“On my own, I could never be the perfect counselor that I so desired to be. I didn’t know all the right words to say, the right things to do in every situation. But that was okay, because it wasn’t up to me.”
Ann Marie and a group of campers in the creek.
Do you remember counselor Ann Marie?! Chances are you do because she has served on staff as a counselor at Asbury Hills for a few years now. We asked Ann Marie her thoughts about being a counselor at Asbury Hills and we think you’ll like what she had to say. Ann Marie is great at what she does and she shares where her inspiration comes from so keep reading!
“I’ve wanted to be a camp counselor since I was 9 years old. The summer of 2008 was my first time at a summer camp, and I remember asking my counselor on the second day how old I had to be to be a counselor. When she told me the answer, I didn’t think I would ever be that old. When I was, I applied to work as a camp counselor at Asbury Hills. Then the fear crept in. The counselors I had growing up were amazing. In my mind, they were perfect. They were incredibly strong Christians who lived their lives perfectly reflecting His love every day. Growing up, I strived to be just like them. But walking into my first summer on staff at Asbury Hills, I knew I was nowhere near perfect, so how could I be a counselor? My first week with campers, there were so many times that I didn’t know what to do or say, and at first I listened to the lies in my head—that I wasn’t good enough to be a counselor. My counselors that I had looked up to all my life always knew just the right thing to say to encourage and uplift me in my faith when I was struggling. They always seemed to have the answer, always seemed to know what they were doing. And in my mind, they did it perfectly. So when campers came and I wasn’t perfect, I felt like I wasn’t a good enough person–a good enough Christian–to be a camp counselor. Which was so incredibly confusing, because I knew that God had been calling me for most of my life to camp ministry, so why did I feel so bad at it? But over that summer, I saw in such a practical way the meaning of the phrase “He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” On my own, I could never be the perfect counselor that I so desired to be. I didn’t know all the right words to say, the right things to do in every situation. But that was okay, because it wasn’t up to me.
In Luke 12:11-12, Jesus says to his disciples, “Do not worry about how you will defend yourselves, or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Jesus never promised me that I would be a perfect counselor. If I look to Him, and lean on His wisdom and guidance, I won’t necessarily be perfect, but I will be exactly the counselor these campers need me to be. Only in Him will I have the words to say and be able to constantly pour myself out for the campers and my fellow staffers. Only in Him can I be the best counselor for these kids, like my counselors were for me.
I would encourage anyone who is considering working at Asbury Hills to go for it, despite any fears they may have. When we follow God’s calling for our life, He enables us to do whatever it is beyond the best of our abilities. He qualifies the called.”