To say that I've had a good summer would be an understatement.
At present, it's the last full day of my time in the United States. A time of good weather, good food, and good friends. A time of rodeos and road trips, and of the concert of my favourite band Blink 182. A time that started in Texas, and despite being spent in 11 different states, will also finish in Texas. But that's just been the last two weeks...
In June, I was relaxing on a sunny beach in Portugal with a good friend. In July, I was back in my second home of Latvia, leading a team of young people on a mission trip. During this time, I also received news that I had graduated University with a first class honours. August was non-stop action, filled with summer schemes and an SU camp, and of course my trip to Texas.
But to call my summer good would not only be an understatement, it would be an injustice. Not because using a different adjective such as 'great' or 'awesome' would change anything, no. But because the longer I think of all my experiences in the last three months, and the deeper I reflect on these moments, the more I realise that I have had a 'privileged' summer. It hasn't just been good, it has been a privilege.
An Instant with Eternal Significance
I really felt God speaking this word, 'privileged', to me during a Scripture Union camp in Ballycastle, up the North Coast, at which I am a leader every summer. To see an 11 year old get up in front of her peers, and leaders, and to share her testimony was truly astonishing. To hear about how her perception of God had changed, and how her relationship with the Father had grown, was profound. She shared how she became a follower of Jesus at this very camp two years ago, and prayed a prayer that changed her life with two of the leaders. One of these leaders was me.
Seeing this incredible display of faith, and hearing about Jesus' transformation of a young person's life, was emotional for me. If this girl was standing here being used in such a powerful way by God at 11 years old, then I can only imagine how massively God will continue to use her in the future. Despite the fact that I maybe wouldn't ever see her again, or be able to continue to disciple her in her faith, to be a small part of her journey, and likewise for her to be a small part of my story, is nothing other than a true privilege.
'Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.'
After this evening at camp, I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on all the children and young people that I've had the privilege serving and serving alongside this summer. Children and young people who are growing up to be men and women of God. Growing up and stepping out for Christ. Growing up to change the world for His glory.
I don't want to just rejoice in these privileges, but I want to give thanks to God for them. It will forever blow my mind how God uses ordinary, flawed people like myself for His Kingdom works.
How about you? How was your summer?