My time with ACMNP in Glacier National Park was life-changing to say the least. My first season with ACMNP was a year after my dad passed away. Looking back, I think my biggest fear back then was not having anyone to talk to about it; there wasn’t someone who understood what I was going through. A lot of my free time was spent on this lake, just staring at the mountains and praying to God that He would get me through this and that I would finally be able to relate to someone. That’s when He brought one of the most influential people into my life.
My friend and I have very similar stories, the only difference was that they were lacking the one thing I valued most: my relationship with God.
Over time and into my second summer in Glacier, I got the privilege to talk to my friend on several different occasions about our Heavenly Father and my faith. These conversations restored my self-confidence and encouraged me to live life to the fullest and to live a life as honest and authentic as possible. It’s from this friendship that God blessed me with realizing that I might not see my friends accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior during my lifetime, but I am grateful that I get to be a part of their journey and that I got to sow a seed glorifying Him and His kingdom.
My two summers with ACMNP showed me this: we can’t have any expectations for how things are going to turn out, all we simply need to do is trust God, His timing, and the plans He has for us. I finally understand that some of the hardest times we go through in life are where we are transitioning from one version of ourselves to another. One thing I’ve realized throughout my ACMNP experience is that to appreciate the good, we must go through the bad. To get to the mountain top, we must trudge through the valleys. We’re not called to live an easy, perfect life. Persevering through the trials is what makes the climb worth it. No matter how scary it may be to start over, or how terrifying it is to not be in control, God’s plans are ALWAYS better. Our most painful struggles often grant us the most necessary growth, and what may seem like the “end of the world,” let’s be honest, isn’t. Inevitable things happen, people die, friends part ways, relationships fall apart, but at the end of the day, we’re alive, and we get a chance to start over again; to share how faithful God is through every single part of our life. And for that I will be forever thankful.
Sara D., Glacier National Park, 2016 & 2017
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”