Sunday, June 21, 2009

step by step

Well...3 weeks later and I finally made it to church! I went to Redeemer on the Upper East Side (as suggested by Christie - good pick, thanks girl!) I cannot even begin to tell you how good it felt to be at church with other Christians. I soaked up every minute of it.

On my way back to the apartment I thought about last summer, and then this one, and how different yet the same they both are. Last summer I worked at Kanakuk Kamps (K-Kountry specifically) where I spent everyday teaching 9 year old girls about the mercy and love of Christ.

This is from my diary on July 11th of last year when I got back from kamp...

"So I’m back from Kanakauk, this 2 month gap in time that I feel like changed my life forever. Kamp was probably one of the hardest and one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, which sounds completely bizarre. Kamp pulled me completely out of the world for a while. I mean we literally had no phones, no television, no internet, etc. My only means of contact with the outside world was through snail mail. I was blessed enough to have letters come in daily, which I held like treasure. It was my only piece of my life outside the red gates of K-Kountry. And I think being pulled out of the world like that makes you really realize just how worldly you are. I think I had grown really complacent in my walk with the Lord. I thought, “I go to this Christian school, I’ve put in my time on leadership, I do this, and that,” and a million other things that only led me to the “bad as” road where I justified my sins by comparing them to the sins of others. The first two weeks of kamp were rough. I had this huge personal conviction of how dependant I was on people and how worldly I had really become. It's almost as if I became self-conscious about it, more reserved, guarded. I have never been so broken and yet felt so loved by God. He helped me to realize that He doesn't NEED me to do His work, and that it's not about me. I had rough days and I had some of the best days, but everyday I woke up I knew I couldn’t get anything done without the strength of Christ. On my so-called "worst day" of kamp 6 girls from my cabin ended up receiving Christ on the front porch of Barn 5. God sent a daily reminder of His love for me in some way, shape, or form - be it a rainbow in the sky, a chocolate chip scone for breakfast, or through the salvation of one of my girls. One night after our director Pete gave the gospel message we found my 9-year-old kamper Maggie bawling (like favorite pet died, alligator tears, can't breath crying) and when we asked her what was wrong she simply said, "I just can't understand how one person (Jesus) could do that (die for our sins)" I was brought back to the reality of my faith on a daily basis. We read through Philippians during my time at kamp which I thought was kind of ironic - Paul found joy in a jailhouse and I couldn’t find joy at the coined happiest place on earth? God answered my prayers at kamp. I had been praying consistently for about 3 years that I would become completely dependent on God and not He takes me away from everything I know and leads me to this place, perfect for me to grow. I can’t get mad at God for answering the prayer I desired for so long. God also immediately showered me with people I did not deserve. My co turned into a lifelong best friend, my UC an amazing mentor, and my fellow "kitchies" were some of my closest confidants - all people who loved me at my absolute worst, at my weakest. I was not the same person walking out of those red gates as I was walking in. I've changed for the better."


So now you must be wondering how life in the Big Apple could even remotely relate to the life I lead last summer in Branson, MO. In fact, in most aspects, they are completely different. In Missouri I was surrounded by like-minded people who encouraged me everyday in my walk with the Lord. In NYC I brush elbows with strangers everyday who care more about the shoe brand they have on than the cause of Christ. A summer at kamp prepared me for the summer I am encountering now. I know that the things of this world will fade. I know the importance of spending time in God's Word daily. And I know, most importantly, that no matter what happens I am loved and taken care of by a heavenly father who only wants the best for me. This moment, I am exactly where God wants me to be.

When I was having a hard time at kamp my friend Ashley Goss gave me some of the best advice I've ever heard. We had a set of HUGE stairs at K-Kountry that were steep and long. I took them almost everyday and I gotta say - I wasn't a huge fan. Ashley said to think of the stairs when you think about life. If you look up at what is ahead it is easy to get overwhelmed and even a little discouraged. Looking up at the stairs while you went up them made the hike up seem even longer somehow...BUT if you took things one step at a time, one day at a time, suddenly it didn't seem so long. So thats what I try to do now. Take everything in one day at a time, one step at a time.

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." - John 13:7

Left: the K-Kountry steps I took everyday from the field to the office.
Right: the escalator from the 6 train that I take everyday to work.


  1. So well said, Miranda. I had such a similar experience at Kanakuk. That summer I spent there made me grow up, man up and shut up when it came to certain aspects of my life. I came home dirty, broken and forever changed. I will always look back at that time as a pivotal point in my life. It was cool to read your experience there...and relive my own through your words. My stairs may look different from yours everyday, but the lessons we carry from each step are quite the same. Keep your chin up girl. I'm proud of you.

  2. Miranda! I am so glad you checked out the church! What did you think? I am glad you were able to find encouragement! There is nothing like being around the body of Christ!