The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Did you get IT? Is IT real? Will IT last?

These are questions many Boot Camp graduates ponder as they transition from the safe, loving environment of Boot Camp into their day to day routines and challenges of everyday life.

What is IT anyway?

IT may be freedom from guilt & shame.

IT may be self acceptance.

IT may be openness & vulnerability.

IT may be a fresh start.

IT may be a relationship with God.

IT may be the ability to love yourself, others, & God.

IT may be forgiveness toward someone who has caused hurt & pain in your life.

IT may be increased self confidence.

IT may be a broadening of our vision, to see the hurts and struggles of others.

IT may be a lot of different things.

The beauty of Boot Camp lies in that there isn’t just one IT that all graduates must get. Rather each graduate gets the IT that is unique to him or her. Through the safe, loving environment and the variety of drills and games that trainees experience, God provides the perfect touch and the IT needed by each individual.

As a May 31, 2003 Boot Camp graduate, I pondered the above questions on Monday morning after Boot Camp.

Did I get IT? Yes, I did!! I got freedom from unforgiveness. I got acceptance from God.

I got a fresh start in my marriage. I got a renewed relationship with God. I got so much!

My answer to that question was a definite, “Yes, I got IT!”

Is IT real? Would IT last? I wanted IT to be real and I didn’t want to believe that I had only experienced an emotional high that would fade away in a matter of days. I wanted to know that I had truly experienced genuine and lasting changes within myself. Because much of my IT involved my relationship with God, I prayed these questions and fears to Him as I drove to work on Monday morning. Just as I pulled into my parking spot at work, God played my cradle song on the radio. I sat there in my car with eyes closed and experienced a special touch from God Himself. At that moment I knew that my IT was God--a very real, eternal God who knew me, loved me, and cared for me. He was real and He would last.

Now over five years later, He continues to love me and mold me and renew me. Are there days when I shut Him out? Yes, but then He uses people, music, and His Word to remind me of the choices I made during Boot Camp. Then I can choose to allow Him to renew my spirit once again. Another way of keeping IT alive and growing is through sharing the experience of Boot Camp with friends and relatives and by returning to Boot Camp as a Trainer. Witnessing God working in other people’s lives and yielding myself to Him as an instrument through which He works is an incredible reminder of what He did in my life during those four days in May. Just as the song, “Make Me an Instrument” expresses, I am reminded that “It is in giving, that I receive.” Karen Mensch

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