An entire week at project has already come and gone.

According to some people, the days have flown while others claim each day felt like an entire week. I think so far the realization that we are literally living on the beach in South Carolina (hopefully) pursuing Jesus with everything we got has not hit a lot of people.  It definitely has felt like a whirlwind—kind of like summer camp where people arrive with abounding energy only to realize a week later that this summer will not just be constant rap battles, pool time, or walks on the beach. In fact, the level of energy it takes just to pay attention to daily devotions or life training surprises me.

From figuring out dress codes, recognizing how difficult it is to build deep relationships, breaking down walls that have been deeply imbedded into our hearts, becoming familiar with work, scheduling, and co-workers, and taking the first step towards sharing the gospel for the first time with a stranger on the beach have all had its challenges. Project so far has felt like a mixture of school, daily counselling sessions, figuring out how to live like a vacationer trying to eat healthy and richly while on a poor college student’s salary, yet feeling a strange mixture of highs and lows—abounding joy and overwhelming darkness on a wide scale for everyone. For some, project has become an amazing outlet to connect with other believers, while for others it has become a place that requires processing that causes both joy or pain. Everyone signed up for this trip, but not everyone brought the same type and amount of baggage. Personally, I think it is so neat to see how much one person can impact another, especially in a Christian environment—how each of our broken and overbearing baggage can help heal each other.

Looking back on the last ten days, I would not have it any other way. The pain we’ve felt—that I’ve felt—cannot compare to the joy that is coming. At least that is what my Bible continues to scream at me. Looking towards the coming weeks based off this past week makes me question if project was worth uprooting myself, moving across the country, leaving friends, family, plans, and summer traditions behind.

It was—and is—and I know will continue to be.

God is good. Whether we know it or not now, this summer will be the hardest, yet best summer of our lives. We all will grow in ways we never thought we needed to grow in. Jesus will break us and continue to do so until we realize He is the only glue that will permanently fix us. In fact, He will become the glue that not only fixes us but makes us better than we were brand new.

To become new, we have to expect tough growing pains. We have to prepare for battling our deepest, darkest parts of ourselves.

But I believe we are ready—and it will be worth it.