You are ok child, You are MORE than OK!

As a child I spent several summers at Camp Beckwith, in Fairhope, AL. During the summer of 1996, I spent the summer exploring and conquering camp, as a day camp counselor. I stayed on campus all summer in a small room in Harmon hall. It was a summer I will always remember.

Joy Williams circa 1996

That 15/16 year old who walked the trails, held little children’s hands and sang worship songs nightly in the chapel was afraid. I had deep friendships with my family and friends, as well as, I was nestled deeply in a youth group that supported me.  Yet, I was still scared. I was more than scared, I was unsettled and running from the life I was living.  The summer of 1996 is where the cracks in my insecurity began seething through.  I remember the late nights alone sitting on the porch of the chapel or rocking in the chairs outside Wilson hall. I can recall listening to the songs by Dave Wilcox strummed on Jay Oaks’ guitar. We would all sing along and I would drift away in my head. Who would I be at 35? Where would I live? Would I be loved? Where would my inexperienced scared teenage self end up?

Fast Forward 20 Years

I have returned to camp for the last 3 years to drop my children off to be campers. This summer when I returned to camp, at the age of 34, my heart swelled with security and fervent strength in The Lord. 20 years later, I can see how he has woven my life perfectly in his plan. I am loved by an incredible man. We have 2 beautiful children and a successful business. We are a team that puts Christ and each other’s needs first. I couldn’t be more proud of the marriage we have together. He provides me with an enormous amount of security and love.

Williams Family 096_1

As I sit on the dock and soak up the rise of the sun I feel peace. My life surpasses all my expectations and wonders. I am happy and free.

Camp Beckwith

The experiences gained from my first summer a fair distance with out my family resonate with me 20 years later. I do not live in fear of tomorrow. I can tell that 16 year old child inside, You are OK- You are more than OK! LIFE IS GOOD!

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  1. What a beautiful post! If only we knew then what we know now, right? Guess faith wouldn’t be necessary then though. And without faith it it impossible to please Him!

  2. annemarienichols says:

    I hope you’re able to share this with your kids as they get older and are feeling doubts about themselves and their lives.

  3. I agree, share with your kids when they are older. Such a great thing for them to see!

  4. What a wonderful message to share. Being 16 can be so stressful as everything is unknown. It’s good for all of us to know that we will end up OK, and even better than OK.

  5. Beautiful post! I can greatly relate, as I felt the same way as a teenager.

    HilLesha O’Nan

  6. such a nice post and I am loving that picture of you and your family!

  7. How cool to bring your kids to the same place you grew up.

  8. I hope that my kids experiences at church camp was as deep and impactful. I know they loved the time they spent their summer weeks their. Love that your kids are going to the same place. I hope my grandkids get that.

  9. It is such a blessing to know you are taken care of my God. I love that you are able to share the same experience with your children that you yourself had all those years ago.

  10. Oh, I love this! Don’t you wish you could tell your younger self it will be okay!

  11. I agree what a great post. Sometimes it is good to reflect.

  12. Love this! Oh to be able to tell my younger self this message (and to learn from it)

  13. I have so many messages that I would give my own self if I could go back in time.

  14. I’m glad to see you’ve found a center and security. Sadly, not everyone benefits from that kind of warmth, acceptance and love as you do.

  15. I love that picture of the 4 of you! Isn’t it amazing the way things turn out, despite all of the doubts and fears that we have. It seems maybe like we have to go through all that so we can appreciate what we have.

  16. This is a beautiful post! I’m glad you were able to find security. I really believe God takes us through those kinds of trials so we can come out stronger.

  17. I hope one day I can bring my girls to the same camp I went to when I was young. Such a great post!

  18. I totally get this. I remember days as a teenager thinking to myself, I wish I could just get past being this age and straight on to being married, having a family, job, etc. Oh how I wish I could go back and give that younger me a hug and say it all turns out ok!

  19. Awww. This is awesome and your family is beautiful. OAN, I’ve never been to a camp away from home… I bet it was fun.

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