One of my favorite Bible verses reads "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." I find myself reciting that verse in my head almost daily, since, being the planner that I am, I'm constantly thinking ahead to the future... months, years, even decades down the road. When will we start the next remodel project? When will we have "the talk" with Jack? When will I make strawberry jam? When will I have time to clean the bathroom? The list goes on and on. I find that when I "plan" it out in my head, I expect that it will happen. What I'm not always prepared for, is when things don't go as planned. Case in point - picking up Jack from camp.
Great weather. Incredible counselor. Godly influences. Sounds like the makings of a phenomenal week at Bible camp, right? That's what I thought. We left bright and early Saturday morning to pick up Jack from Camp Forest Springs after his 6 day adventure. What I expected to find was an enthusiastic, albeit tired, little boy who would want to spill his guts about all the fun he'd had at camp. What I actually got was a little boy who teared up almost immediately upon seeing me. A son that who, despite the smile on his face, wanted to get to his cabin, retrieve his sleeping bag and suitcase, and head home. A child who I came to find out cried himself to sleep a few nights - quietly though, so no one would hear. Needless to say, my heartstrings were pulled so tight I feared they would snap. I wanted to fix it. This is not what I expected. That night at bedtime, we snuggled in bed while he sobbed. Physically and emotionally drained, my little home-body lay there exhausted.
Fast forward to Monday. Two days after leaving camp. He's settling back into a normal routine, and now knowing that camp is in the past, he's finding that the memories of the loneliness are being quickly replaced by memories of swimming, singing, puppets & camp outs. There are no more tears to wipe away. He's not as clingy as he was initially. I can't say that I was entirely sad to see him so emotional. I never like to see my kids cry, but it did make me thankful that he loves his family so much that he longs to be near them. He even surprised us all with souvenirs he purchased for everyone in the family. A flashlight for Dad for finding the kitties at night. Blinged-out bracelets for the girls. And a gLee inspired T-shirt for me - perfect size. So, while both his and my expectations of the camp experience were not at all what we expected, he learned a lot about his Savior, and I learned a lot about my son.
I even heard him say he wants to go back next year.