Gave a fireside at a Girls Camp in Prescott Valley, Arizona
I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at a Girls Camp this summer in Arizona.
I am late in publishing this post, but I did want to share the tender mercies that happened in preparing and giving this fireside. Speaking at this camp one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.
I started preparing a couple of months ahead of time, writing down thoughts that would come in quiet moments. From the start, it was obvious that the Lord knew these young women and had a specific topic in mind for them. My only goal was to just not get in the way of what He wanted to say to them.
I will admit, I was a little nervous to speak. High school feels like a lifetime ago and I wanted to make sure that I spoke to these young women as equals and not treat them like children. As I quickly learned, so many of these youth were going through adult experiences - navigating much more difficult trials than any teenager should have to navigate - and, as a result, they brought a sweet spirit and were thirsty for truth.
It was crazy hair day at camp so the girls and leaders had random twigs, cereal boxes, pine cones, and any (all) other camp-related equipment in their hair. I had invited my mom to come with me (since nearly all of my camp experiences involve her) and we had a wonderful time seeing friends who were serving as camp leaders.
Because of crazy hair day and the wonderful energy around camp, I wondered if my spiritual topic would be a bit much for girls camp and started to tweak things last minute. My mom, thankfully, told me to keep everything the same and trust in my preparation.
The stake leaders made a beautiful transition from crazy, happy things to spiritual things and by the time I stood up, the spirit was already there in full. There is nothing like starting a fireside with the spirit so strong - and the words flowed.
From the first day of my preparation, I felt the topic should be:
How to Remain Steadfast When Life Goes Differently Than You Expected
I shared 5 principles to keep in mind when going through unexpected and debilitating life experiences. (Principles I've only learned through my personal unexpected life experiences and wish I would have known at their age.)
We talked about prophets who have unexpected trials that seem never-ending.
We talked about the importance of living water in this desert we call life.
I shared my experience of coming home early from a mission and navigating the physical, mental and spiritual challenges that come with unexpected health problems and an unexpected early release.
It is difficult to share what we learned together without giving the entire talk here on my blog, but suffice it to say, it was a sweet experience.
I felt the Spirit guide my words, but it wasn't until afterwards that I learned about the extreme and diverse challenges these amazing young women were navigating. The Lord knew who I was talking to and thankfully, He made sure I didn't get in the way of the message they needed to hear.
There is nothing like being in a camp, full of open and tender-hearted young women, and learning together about The Creator. It was a marvelous tender mercy to be there!
My heart is full of gratitude.
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