Driving alone

Genesis 32:22-31
The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

What is it about driving alone that forces you think? What is it about writing about driving alone that forces you to think more?

Today is September first. In three days the summer season COTW will officially be over. I also spent 12 hours in the car today alone (random fact: trip from the adirondacks to central new jersey and back = 12 hours.)

My title at Camp is, “Marketing Specialist.” Last summer, I was the “marketing assistant.” Which means I was the best assistant our previous marketing specialist has ever seen. We were a great media-team, and good friends. I felt secure in my job and equipped to support my boss however he needed. Over the winter, it became clearer and clearer that God was leading my partner away from Camp, in order to start his own business. Soon after he told the leadership here that he would be parting ways at the end of September 06 (just weeks from now), they asked me to step up and fill the position. With a great leading of the Holy Spirit, I said yes.

I don’t want to get into the details of what the term ‘marketing specialist’ entails, but it was made known to all parties that I would need more training than assisting the ‘specialist’ provided in summer ’05. The plan was perfect: I would have months of training under my boss before he left, and about half way through the busy summer, I would take over for him as well as most of the work-load.

He quit four months early. My boss, my teammate, my buddy, my security. Gone. The night following the day I found out, I cried all night long. I woke up the next morning knowing what it felt like to be abandoned, to feel like your time invested in someone or something was worthless. I can’t even begin to describe how awful the feeling was. I emailed my bosses the next morning outlining the basics of what I was feeling and desperately asking for prayer. I wrote: “Christ is my rock, so I don’t have to be.”

To be honest, I’m still not sure how I feel about why he quit. I can however, sit here and say that I harbor no bad feelings against him. There were days when I wanted to punch him in the face for not preparing me for certain situations, but those passed. I’m not sure what made this summer so hard. Was it struggling with him quitting, or was it the stress of the job? I missed out on four months of training and help through the insanely busy summer. I struggled with getting things done and making people happy. I struggled artistically to care about pictures I was taking. I made less friends than normal. I slept less. My room is a disaster because I can’t find the strength or time to clean it.

When people asked me over the summer how I was doing, I’d tell them that I wasn’t sure. I never had the time to stop and think about how I was doing. I felt fine, so that’s what I ended up telling them, but I really had no clue how I was doing. I guess I was just suppressing all the emotions I was feeling in order to not crumble.

Enter stage right: 12 hour drive alone.

I’m still feeling a bit of the pain of my co-worker leaving so suddenly, and I think I’m beginning to see why. I had a security blanket. As I’ve said before, we were a great team. Between the two of us, we could tackle any project given. God ripped my security blanket away from me. The only thing I wanted to do after that was to curl up into a little ball and hide underneath my desk all day long. What was it that kept me from that and guided me through the summer? God’s grace.

I left the office every day blown away by what I accomplished. Granted, it never felt like enough, but every time I turned around I was amazed how God was providing the knowledge and time to accomplish the tasks set before me.

There’s a line in everyone’s life. On one side there’s dependance on self, in our own strength. On the other side, there’s God. He’s there waiting for us to step over the line and give it all up to him. Our time, money, knowledge, possessions, relationships, everything. I was extremely blessed this summer, when God Himself picked me up and placed me on His side of the line. I had no choice but to cling to Him, because that’s all had. It took me a few weeks of battling it out with Him to realize what He was up to, but when I did, it was beautiful.

I think I walk with a limp now. Figuratively and literally. (I fell on a rock in the Sacandaga River yesterday.) This summer may have created wounds I may never heal from, and I will bless God’s name in whichever He decides: permanent limp or complete restoration. Maybe in the pain I feel every time I’m reminded of this summer, I will remember how God provided my every need in trials. Maybe I’ll be reminded of this summer and only feel joy from the lessons learned. Time will tell.

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