(originally posted June 19th, 2007)
June 19th, 1988- Nothing is worth more than this day.
In late spring of 1988, when I was 14, a friend invited me to Hume Lake Christian Camp, but because my mother worked as a waitress, camp wasn't financially possible (we got the free cheese. Those of you who got the free cheese know what I'm talking about). However, one week before camp the same friend who had invited me phoned to say another girl had cancelled. Her spot for camp was paid in full, and the church, River Oak Grace, wanted me to go in her place.
I can't say I wanted to go to a Christian camp. If there was a God, I had a question for Him, "Why did you give me this life, I've done nothing to deserve it?"
From birth my dad rejected me, and over the years has made it clear to me that I am not his daughter. He was a drug user for 27 years. In 1998 he was arrested. He served a year in prison, where it was discovered that he is Bipolar-Pschitzoaffective. He currently resides in a state hospital.
A routine weekend visit to my paternal-grandparents at the age of 2 turned into a 3 year stay when my teenage mother decided she couldn't care for me and my younger sister. When I was 6 my mother returned and regained custody of us. In the 13 years I lived with her she was married, divorced, engaged, separated, married, divorced, engaged, separated, married, divorced, married. I've had 7 "dads."
The message conveyed to me by my parents and "step-parents" was that I was not wanted. Their rejection, abandonment, selfishness and neglect shattered me, and communicated that I was not worthy of being love.
I went to camp.
Hume Lake itself was breathtaking. The camp experience was remarkable, and I was invigorated by the activities, games, being part of community, eating 3 meals a day, singing (always my favorite), and especially by people who poured into me.
That week the speaker, Steve Russo, spoke about how "God is a Father who will never leave you or forsake you." He shared from Romans 8, that "nothing can separate us from the love of God" (tears- it still gets me). I desperately needed that. Wanted that.
Wanted a Father who wanted, and was committed to loving me.
So, on June 19th, 1988, In Hume Lake's Ponderosa Chapel, I took my first steps to my Father God.
And what a journey (journey: to travel from one place to another) it has been since!
15 years later I wanted to return to Hume with my husband and 3 young children to celebrate with them this day which had forever changed my life.
I hadn't mentioned our plans to anyone, when a couple from our church approached us with an offer to stay at their cabin at Hume Lake FOR FREE! Once again God had orchestrated my going to Hume Lake (oh, how He loves me!)
One morning that week, during a morning walk around the lake, God and I were chatting. He and I revisited the 15 years since I had taken my first steps to Him. I couldn't help but express gratitude for the mighty ways my Savior had worked in my life, and then the sweetest thought occurred to me, and I said, "15 years ago I came here asking 'why did You give me this life, I've done nothing to deserve it,' and 15 years later I have the same question for You, 'Why did you give me this Life, I have done nothing to deserve it.'"
I really do not deserve the LORD God's generous love, but I am so so glad it is mine.
I don't deserve Jesus- Savior and Redeemer, but I am so so glad He is mine.
I don't deserve the Spirit, Who tenderly speaks, leads, knows, but I am so so glad He is mine.
I don't deserve this Life, but it's mine.