I’ve been wanting to write this post since I got home from church camp a couple weeks ago. I struggled to find the right words and I realized today that I might never find the right words… so, here goes my story!
Campmeeting was always the highlight of my life. 9 days of heaven on earth. Seeing friends, going to meetings, singing songs. Just what I pictured Heaven to be like.
As I got older my life was consumed by fighting my battles with mental health issues. I felt defeated because I couldn’t pray away my illnesses. I ended up having to leave my church boarding school my last semester of high school to get proper help…
Anyway… long story shorter… this year I planned to go down to Campmeeting for the whole week. My second family (a pastor and wife that helped me through a lot) were going to be there, along with my nephew and I really just needed the spiritual retreat.
I got the time off work and was all excited about going. And then the devil interfered in every way possible. I was hit with intense anxiety and found myself making an exit plan in case I couldn’t handle the whole week.
I made it there and started reconnecting with people. I decided I was going to stay the whole time.
I went to a meeting one night that left me in tears. God was speaking to me. I wasn’t too lost or too broken. Later on as I was walking back to my campsite I stopped to take some pictures of the moon. But, the devil decided to hit again because when I zoomed into the pictures of the moon I saw several images, including a very dark image that looked like the devil. It scared me. Years ago I was woken up in the middle of the night to a spooky voice saying “you’re mine and I’m never letting you go” I was reminded of that when I saw the images that night.
I didn’t go to a meeting after that but I stayed busy hanging around my bonus family. We talked, played games and I was starting to feel God working in my life. I came to the realization that I more or less cut off the whole church organization as a way of dealing with the traumatic experiences I had had. I realized I had been doing my black or white thinking all this time.
I made an effort to look through my old year books. I grieved a little looking through my senior year. Because I left early I wasn’t included in any of the usual senior festivities. I cried a little for my lost years but realized that that’s just the hands I was dealt. I also realized I wouldn’t have been happy at any school because I was suffering so much. I put a little too much blame on the school and teachers. It was easier to cope that way.
I really started to feel like I was healing in ways I didn’t even know I needed to. I went to another meeting that Friday night and again this speaker was really reaching me.
The devil struck again… this time it was because of the rain and needing to leave early so my dad could go to a funeral.
I was able to make it to the church service to hear the speaker from the night before. I cried like never before. At the end he made an alter call. I hesitated at first but decided to go up and let him pray with me too. I realized that God has not given up on me and so I won’t give up either!
I’m still not convinced I found all the right words but I do know that God was working on my heart and helping me do some much needed healing!
He’s still working on me!