From California to Texas

It was barely the new year when I packed up my car with all of my possessions and began to drive across the country to Huntsville, Texas: a place I had only been to twice before, and the direct antithesis of where I had grown up. As the drive continued I watched my life change in front of me, from the landscape, to the climate, and even the time zone. And let me tell you, it’s true what they say– everything is bigger in Texas. As a kid born and raised in the state of California, never having lived more than an hour away from the beach, I never imagined I would end up here.

Kara Podesta
Director of The W!LD

To most people, I would appear to be the classic Californian. I wear flip-flops year-round, jeans with too many holes, and I have never called anyone “ma’am” in my life. When the opportunity came to join the team at Carolina Creek, I could not have rejected the idea any faster. Yet here I am, two weeks into my life in Texas, learning what it means to call this new place home.

When I was in 4th grade, I attended a summer camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where I accepted Christ under the stars, redwood trees circling my place on the grass. From that summer on, camp became a staple of my life and helped shape my young faith. I left camp each week in absolute awe of my counselor and everything I had just experienced, never imagining I would one day be that counselor. But as life would have it, in the summer of 2013, I made my start in camp ministry as a counselor for 4th-6th grade girls. It was one of the hardest, most rewarding summers of my life. Working in camp ministry was never something I thought I would be doing, but it has now become something I couldn’t imagine living without.

Throughout my time in camp ministry I fell in love with Children’s ministry and could not see myself working with any other age group. So, when I got a call to come visit Carolina Creek, I couldn’t wait to see The W!ld which I had heard so much about. I remember being in awe of everything around me, as I was visiting from a camp built in the 1920’s. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the rustic feel of our camp with such rich history, but The W!ld was young and full of possibilities. For the next four months God continued to work on my heart every day showing me that Carolina Creek was what He had in store for me, and I continued to do my best impression of Jonah and run in the opposite direction. For me, a California native, the idea of moving to Texas was honestly like moving to another continent, the scariest thing I could ever do. One day I stopped running, stood still, leaned into God’s plan, and here I am. Picking up and moving across the country felt like jumping off the high dive, with no clue what it would be like when I landed in the water.

 

It’s been two weeks since I landed… and I didn’t drown. Slowly but surely, I am learning what it means to live life not only at Carolina Creek, but in Texas. So here I am, trading food trucks on every corner for endless barbecue restaurants, and breezy beach nights for warm evenings by the lake. But camp is still camp, no matter where it is, and as long as I’m there, it can be home. I’ll still wear my flip flops 24/7 and won’t trade my Dodger allegiance for anything in the world, but I’ll gladly join the community of Carolina Creek with open arms, ready to embrace all the change this new way of life offers.

Kara Podesta

Director of The W!LD

[TheChamp-Sharing]