Summer is usually a time of spiritual growth and revelation for me. I was able to rededicate my life to Christ the summer before I started high school. One summer I went to Africa. One summer I worked as an intern at an inner city ministry and was able to minister to poverty-stricken and hurting kids in my city every single day.
This summer hasn't gone the way I hoped it would. I've been working a lot of hours each week at a frozen yogurt shop. I know I should use every opportunity to be a witness for Christ, but this is the first summer where I haven't been in an actual ministry position. I couldn't attend Angel Tree Camp (a camp that is a ministry towards kids who have incarcerated family members) this year because I was out of town with my family. I work all day during the week, so I can't volunteer at my two favorite ministries. Basically, for the first time in my life, I've been out in the "real world" and not in full time mission work. And that's been a difficult adjustment.
I think this struggle has been good for me, honestly. I know that the Lord works everything for the good and He has. At this point, I don't plan to be a full time missionary as a career. Other than hopefully frequent service projects, I know I won't be able to volunteer every single day while I'm in college. I need to learn how to be a light for Christ during my normal day-to-day routine. I'll be attending a secular university. I won't be living in a highly Christian environment 24/7. So while this summer has been difficult at times, it's been good for me.
This summer, I've been forced to trust God, even when it hurts. I've learned that He is ALWAYS there for me, even when I can't see Him. I've been able to slowly start to grow in areas I didn't even realize I needed to improve.
It kind of reminds me of working out. At first, you get sore and grow stronger in your main muscles, like your abs and thighs and biceps. The more you work out and start to change up your routine, the more you work out muscles you didn't even know you could work out. At first, you're stiff and sore. It's painful and you want to stop. But if you perservere, you become even stronger. (Weird analogy?)
I know I'll be faced with a lot of brand new struggles and doubts when I move ten hours away to a secular university in five weeks. Perhaps this summer was to strengthen my faith that God WILL be there for me.
While this summer has been more difficult than I originally expected, I can still feel God. He has worked in my life and forgiven me for every doubt I've had recently. I'm so blessed to be His.