Me, two of my campers, and Danielle (Squeamish)
I remember when I was first given the name Nala. I took the longest to name out of the whole staff. The staff shouted out name after name for me, but none of them felt like me, until Nala. I have always loved the Lion King and when I was a little girl, I named one of my dolls Nala. I knew it was going to be my name. I loved it.
For the rest of summer 2010, I was Nala. And I was so happy about it. I never knew that name would grow to be something I identified with. During the summer I spent at Canby Grove, I felt incredibly alive. I had dreamed of being a camp counselor for as long as I can remember. And I was living my dream, finally. I had applied for years to work as one, and I had finally been selected.
My relationship with God was the best it has ever been. I was consistent in spending time with God daily and I was experiencing real Joy. For the summer, the staff each picked a word that we felt was something to lay down to God and to be this summer. I picked joy. I naturally struggle with being a happy person and so experiencing true joy was amazing.
As the summer went on, I was amazed at how God was using me. I was embracing and enjoying how the staff was bonding and how close we all were. It is rare for me to feel so accepted and loved in a community, but I did.
The name Nala brings joy to my heart. I associate the name with a time of my life where I was me. I wasn't hiding or running. I was simply ME. There's nothing more beautiful than diligently following God and being content with the person he created you to be.