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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camp- Wednesday and Thursday night.

There are a lot of details in here mostly so I remember what happen.
Wednesday during free time I was texting one of my best friends who wasn't at camp. (Shame on me for texting at camp I know but it was for a good reason) She had cancer last year and had been cancer free for a while praise God! Through out the past year and half, she and I have become such great friends, being able to relate to each other. We have so many medical stories to tell each other that make us laugh for days!
Well she went in for her routine scans and they found something. Last Tuesday she had a biopsy and Wednesday they called and told her that the cancer is back. It just broke my heart to know that. At that time, not very many people knew because she just found out.
Fast forward to Wednesday night. We were in our nightly worship which started at 10 or so. I love this worship time so much. We are outside under the pavilion and it is just a wonderful time of praise.
That night as we were worshiping, we could see a storm in the distance. We watched the lightening light up the dark sky and saw God's power.
After we worshiped for a while, Jeff got up to give us a lesson. Before he started he said that he had some news to tell us. He then told the camp that Rebecca's cancer was back. We all physically got on our knees and prayed. I wish we did that more often. There is something about kneeling before God that brings you closer to Him. During that time of prayer, our group of friends just couldn't hold it together enough to stay there and listen to a lesson. I'm sure it was a great lesson because they all were, but we had to do something. One of my good friends and I found each other and prayed and talked. There were several groups of people who left to go by themselves to pray. After the worship time was over it was time for family time. My friend and I decided that we just couldn't go. So we decided to sit in the field to pray and watch the storm and look at the stars. We had a great talk about God's plan and how He is always faithful. But we also talked about how we didn't understand.
We went to the circle time and they said that after that all the seniors that just graduated (the grade that Rebecca is in) were going to meet at the pavilion after we sang. I'm not in that grade by they told me to come. When we got there they had homemade ice cream for us. After everyone ate the ice cream we all put our chairs in a circle. People started leading songs and praying. As the worship and prayer time went on, the more we could feel God there. People were angry. I was angry. Not angry at God, but angry at life. As people began to lead songs like Blessed Be Your Name and It Is Well, people started getting more honest. I can't even describe what happened. It was the most honest and powerful worship I have ever been apart of. At first people just prayed about Rebecca. And then people started praying about their life and they were so honest about it. No one was afraid to cry out or say why God or just admit that they don't understand. I don't know how long we stayed out there but it was to at least 1 am or later. Time didn't even cross our minds because we were so into crying out to God.
A song came to my mind called Better Than A Hallelujah by Amy Grant. It talks about how God wants to hear our cries and that sometimes that's better than a hallelujah. Here are the lyrics.
"God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves a drunkards cry,
A soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
.
We pour out our miseries
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah
Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out,singing out.
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah"
As the worship time was almost over, I started having trouble breathing. I told my friend who was sitting next to me just so someone would know. And then all of the sudden, my legs and arms went numb. I couldn't feel my body. I was shaking so much which I couldn't control because I was numb. I thought I was going to pass out so I don't really remember very much after that. Most people had left by then, but I know the youth ministers were there and some of my friends. I remember there being a lot of people around me telling me I was going to go to the hospital. I convinced them not to take me. We sat there for a while until I could breathe and some of the numbness went away. I was able to feel my arms after a while but my legs stayed numb. They all helped me get to a car and then took me to my cabin. I don't even know what time it was but it was so late! Everyone had stayed out late that night so they moved our morning meeting time to 8:10 instead of 8!
I know a lot of people didn't sleep well that night. It was just a hard night for many reasons.
Thursday morning came way too early. They let the senior cabin sleep in a little since we were up so late for good reasons. Thursday morning was really hard for me. My legs were still numb but at the same time it hurt so much to walk. I don't understand how they could be numb but hurt so much. I was really struggling to walk. That morning it was so cloudy and humid. So humid. We heard that it was supposed to rain. We all had a refreshed hope though that today would be a better day. It was a new day and God was still faithful. I was reminded of this verse.
"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24
That is so comforting.
During the morning sports time it started POURING down rain. It was so fun to watch everyone playing their sports in the rain. Everyone was SOAKED and no one cared! I was so excited because Rebecca got to come to camp for the day!!!!!! So she got there just as it started to pour! Lunch was next so we went ahead and went to the cafeteria. They always gave us cookies for lunch and dinner and I have to say that they were amazing! We might have stolen one or five maybe...but who's keeping track.
