IMG_6434This is going to be an interesting article, so I suggest you sit back, make yourself comfortable, grab some popcorn or whichever snack you like, and let your mind process the words it will be reading. This summer my whole life changed. How exactly? You’ll have to keep reading to discover that yourself.

I’ll share my story, but let you form your own lesson out of it.

It all started back before school had even finished. I was taking a semester paper on which my inspiration was pretty low that day. I was so caught up in my writing that I hardly had any time to leave the classroom. After several no’s and trying to explain how important that exam was and  that I still had way more to write and less than fifteen minutes, I went outside to see a person that changed my life forever. She informed me about a camp asking if I would like to go as a translator, when she finished explaining I said “yes!” and headed back to class thankful I could continue with my writing.

Several weeks and a wedding later (not my wedding), camp was here! The translators were asked to go a few days early before the campers so we could get a chance to bond with our American team. Five talented, amazing, and friendly girls were waiting to meet us. They were all surprisingly the same age. We did bond, but not in a way we expected.

It took some late night chats, a few notes and jokes, but after a few days when time came to say goodbye nothing hurt more in my entire lifetime. There I was, in a courtyard with luggage everywhere, tears in our eyes (for some reason not mine), and sad faces all around. I had to say goodbye to a few girls that would have all been my best friends if we were in the same place.

Each one of them taught me a lesson that week, and I loved being a translator for my leader, even though she was the same age as me. I’ve learned not to take jokes as always being offensive. I’ve learned that people will be open to you if you open up to them. I learned that patience is key when teaching campers bible verses, that love can be spoken in any language, that people hunger for love and care, that owls can be friendly, golf can be tricky, and honesty is the best policy.

These are few of the things I’ve learned, and even though I had to say goodbye to those girls, three wonderful American friends that live just minutes away are now my family. It’s the first time in my life I felt so connected and close to people that don’t share my blood, but share my God! From them I’ve learned more things that I could list and you’d probably fall asleep reading anyway.

A few of those things were how to love on people I used to reject and think I was better than, to have confidence when playing sports, smile at every victory and laugh at every failure, and I can’t remember a time in my life when I was laughing as much as I am now!

They came into my life as an answer to my prayers. One night, on my knees and with tears in my eyes, I begged God to give me a group of people I could be myself with, learn how to have fun and go out every now and then. And less than a year later, He answered. This amazing couple is my role model in life. These are the people I would go to for anything and for any advice. And guess what? The wife is the person I refused to talk to because of my stubbornness when I was taking my semester paper.

So my top lesson this summer was saying “yes”.

Yes to getting out of that class, yes to that camp, yes to new amazing friends, yes to sports I’m not good at yet, and yes to a better life! I’m a more different, happier person!

If you think that saying “no” to people and opportunities is going to avoid you from getting hurt, embarrassed, or feeling like a loser then you couldn’t be more wrong. You are saying no to a much better life.

Life is how you make it and how you chose it to be. What’s your choice so far?

My lesson is that when I say “no” to people I actually say no to myself and miss out. There are countless lessons you can learn from my summer, only question is:

What is your lesson?

Be blessed,

Warrior of Light.