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Grateful for Togetherness

The Power of Togetherness on “Mile 22”

Have you ever had a moment in life where you thought to yourself, “What in the world was I thinking?” I sure have. For me, it was November 14, 2015. Months prior, I had decided to chase after a dream of mine: to run a marathon. That’s right – I, for some reason, was under the grand illusion that it would be fun (HA!) to run for four hours straight… WILLINGLY! While training, I heard multiple times about the rumored “wall” that runners consistently hit when running long distances. I was both curious and nervous about when I may hit mine.

Spoiler alert — It was mile 22

Cue: What in the world was I thinking?

As I was running… hobbling… propelling my body forward with every ounce of motivation I could squeeze out of me, I remember thinking “I need to take a break…  soon.” As I rounded a corner where I had told myself a reprieve awaited, I began to notice some familiar faces: friends of mine who had come to not only cheer me on but to hop on the course and help me through one of my hardest miles! It was here, in this “Mile 22” moment, that I experienced first-hand the power of togetherness.

As I reflect on other “Mile 22” moments in life like this, I can’t help but think about this past summer at camp…

From planning to execution, it continuously proved to be unlike any other summer WinShape Camps had faced before. Yet, as often as we may have had those “What in the world were we thinking?” moments, we EQUALLY experienced moments of turning the corner of exhaustion to find support ready to run alongside us. It was truly the Body of Christ in action!

Take Week 9 of WinShape Camps for Communities… Our eight-week teams had completed their summer, and in the midst of their end-of-the-summer celebration, we became aware that our remaining nine-week teams were short-staffed and needed a little support. Here we were, SO close to the finish line, and a “Mile 22” moment stood in our way.

As we turned the corner of exhaustion, we saw the power of togetherness take place right before our eyes — and in more ways than one!!

 

On that 9th week, a full team’s worth of Week 8 summer staffers willingly volunteered to form a brand-new team, JUST to ensure that the gospel could still be brought to that community. For reference… that’s 25 college students spontaneously giving up their last free week of summer before school starts again – all for the advancement of the Kingdom. That’s pretty awesome!!

When another team experienced a shortage in Week 9, we had volunteers from EVERY corner of WinShape (full-time staff, Boys Camps staff, Girls Camp staff, AND Day Camps staff) fly to Lincoln, Nebraska at the last minute, just so this community could experience camp! It was truly amazing to witness!

When You’re Out of Steam, Run Together…

The fact of the matter is this… this year was different — not just for WinShape Camps staff, but for everyone: parents, families, churches, and campers alike! And yet, it is often in the challenge, in “Week 9,” in the “Mile 22,” where some of the most beautifully refining moments take place. Often we are surrounded by messages of gratitude in the month of November, but if where you find yourself this year is on mile 22 rather than the finish line, I just want you to hear: you are seen, and you are not alone.

This Thanksgiving season, I hope you and those you hold dear, whether filled to the brim with gratitude, burnt out from exhaustion, or somewhere in between, are able to experience firsthand the power and gift of togetherness, bearing each other’s burdens as you continue to run the race set before each of you. If you feel like giving up, look for those who can come alongside you. And if you feel victorious, look for those who you can come alongside. We aren’t meant to do this life alone. It is in togetherness that we flourish!

So, here’s to making it this far, and to those who’ve helped us get here.

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for togetherness — that I don’t have to do this life alone. And neither do you.

Happy Thanksgiving! You are loved.

Today’s post was written by Davidson Mobley.