Well earlier this week my parents asked if I wanted to go to Memphis for part of the mission trip! Of course I said yes! We didn't decide for sure until the day before we left so I didn't tell anyone except my youth minister and one friend. I thought it would be great to surprise everyone!
My dad took me and my brother came too. We left Wednesday morning at 11 and got to Memphis at 7. Everyone was at the VBS they did at a church there so we went to the hotel and ate dinner and waited for them. The friend I told, came back to the hotel early with the moms that were on the trip to help us think of a surprise plan. That night, all the girls were going to have a little party in one of the rooms. So my friend and the moms got to the hotel around 8:30 and we went to the room to figure out what to do. We finally had a plan! Kevin (youth minister) called me at 9 and told me that they were on their way to the hotel! My dad, brother, my friend, and I ran up to another floor to wait. All the girls finally got there and got into the room. One of the moms texted us and told us to come down! As we got there and were waiting outside the door, they were leading a prayer for us. They had to come up with a reason why Rebecca (friend who was with me) wasn't there. So they said she needed some quiet time. They prayed for her and then prayed for me because they knew how much I wanted to be there and if it was God's will to let me be there with them. What a great prayer! Little did they know that I WAS there with them! So after the prayer was over I walked in and they SCREAMED and all ran towards me! It was so great! People in the hotel got mad because we were so loud...It was kinda funny!
The rest of the night we hung out at the hotel and had the nightly devotional. The plan was for my dad and brother to stay the night and then do whatever they wanted and come back Thursday night. I was going to stay with the group until they came home Saturday.
That was the plan...God had a different plan! I stayed in a room with my friends of course! They all went to bed and then I realized it was one of those nights. I knew sleep was not going to come. I tried some deep breathing and things I've learned but that didn't work. At 4am, I couldn't just lay there anymore because of the pain. I didn't want to wake them up so I went into the bathroom to hang out. Thank goodness for wireless internet! I decided to take a shower at 5am to see if that would help me sleep. It didn't so I got dressed for the morning! Might as well be ready by 5:30am right? At 6am I went to lay in bed again all dressed and ready.
I was using my Itouch and saw the Bible on there and thought maybe God was wanting to tell me something since I was up...the Bible was on the Message version and this is what I read..
2 Corinthians 4
"Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
3-4If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get.
5-6Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!
13-15We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!
16-18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever."
I just had to laugh...God smacked me in the face with that one.
Finally at 8:15 the rest of the world decided to wake up. I got up too and it was not good. I felt horrible. I made the hard decision to go back with my dad and brother and not stay for the rest of the trip. It always takes me days to recover from those nights. I was devastated and felt so defeated by this disease. Sometimes I really don't understand God's plan...I tried to go on the mission trip for 3 days and didn't even stay for 1.
So after 16 great and not so great hours in Memphis, we started the long drive home.
Five minutes after we left, our air conditioner went out. I'm not joking. Thankfully, it would work on and off. We left Memphis at 11am and got home last night at 10pm. It took us forever and not feeling well didn't help anything. I slept until 1 this afternoon and have done nothing but lay on the couch. Hopefully this weekend will be better!