My name is Jessi, and I am a senior English major from New York. This summer I had the life-changing opportunity to work at Teen Extreme youth camps here at PCC. Teens from all over the country—and some from other countries—came to make new friends, hang out in the Sports Center, but most of all, to grow closer to God.
Now, I wasn’t the most likely person to be chosen to work camps. In fact, I almost didn’t get chosen at all. But God, it seemed, had something important to teach me through the simple act of listening to the Little Voice.
The Little Voice and I go way back. He was there when I was a child, telling me not to sneak that cookie. He was there in middle school telling me to go forward during the invitation and make things right with God. He was there in my teenage years telling me that maybe I shouldn’t go there with my friends today. Sometimes I listened; sometimes I ignored Him. But I’m thankful I didn’t ignore Him this past semester.
One afternoon in February, I went to check my mail like every other day since I’d returned from Christmas break. I had applied for Teen Extreme the semester before and had already gone to one interview. Every day since, I checked my mailbox with the slightest twinge of suppressed hope that I would get an acceptance memo. As the weeks progressed, that hope faded to the reality that I wasn’t going to get the job.
But still, I faithfully checked my mail, hoping that maybe—just maybe—today would be the day. One day, my fading hope revived when I saw a blue memo waiting in the box. I tore it open and hastily scanned it. The memo thanked me for applying to work at the Teen Extreme summer camps but regretfully informed me that all the positions had been filled. I stuffed it in my backpack with less disappointment than I had expected.
“God has hired someone who will do a better job,” I told myself. And I honestly believed it.
I was just turning to go to my next class when the Little Voice piped up behind my right ear.
“You should write a thank-you note,” He said.
“That’s ridiculous.” I thought. “Nobody writes a thank-you note for not getting a job.”
“That doesn’t matter. You should do it anyway.”
I started to walk out of the Commons, but the Little Voice wouldn’t let me go so easily. It was almost like He tapped me on the earlobe and gave me “the look.”
“Fine,” I grumbled. “I’ll write the note.”
I pulled out a notebook and tried to write neatly. “Thanks for the opportunity to apply for summer camp work. I will be praying for you and your ministry.”
Not the best of notes, as notes go, but I was in a bit of an unusual circumstance.
As the Little Voice retreated, I realized just how crazy I really was. Maybe college was hazardous to my mental well-being.
I shook my head and went on with my day.
About a month and a half later, I received a call from the camp director’s secretary. She wanted to know if I could please come to an interview with the director at 1:00 that afternoon. Like I was going to say no!
I sat across from his desk, trying—rather unsuccessfully—not to fidget. After the formal introductions and seemingly endless how are you’s, he looked at me and said, “Do you remember writing this?” He held up the note.
“Y-yes, sir, I do,” I stammered.
“We had a counselor position open up, and I saw this note. I looked at it and thought, ‘Huh. I guess God is trying to tell me something.’” He paused for a moment.
I held my breath.
“You’re in,” he said.
I couldn’t believe it. It was so unexpected, that I just started laughing.
“You’re going to write thank you notes about everything now, aren’t you?” the director asked with a smile.
It may sound crazy, taking orders from the Little Voice in my head, but what the world calls crazy, God calls surrender.