Emily Bailey

Counselor / Cabin 5

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This summer was one of the most refreshing times of my life thus far, and it is all because I got to see more of God’s grace than I ever have before. I entered the summer ready for all that was to come, ready to do ministry, and to build community. However, day one of staff training wrecked all that readiness as I came to a bitter realization of two broken relationships in my life that demanded so much from me I found myself dealing with every emotion under the sun all at the same time and I absolutely buckled under the weight. In the middle of the overwhelming confusion, the Holy Spirit sweetly, gently reminded me that I needed to have grace for those two people and more importantly that I could not possibly summon up that much grace on my own. I had to go directly to the source of grace and find it to give to others from none other than the Giver of Grace Himself. Jesus overflowed my cup held by my shaking hands and worked in those two relationships to bring healing and restoration; a perfect picture of what He did for our relationship in pouring out His saving blood over our sins. It was a beautiful reminder of the fact that God’s grace has redemptive power!

However, the story is not over there. From the beginning of the summer I also began to struggle with anxiety over my future because I desperately want confirmation from a job in Livermore, California and was receiving none at all. I was frustrated with myself for feeling stressed because Christ in me reminds my soul that there is no need to worry; yet, I could not seem to stop myself from having moments of deep doubt that God actually had a good plan for my life. Back in March when I applied for the position in Livermore, I felt that God told me this was the job for me, but in May and then into June as the end of the summer drew closer and closer, I also felt anxiety creep closer and closer to my heart. Noticing my anxiousness only made me more anxious, and I entered a bitter cycle of a complete lack of grace for myself and of trust that God was greater than my situation; cue the Holy Spirit. He reminded me all over again of His grace- the very message I teach my campers in Bible Study. He told me that I am not a disappointment and that He keeps His promises even if it does not look like He will and- amazingly- even if I do not trust that He will. He told me that He had grace for every single part of my life.

Then He put one certain girl in my cabin.

I did not even see it coming over the course of the week as I got to know her and spend time with her; God was already proclaiming His grace over the above situations in my life. I just saw this camper as any other camper and while I loved her very dearly, I certainly did not see any connections to my own life. The Holy Spirit was beautifully orchestrating the entire scene though, so my obliviousness just led to a spectacular moment of revelation. That moment came when I went to write follow-up letters to my campers, including this special camper, after the camp session ended. I penned my letters and began to address them- then I saw her address: Livermore Street, the very name of the city to which I was hoping to move to. The town with the job to which I felt God had pointed me. The place that had not yet responded to me about anything official. I had no confirmation at that point in time and had been so greatly doubting, but in that beautiful moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me all over again that His grace is sufficient even when my faith in Him is miniscule. His grace will be with me everywhere I go and He keeps His promises! Through His voice I remembered that there is grace in every relationship and in every question about the future and in every moment in which I feel like a failure. Through one special camper who lives on Livermore Street, I was beautifully reminded by the grace of God that God has grace for me.

(p.s. She got the job in Livermore, CA!)