After my dad left we were super poor. We were also super miserable.
My mom was depressed and working 3 jobs, she would lock herself in her room and cry when she was home, my older brother disappeared into his high school activities and friendships. I was left alone almost all the time.
I hated everyone; my parents, my brother, God.
Our church family took really good care of us, bringing us food and clothes. I resented it at the time, I was too proud to want their charity. That is until anonymous donors paid my way to Christian camps more than once. I’d take any opportunity to get away from home– even for just two weeks.
Those acts of love and sacrifice allowed God to speak to me in a place where I could hear Him, away from my pain filled home life. At camp I could feel God in the passionate worship of other teens, I could see Him in the love of the counselors and other campers, I could hear Him in the messages that were preached.
What I heard was that my parents divorce grieved God, my pain grieved God, this was not his plan or his doing, but neither was it too much for Him to handle. I was able to start to forgive and heal.
I am forever grateful to those in our church who gave their money so that I could go experience God in an intimate, impactful setting. I cannot underestimate the effect that their generosity has had on my life.
Full-disclosure: I’m not getting paid a red cent for this series. I’m doing this because I believe camp is an important element of ministering to children and teenagers in our country. I invite you to join me in donating $125 to CCCA’s Corners of the Field campaign. It’s pretty simple. For every $125 given a kid can go to camp this summer.
Photo credit: Heidelberg Castle by Zoagli via Flickr (Creative Commons)