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At camp, the paid summer staff and a few others give short testimonies on the things God has recently been teaching us. This was mine for past week.

So, lately I've been getting distracted. It's become a problem because it's taking away from from my job as a counselor-in-training. A few new things have entered my life in the past few months, and my mind keeps wandering to them. But they don't apply to my work here. I need to focus on helping the campers and encouraging the staff—not letting my mind wander.

There's a verse in Colossians 3 that says, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Right now, God has placed me at camp, so I need to be at camp. This is where I'm supposed to be. God wants me here, so I need to serve Him and focus on the goals He has given me: loving the campers and the staff. The distractions can be addressed outside of camp. But right now, I am going to focus on God and my campers and my fellow staff members.
Bekah Joan


Camp is Here.

Camp! Yay! Right? :P
Basically, I'm home on weekends, just like last year. I'll hopefully be posting my testimonies on here (I'll explain that later) on Saturdays/Sundays.
We shall see.
I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

Bekah Joan


My Confession

This is actually as much of a confession as it is a testimony (and you all finally get to see what my face looks like).
But it starts as a confession.
See, I have an issue. I don't trust God. This leads to me stressing out a lot. Worrying. Having anxiety issues. That leads to me pulling out my hair.
These two pictures are from 2011, before I started pulling out my hair. See how thick it is?
I remember it starting last school year (12-13) during late winter/early spring. I was stressed about school and summer camp.
I can't even recall exactly how it began. It was so gradual. I think it started because I would pull apart split ends in my hair, and somehow that led to pulling it out. I don't really remember, though.
It didn't get bad until camp last summer. It's a stressful job—you're in charge of (on average) fifteen girls with one other person for a week. There isn't a break until the weekend. Anything could go wrong. In fact, something always does. But we don't need to get into details.
After camp (August, mostly), it got worse. I already had a bald spot on the back of my head that I'd made during June/July. But once school started, everything took a downward spiral.
This goes back to what I said earlier. I have trust issues with God. Major ones.
School was overwhelming, I felt inferior to just about everyone, and I basically hated myself. I mean that. I was so angry at myself for not being able to stop pulling out my hair. For not being better. Perfect.
For a few days in October, I was actually able to stop pulling because I was so terrified of losing all of my hair. But it only lasted for a few days.
Then November came. Please understand that in no way am I blaming the people who run NaNoWriMo for this. I love those people. I pushed myself too far. I was the one not trusting God. So when I got behind in my word count (my grandfather passed away on the last day of October, so the next few days were full of funeral stuff. Plus I was working for a few weekends with no time to write), I was stressed. And guys—it's really easy to sit there and stare at a Word document and yank out your hair. I wouldn't recommend it—it's a horrible thing. But I couldn't stop. And I didn't, not even through December.
Over Christmas break, my sister and I had a few friends over for a sleepover. I was terrified to fall asleep because if I rolled over and let my left side show, my friends would see. They'd notice that almost all of the hair on the left side of my head was gone.
It was terrible to hide. Even with my hair parted to the left, there was barely enough to cover the bald patch.
I remember one day in church I couldn't stop pulling. And after the service, one of the women who sits behind us (we're in the front row, so that includes a lot of people. I was actually surprised that out of my whole church, she was the only one who noticed—at least the only one who said anything) told me to stop. Then she compared me to a gorilla. At the time, it stung. I was hurt deeply. But now I'm to the point where I can laugh it off. And to be honest, it helped me. I mostly stopped pulling in church after that incident.
This is from January 2014. Compare it to the pictures above. See the difference in thickness?
An excerpt from my journal (February 21, 2014, Friday).
Co-op today. Not excited.
On the left side of my head, almost all of my long hair is gone. The rest has grown back enough that it doesn't look too terrible. It's getting harder to do my hair and hide it. Almost impossible.
But God is in control. He still loves me even though I don't fully trust Him yet. I'm trying to love Him. Really.

I included this to show that the past year of my life wasn't all depressing. I still had hope (although for a few months, I think I lost it). There were still good times. Promise.
In March, I'd finally had enough. The hair on the left side of my head was short, and there were maybe twenty to thirty strands of long hair on that side—and only when it was parted correctly. I was sick of wearing my hair pulled back by two bobby pins (like this picture here. You can actually see some of the short strands under the pulled-back ones) every single day. I could barely manage to get it into a ponytail.
So I got it cut.
May 2014.
There are still some uneven sections in my hair, like all the little ones that stick up at the top, but it looks a lot better short than it did long and uneven. Personally, I like it this short, although I miss it longer with its usual thickness.
It makes me laugh when girls say they hate their hair. You have no idea. At least let me say that.
But I'm not bitter. I was. Oh, I was so bitter and angry. But over the past month or two, my negative emotions have calmed down. I've started to rely on God, rather clumsily and terribly, but I'm trying. I'm coming out with it. People are praying for me. I am supported by an amazing group of friends and an unshakable God.
I am loved.
No matter what I do, I. Am. Always. Loved. God is in control, and He always will be. Whatever He puts in my path is there to help me—including this.
I don't trust God fully. Not yet. But I'm farther than I was last year around this time. I still pull my hair out, but not nearly as much. There are no more bald patches. Truly, I think my only regret is holding all of this inside for so long. It was wrong. My church and my family and my friends are there specifically to help me through things like this, and I completely ignored that.
I'm sorry.
I am so, so sorry, guys. I was wrong, and I beg for your forgiveness.
And that's how I'm going to end this post. With a well-needed apology and a note of hope that I can overcome this with God's help.
I will.
We will.

Bekah Joan
p.s. wow, that was long. i thank you so, so much if you read the whole thing.


The Winner of the 2014 Writing Contest

Congratulations to Leanne, the winner! Your style was so unique, along with your story idea. I was impressed.
As for the honorable mentions...there are three:
Lauren Larson
Emily Walker
Congratulations, guys! :)
It was so much fun doing this. So. Much. Fun. I got sixteen entries (which was WAY more than I expected). They were all so amazing. Fantastic. Your words made this such a fun experience for me, and I hope I helped make it fun for you all, too. <3
Bekah Joan
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