How Far I’ve Come

Have you ever been doing something so unordinary, so routine, so mindless, and suddenly  something catches your senses and draws you back into the past? Maybe a sound, a glimpse, or a smell?

This happened to me last night as I was trudging down a hill, sweating, huffy, puffing, trying hard not to think of how tired I was. I recently purchased a new backpack for hiking and before I get it out on the trail this weekend I have been filling it up each and every night and marching 5-7 miles around my neighborhood.

Most nights I take the same boring route, but last night I decided to go wild and switch things up. This new route added a fairly large hill that I knew I was going to struggle with climbing back up with my full pack. Just as I was descending the hill…I stopped dead in my tracks.

This is what I saw… but it was the SMELL that took me back……

Back almost 20 years when I was a counselor at a Missions Camp for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. For 7 glorious weeks each summer for 5 years,  I lived in the woods with several other college ladies, singing camp songs, swimming in creeks, playing in skits, and leading bible study for hundreds of girls aged 8-12 years. It was and still is, one of the most rewarding times of my youth.  This is where I found 3 of my future roommates, and a multitude of life long friends.

My First year of GA Camp in 1995. I am on the third row from bottom. The redhead with short hair.  🙂

There was something in the smell of the trees I was passing that transported me back in time. My mind suddenly became flooded with special memories I hadn’t thought of in YEARS. I recalled songs we sang, silly pranks we pulled, and I remembered dear sweet faces that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

 

I thought of how much has happened since that young 20 year old drove away on her very first adventure by herself. The laughs, the tears, the failures, the victories….it all seems like it was forever ago, but it also seems like it just happened yesterday.

camp.jpgI look at these faces now I can almost hear the giggles and chatter. Oh how young I was! Full of anticipation for the years ahead. If only I could tell her what I know now….

-Cherish these moments….they will be gone soon. You will be adults with jobs, husbands, kids. You’ll be scattered all over the country. You’ll remain close, but THESE are the moments to cherish…. RIGHT NOW.
-Don’t stress over wanting a husband. God has some amazing things planned for you, and regardless of what you think….you’ll NEVER be alone.
-Hold tight to these ladies….you are going to need them later on, and at some point, they are going to need you too.
– In a couple of years you are going to think you have it all figured out… YOU DON’T. Trust God to lead you and embrace the changes ahead.
-There are some rough times headed your way… but don’t fret….what’s waiting on the other side is AMAZING!!!!!!

For 25 minutes I sat on the side of the road and I spent time with my memories, taking in the intoxicating smell of pine, honeysuckle, and fresh earth that make me go back in time. I arose, feeling refreshed and blessed.  Right here in the middle of a road, on the side of a massive hill, I was reminded of how rich my life is and how much I have been given, and just how far I have truly come.

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4 thoughts on “How Far I’ve Come

  1. Oh how I love this post! Growing up, every summer I went to church camp. Then became a CIT, then a staff counselor, then a volunteer director, then for a couple years after college, I was a program director (my first real professional gig). God had other plans for me after that, but my camping experience holds a very special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You recalled a memory from summer camp after a specific smell. My mind entered memories from my childhood–positive and negative. I understand how the pictures remind you of who you were then. Photographs have that effect on humans: they remind us of who were in the past, enabling us to track who we grew up to become.

    Also, I appreciate the quotes in your entries.

    Liked by 1 person

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