Sunday, June 25, 2006

The most important thing

Camp is always an amazing experience. I had forgotten how amazing it can be. I have a million stories to tell and pictures to show, and I am sure I will get around to them after I get back from the beach in a week. But all of those can wait. I want to take the time to talk about something much more important. I want to talk about the real reason I went. Part of my cannot believe I am about to put this on the internet for all to see, but here goes...

When I first talked to Jeff the camp director, I was really excited about going back. But in the weeks leading up to camp, I found myself experiencing more and more fear. There were so many things I was afraid of -- that I would do a bad job, that they would be disappointed, the kids would not respond, or that one of another 1000 things would go wrong and the whole experience would be a disaster. Every day in the two weeks leading up to leaving, I almost called to back out. The fear was paralyzing. I have learned through experience that giving in to my fear is never the best thing to do, but resisting this time was exceptionally difficult.

Some pretty significant stuff happened while I was there. While the experience was lots of fun, there were times that were really hard. I didn't know anyone on staff, and I was pretty lonely. Figuring out what music would work and what would not was a challenge. The learning curve for a lot of what I had to do was steep, and the stakes were high. It was hard. Probably the most significant thing happened Friday night before I left. I sat with Holly, the camp director's daughter who had been on staff the summers I was there, and we looked at photo albums from the summers we worked together. As I looked at those pictures, so much came flooding back to me, so many memories and experiences, some good, but some not so good.

I have a strange reaction to looking at pictures of my past. I find it very upsetting. I look at the person in the pictures and I remember being in that moment and I want to cry -- not because I miss it, but more often that not because I remember how much I was not enjoying myself. Which brings me to the point of this long post, and the reason I am so afraid to publish this.

The reason I get so upset looking at old pictures is because, for my whole life, from as early as I can remember, I have wrestled with self-hatred. And I truly believe that the reason God pulled me out of my normal life and sent me back to Camp Bethel was so that I could understand how that is affecting me, and realize God wants to deal with it for good. I know that it is sin, but it has only been in the past year or so that I have known that. The problem is dealing with something that is so toxic, but has been so ingrained in me for my whole life. It is at the root of so many other things. And once again, I am scared.

I have no idea why I feel compared to share all this with the world, and maybe tomorrow I will lose my nerve and take this entry down. But I know that most of the people who read this care about me and will pray for me. I have a suspicion that is what I will need most.


Joy Morykon said...

thanks for opening your heart Erin. You are right. I read & i love you & i will pray for you. If you decide there is anything else you need from those of us who love you please, just say the words. again, thanks for posting about how you feel.

Candace said...

I'm praying for you too, Erin. You're an amazing woman, and I have really enjoyed getting to know you over the past year. I love you, and will pray for you as you're wrestling with this.

Holli said...

Erin, I think you have way more courage than your realize to post such a sincere, raw entry like this one. I will definitely be praying for you that you take the small steps (you know what those are-i don't) and you will not succomb to being fearful. Thanks for being so honest-it is inspirational! love to you.

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed spending some time with you at camp last week. Even though I didn't help that much, I am glad that I spent the week in Wise Co. It was good to take a walk down memory lane, even when those memories can be somewhat painful. Memories are funny things. Satan can use them to discourage us, bring us down, and remind us of our past failures. I also think that God can use our past memories to remind us of the marvelous work he does and continues to do in our life. I pray that the Holy Spirit will encourage and strengthen you.

P.S.- Thanks for putting me as a link. That made my day. If only I could figure out how to edit my links I would put your blog on my site as well.

Kelly said...

Bravo on your courage to share. Who is this awesome! I am really proud of you naming the sin. That immediately disarms satan and you have taken back some territory. I love you girl and I will be praying for you for you are worthy of love!