Thursday, November 7, 2013

A humble spirit and an open mind...Young Life Work Crew part I.

I was heading home from the grocery store when my cell phone started ringing. It was Emily. She wanted to know how much longer I would be and said that she needed to talk with me about something important. She asked me to come home with a "humble spirit and an open mind." (this is what we say in our family when what we really mean to say is ..."don't say no, just be prepared to think about it".)

I was sure she was about to ask if she could drive to the beach for a vacation with her friends.
Thankfully, that was not it. 

For 6 weeks in the spring, Emily had attended Young Life Work Crew orientation and training. She filled out all the necessary applications and fulfilled all of the requirements. At the end of the process, she ended up 3rd on the waiting list for one of many Young Life camps across the country.

She had been busy working and getting lots of hours at Chick-fila. As the time came for her friends to be making their final preparations for their summer camp assignments, she got restless and wished she had been more assertive after being placed on the waiting list. She made a quick call to her Young Life leader, asking her if there were any last minute openings at any of the camps.

It was a long shot, but sure enough, there were 2 camps that had last minute cancelations. She was given a choice between a camp in Northern California and one in Colorado. After much, but quick discussion, she chose Trail West Young Life Camp in Beuna Vista, Colorado. And she would need to be ready to leave in 3 days.

Laundry, shopping, packing, travel arrangments, medical forms, a sports physical....those were just a few of the many things that needed to be done. Friday morning at 5:35 am, she boarded the plane alone and was on her way. She would be 1700 miles, 25 hours, away from home. She texted us along the way and a few minutes before noon, she texted us that she had arrived in Denver and had joined some of the other kids in her group. 

We wondered how she was doing, what friends she had made, if she loved the camp, if she was able to sleep that first night, and so on. Saturday night at about 12 midnight, she called. She was sad. She was teary. She said, "this is so hard. I am so far out of my comfort zone. I feel alone and I want to find a friend."  I could hear it in her voice. She was broken. I couldn't help but want to rescue her. Tears were running down my face as I listened to her Dad tell her to seek The Lord and call on Him to meet her in this place. He looked at me and mouthed the words..."this is good for her."

A few minutes later, she hung up the phone and I knew it would be one week before we would speak to her again. (They were only able to use their phones for 2 hours on Saturdays.) I worried. I prayed. I sent out emails asking others to pray. I tried to imagine her loving every minute of her day, but I was afraid that maybe she wasn't.  I sent her a letter and a package. I couldn't wait to talk to her again.

Then finally, it was Saturday. At 4:30, she called!

Part 2... Coming soon.

I'm linking up here for alphabe-Thursday! Y is for Young Life and You Only Live Once!


  1. oh I'll bet she found a friend and was ok, these things usually do work out for the best and what a great growing experience for a young girl...

  2. I am sure she found a friend if she was in a Young Life Camp. Your husband was right. xo Jenny

  3. The young usually yell YOLO, while yacking an excessive yield of Yellow Tail...

    Your young daughter is yearning for a friend and I think she will find it...

    I'm sure she will have a good experience and memories for years to come...

    Thanks for linking to the letter "Y"...