It kept pouring through rest time and Bible class. I know the power went out one day. It was either Wednesday or Thursday I think. They cancelled the second sports time! Thursday was such a good relaxing day. It poured the whole time and we had free time for a long time. We definitely did NOT convince a youth minister to sneak us out and take us to Sonic at the beginning of free time. That would be SO unfair to the rest of the world. And if we DID go to Sonic which we DIDN'T, we did NOT throw the evidence away in the dumpster.
The rest of the day was really good! It stopped raining for the most part!
The last night of camp is always really emotional and life changing, but I would have never thought it would be this life changing! Canteen is right before worship and they make popcorn but they can't make very much of it because it takes forever. My friend and I had to take some medicine with food so we were going to take it with popcorn because that is the most food you can get at canteen. We waited for so long for that popcorn but it was fun because everyone had already left so we just hung out with the counselors making the popcorn! We got to worship really late so we sat at the back but we didn't miss anything except camp videos. I'm glad we sat at the back for this one. We sang song songs and then Phil got up to talk. First he talked about Hell. He read scriptures and just told us about then. Then he started talking about Heaven. He read scriptures about Heaven too and then they turned off the powerpoint and lights. He said he was going to walk us through an exercise about Heaven.
We sat up straight with both our feet on the ground and took deep breaths. We breathed the phrase be still and know that I am God. I breathed in and said "be still", then breathed out and said "and know", then breathed in and said "that I", then breathed out "am God". It is a great technique for calming yourself down. You can do it with any phrase or verse or anything.
After a few minutes of that this is what he told us to picture. I am probably leaving things out or adding things that he didn't say, but that's the point. You are supposed to use the imagination that God gave you. This is what he said:
Picture yourselves in a hospital room, laying in the hospital bed. I had such a vivid picture because I've been in so many hospital rooms and beds. You are very, very sick and are about to die. The doctors tell you that you have very little time to live. You have said goodbye to everyone and you know that it is time. You take your last breath and you leave this world. Back up from the room and look at yourself laying in that hospital bed. Next, angels come to get you. Picture what that would be like. They take you to heaven. You come up to the gates of heaven. What do they look like? What do they feel like when you reach out and touch them? The gates open and you go inside. There are people waiting for you, welcoming you to Heaven. Who is waiting for you? Who do you see standing there? What is the look on their faces? After you greet them, you look a little farther and Jesus is standing there. Jesus, your Savior is there and you finally get to see Him face to face. What does he look like? What is the look on His face? What are the first words He says to you? Do you hug Him or kneel or what?
Next, Phil let us have a couple minutes of silence to take in what we were seeing. It is a lot of emotion to picture that. He then said that we would be going to the indoor chapel row by row. My row was the first dismissed since we were at the back. He said that as we were walking, picture the angels, surrounding you, taking you to heaven. I remember that as I was walking, I felt so light, I don't remember feeling pain. As we got closer to the chapel, we could see bright lights and hear cheering. One by one we walked into the chapel. There were such bright lights shining on the isle. When we went through the door of the chapel, the isle was lined with ALL the counselors. As I walked in, they all were yelling my name, hugging me, clapping, chanting, and with the biggest smile and tears saying "welcome home, you made it". They were welcoming me to Heaven. It was unbelievable. I started crying even harder with tears of joy. After being welcomed, we sat down and watched and cheered as others were welcomed to Heaven. Every single person was crying as they walked in and were welcomed home. I'm doing a horrible job of explaining it because there are no words to describe it. Once everyone got in there, everyone was crying tears of joy. It was so overwhelming and powerful. We then spent the rest of the time worshiping and it was such a powerful and uplifting worship! More tears of joy were shed during the entire worship time. I love how supportive everyone is of each other especially during these times. Some people were crying because they have people waiting for them in Heaven that they miss greatly, some people were crying because they were free of sin, some people were crying because they were free of pain. It felt like such a burden was lifting and we felt how REAL Heaven is. We were reminded that one day there will be NO more pain, death, sickness, sin. It IS going to happen.
I love this song so much.
I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin
"There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise"
That night after family time, we got in our nightly circle to sing and there was so much joy. There was so much joy that people stayed and sang until at least 2 am maybe later!!!!! God is working in so many ways and it is unbelievable. Those two nights were some of the best nights of our lives and we will never forget that.

2 comments:

  1. Rebecca StaffordJuly 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    I was amazing! I was so glad i got to go thursday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Victoria, I love this post so much. That was such a life-changing day.
    I love you!

    And Rebecca, if you see this, I love you too. :)

    ReplyDelete