I have been going to Rock-N-Water for the last three years and every summer it has been such an amazing experience.  However, this past year, summer of 2016, was an especially been an amazing year for me spiritually.

My walk with God

Before I went to Rock-N-Water, I was really struggling with my walk with God.  Multiple people in my life had recently passed away; my friends baby sister, my younger cousin, and a freshman that I played with on my softball team.  I honestly was lost and didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t pray, I couldn’t worship, and I began to doubt God and how good He was.  I remember thinking to myself and saying, “a real God doesn’t do this, a real God doesn’t let people die.”  I knew that this wasn’t the truth, but in those moments of doubt, I believed that there was no God and that this so called God I had believed in, was not a good and loving God.

I didn’t talk to anyone about the way I was feeling because I felt like people were going to judge me and say something like “Are you serious Sydney? How could you even think something like that?!”  But how could I not think that?  The people I knew and loved were taken away from me and this God that I believed in just sat back and allowed this to happen to them.  I told myself to stop questioning God, but I couldn’t.  The pain that He let me go through and silence He gave me, changed how I felt towards Him and really affected my walk with Him, making it nearly nonexistent.girl sitting on a rock reading her bible at youth camp

Fixing my Trust

Going into Rock-N-Water this past summer, I had this particular subject on my heart.  While out in the backcountry, we had the opportunity to have alone with God nce a day.  We spread out around our base camp and picked a spot to spend time with Him while out literally amongst His vast creation.   During my first quiet time, I remember telling God, “I don’t wanna feel like this anymore, you need to fix me.”  One day goes by and nothing, two days go by and nothing, but then third day arrived.  It was our morning quiet time and I told God, “Please, just tell me something.”  It wasn’t until the very end of my alone time with Him, when the leaders called us in, that I heard the single word, “trust.”  I immediately felt a chill spread over me and knew that God was telling me “I am here.”  I was so happy to feel God again, and to know that even when I don’t see Him in my life, the doesn’t mean He isn’t there and doesn’t have a plan.  I told my one of my friends right away because I had to share what just happened.  I was finally able to actually pray again, to actually worship, and to actually trust in the Lord.  

I was reading a verse in the book of John, John 12:25.  It talks about Jesus saying that when one seed falls and dies, many more grow.  After this having this experience, I have been able to be there for people I know, with similar experiences that have doubts or don’t see how there could be a God.  He has used me to speak to others and share how He has shown Himself to me and given me strength throughout the trials.  Because of this experience, some of my friends are now Christians and have began coming to church regularly.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

-John 12:24-26

Taking it home

I learned so much at Rock-N-Water, I always do, but this past year really hit me.  This camp gave and can give you the time to have quietness with God and be able to be still and really listen to what he’s telling you.  Many camps are more concerned with entertainment and just let you run around wild, and not to say that they aren’t spiritual, but the thing about this camp is that it is incredibly fun, while using the fun outdoors to show how great God is by providing the you the opportunity to truly experience Him through His creation.  It’s a different experience.  The people at Rock-N-Water were amazing and they actually want to help you have an incredible experience while on our adventures and with God.  Not only do the people who work at Rock-N-Water care for you and your experiences during your time there and after, so do the people that you go with.

I want to thank all of my leaders during camp and all of those who came with me for being there with love and support.  You guys helped me have an amazing experience.  I love Rock-N-Water so much and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next year!

By Sydney Lima: 2nd Place Winner for the 2016 Writing Contest