Dear Echo Valley Girls' Side:
What. a. summer.
When we wrote our first letter only a couple of months ago, both of us were full of hope that our summers, though different than we imagined, would be bursting with fun and growth and challenges that made us all better. We dreamed of ways to keep showing up for you and prayed that you would feel loved by us, by one another; by your Heavenly Father.
I don’t know if any of us could have imagined the heartbreak that awaited us this summer. From the loss of LLYC’s beloved Remy Velarde to Cameron’s mom passing away–and a lot of loss in between–the summer feels like it is teeming with loss and pain. And we know that we are not the only ones who have felt it and stared in shock at the gaping holes death leaves. You have shouldered the burden with us. You have offered your support, your love, your prayers, and your encouragement. You have shown up for us when we stumbled forward, tenderly placing one foot in front of the other, trusting that there would be just enough light for the next step.
This is girls’ side at its best. Which feels ironic, in a way, because we haven’t been able to be together–a word and reality we hold more dear now than ever before. But it’s true! Just like we’ve said a thousand times that God is certainly not contained within the canyon walls of LLYC, the magic of girls’ side cannot be contained within camp either.
You all have shown up for each other, committing to love one another and listen, even when it meant you had to be creative and let go of your expectations. You have reached out to people to let them know you’re thinking of them and that they are not alone. You’ve wept with the weeping and danced with the dancing.
It has been a hard summer. There’s no question about it. But it has not been a bad summer. Because if there’s anything we know about the ladies that make the Laity Lodge so great, it’s that they thrive in the hard places.
When you look back on this summer, you might remember how strange it was. But our prayer is that the memory of this summer would compel you to keep showing up for the people right in front of you; that you would be present wherever your feet are and commit to wholeheartedly loving and serving your neighbors.
Just like we promised you at the beginning of the summer, we are here, and we hope that you will reach out to us and to one another long after the heat of the summer has dissipated. The magic of girls’ side cannot be contained within the canyon, and our love for you all cannot be bound by the summer.
All of our love to you, girls’ side. Forever and ever!
Caro + Cam