm 56:3

This past week, my daughter, Isabelle, went to church camp. I volunteered to work in the kitchen, which allowed me to spend time with her throughout the day. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from camp, so I was excited to share this experience with Isabelle.

Day 1 was great. She was full of smiles. Day 2, however, was another story. One of the games they played was tug-of-war in the mud. All the other girls jumped in, but Isabelle refused. She even got upset when someone accidentally flung two drops of mud on her arm! I encouraged Isabelle to join her team, assuring her that the mud would wash off. I even tried the approach, “Isabelle, you’re the only one sitting out. C’mon! Get in there with your friends!” She wouldn’t budge. There was no way she was willingly going to participate. For a brief moment, I considered forcing her, but I knew that would be a mistake. Instead, I said, “If you’re not going to help your team, you’re at least going to stand here and cheer them on!” She was mad at me, and I was frustrated with her. This wasn’t the type of camp memory I wanted to make.

Isabelle isn’t normally a girly-girl. Of my two daughters, she’s the one who is more of a tomboy. While Jocelyn likes to wear dresses, Isabelle prefers shorts and a t-shirt. Isabelle picks up worms and helps her Daddy take fish off a hook. She also likes to dig in the garden. Why, then, was she so reluctant to get in the mud?

Fear, plain and simple. Isabelle was afraid of the unknown and hesitant to try something new. She didn’t want to make a fool out of herself. I couldn’t be too hard on Isabelle because I often react the same way. I stand on the sidelines and watch when I should just jump in and trust God!

Whether it’s mud or missions or ministry, don’t let fear keep you from experiencing God’s best for your life. Put your trust in the Lord.