The year was 1957. (Or, maybe it was 1958?) I’m not sure anymore because the photos in my memory are getting a bit fuzzy around the edges. Anyway, I think this was the first time I traveled away from home by myself.
I was seven years old and it was my very first GRAND ADVENTURE.
Now I’ll grant you…
Camp Tehama was probably pretty tame stuff as grand adventures go, but to a little girl who had never experienced anything but home, school, or church…
It was grand!
I can’t remember if we slept in huts or tents.
I can’t remember what we ate.
I don’t remember who else was there sharing my adventure with me…
I shall never forget her!
Oh, I have long ago forgotten her name, but I remember her hair; dark with soft curls.
I remember her always smiling face and the kind voice that never forgot my name.
That lovely woman was destined to change my life forever.
You see, on a summer day while sitting on a log by a camp circle, she read me a story about Jesus. Then she looked right at me. She had been so kind all week. (I had always done my best to disappear in any crowd.) But she wasn’t having it—not on that day.
This sweet woman looked right at me—the gangly seven-year-old with knobby knees, and skinny legs—who was so painfully shy!
And when she asked me this life-changing-question?
I couldn’t wait to say, “Yes.”
So right there, in the middle of the woods, sitting on that big old log at Camp Tehema, we bowed our heads, and prayed together.
And my destiny became forever linked with hers.
It surely wasn’t a long prayer.
I’m equally sure it must have been worded simply, but I know that when I asked Him to come into my heart, Jesus whispered, “Yes!” and into my heart He came.
And, someday, when I get to heaven?
I believe Jesus will acquaint me with that dear sweet woman again. The woman who gave one week out of her life, and LIVED the gospel out, in front of me.
I know we will laugh, and cry, and hug the “stuffins” out of each other!
(Jesus will probably just stand there shaking his head and smiling.)
And I will “thank her”—for being the one—to introduce me to The One who changed my life forever.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
My journey in life hasn’t been an easy one. This Scottish lassie has had lots of ups and downs…
Including ten foolish years as “a prodigal” trying desperately to run away from God.
Yet, through it all, God has been loving and faithful to me, His Prodigal Sheep.
At the age of twenty-eight He chased me down; “found me” in my depression and broken dreams; and began teaching me just how much He loved me!
I put up quite a struggle—but in the end—He won!
(He always does!)
Now, I write for other “PRoDiGaL sHeeP” because I want them to know and believe that God can redeem ANYTHING—even, “…the years that the locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25.
It is through my own personal experience that I now understand God’s grace can find anyone; redeem anything!
I also KNOW how relentless His love is. He was determined to finish the work (Philippians 1:6) He had started so long ago at that kids camp.
Part of her destiny—was to change mine.
We often think that having “a grand destiny” is about having some big important job, or standing on a stage speaking or singing to thousands. But I think destiny is more about faithfulness to our LORD, “living-the-gospel-out-loud” wherever or to whoever He chooses to send us.
It might be in some big important ministry…
Or, it might be simply loving some sweet kids in a Sunday School class each week, or serving at a kids church camp once a year.
You know I’ve always wondered, “How many destinies did she change?”
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:21