Family Camp

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New Hope Family Camp

First of all, I was kind of dreading family camp this year. This has been a tough year as you can understand. This year has been filled with “firsts” without Linda. First Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years with no kiss, first Valentines Day with no special valentine, first birthday celebration for Linda without her being here, first Mother’s day, first Father’s day and now first Family Camp. All of these dates are unavoidable except family camp. I could have skipped it this year. I did think about it. Honestly, I could have just stayed home and gone to church. I could have kept it simple. But I chose to press through and go. I chose to surround myself with some of my friends and let God continue to heal me. I left Monday afternoon and after a couple of hours arrived at Richardson Camp Lake Tahoe. This year we were camping at a different part of the camp grounds. At first I was disappointed but later I appreciated that it wasn’t “Linda’s and my” place. It became “my” place. However, Tuesday morning I fought a battle to just leave and come home. I was assaulted with the fact that I would be up there all week with her! My heart started to ache. Then, after some prayer (talking with God), I realized that if I came home I would just sit on the couch and watch the food channel and miss being at family camp. So again, I pressed on. 

I asked the Lord to strengthen me. To give me courage to face the week. Well, He did. My week was incredible. I was loved on by everyone there at family camp. Some fixed me meals, some made me coffee, some stood with me silently when my emotions got the best of me. I was included in family time, ice cream time, games, and campfire fellowship. Yes, I do not like smores! I met a new friend who’s wife left him for glory a couple of years ago. He lives in Lake Tahoe and we enjoyed a coffee and encouraging each other. I got to know some of my church family even greater. I think it’s sometimes easy to feel excluded. People don’t really do it on purpose. They’re just moving on in life. Sometimes it was up to me to press in. I don’t think anyone minded. In fact I was invited over and over again to come join in! 

The week finished with a wonderful time of worship at our “outdoor” service. Raphael gave a great challenge and delivered a powerful sermon on Romans 8:1-2.  I couldn’t help reading ahead to Romans 8:28 where we’re reminded that “all things work together for the good to those who love Christ”. Yes, even a scary week of family camp! I missed Linda tremendously. The long drive up and back was hard. We often went to Lake Tahoe for one of our quick getaways. This year has zoomed by and it felt like just yesterday that we were there at family camp together. Being there and being flooded by those memories of last year made me cry and smile. I will press on to the next “first thing” (my birthday later this month). I smile more now knowing that she is in the presence of the one she loved even more than me!  See you soon babe!

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