My relationship with God used to be so complicated. Every time I want or need something, I would immediately turn to Him. Being the loving Father that He is, He would welcome me with no questions asked. I should be thankful, I know. But once in awhile, I get this urge to rebel against Him just like a teenager in her angst -ridden phase. I would do things against His will and as result, my life becomes miserable. Instead of accepting the fact that I was the one who made a mistake, I prefer pointing my fingers at Him. Accusing him of not fulfilling His responsibility, of not being there for me, of not loving me enough. It was always about me, never about Him.
A month ago, Mr. Rick, the pastor in our Baptist Church told me that I should go to Falls Creek. It’s a camp where Christians gather to reflect and celebrate their faith to God for a whole week. He told me that it would help strengthen my connection with Him. I admit that I was a bit wary at first. I was raised as a Catholic and I’ve never attended a Christian youth camp before so I didn’t know what to expect. My brother wanted to go so I figured I might as well give it a chance. I mean, what could go wrong?
Mr. Rick picked us up from our house and brought us to the Church. On our way there, he told me that his family is going to move to Arizona after the kids return from Falls Creek.He and Susan were not going with us because they needed to start packing. He has been the pastor in Arnett for 10 years and this decision was so sudden, it took all parishioners by surprise. He said that God was calling him to be with his niece who is currently suffering from a very fatal disease. Everything happens for a reason, he added.
There was approximately 50 of us, 44 highschool students and 6 adults. We rode a school bus and Meredith was on the driver’s seat. It was a four hours drive but it took longer because we would stop occassionaly to eat. When we arrived at Falls Creek, I was surprised because it was crowded but at the same time, there was an aura of holiness about the place that pulls at your soul. It was beautiful with all the trees and the hills. Everyone was smiling and relaxed and….happy-something that I haven’t been for awhile now.
Everyday, we would follow a certain routine. In my case, I wake up at 6 in the morning and would go jogging. Sometimes, I would stop on my tracks and just watch the sun rise on the horizon. After breakfast, all the adults would facilitate this quiet time where the girls and boys would gather in groups to read the bible and reflect upon its message. Both in the morning and the afternoon, we would go at the Tabernacle to listen to our speakers. The theme this year is: “Undiscovered Territory”. Most of the time, they talk about prayer and how it can create a great impact not just on your life but on other people. They also discuss missionary trips all around the world, aiming to spread the word of God. Aside from the wonderful speakers, there was also good music. Different bands performed their worship songs throughout the week. There was a line in one of the songs that stuck in my head: ” I stand in wonder, I stand in awe, Amazed at Your beauty, At who You are.”
During our free time, I would go swimming or just walking around the camp. We supervise as the kids play sports or do team building activities. It was fun seeing them work together as a group while they were facing an obstacle course. And then there’s the so-called “Icee Date”. Kids would hang out with each other while enjoying an icee. They even pulled the trick on me once. While I was on the phone, some of the girls called this guy walking down the street wearing a yellow bracelet ( yellow means you’re 18 and above) and asked him if he would go out with me. The guy was like:” I would love to go out with her but my wife is waiting around the corner.” He showed us his wedding ring. It was so funny. I told all of them not to set me up on an icee date again.lol.
All I can say is that it was an amazing week. It served as some sort of catharsis. I finally let go of my past worries and frustrations. I was renewed, born again. I’ve never felt closer to God as I do now. I even asked him for something and a few days after we came back from Falls Creek, it came true. I remember our pastor telling me that God only has two answers to your prayers: “Yes or No, I have a better plan.”=)
When you ask, it is given, every single time, no exceptions. You are beloved, blessed Beings who deserve good things—but it takes a self-convincing before you will allow good things.-Abraham Hicks
This is a short story I made four years ago in our creative writing class. I found it in my computer files today. I remember that we were asked to deconstruct the Lady and The Tiger. This is what I came up with. It’s fun to look back on my old works.=)
There was only a small flicker of light inside the squalid room . A man was lying on the floor with his hands tied behind his back. His left eye was bruised, his lips cracked and bloodstains were all over his clothes. Strangers in black suits broke inside his seedy apartment and brought him unwillingly to this place. They wanted him to sign a contract but he remained adamant with his decision. Now, every part of his body was aching from the blows they had given him.
He felt someone deftly untying the rope on his hands and he involuntarily jerked. Then he saw her. She was leaning in front of him, her face unreadable. She does not belong in this dark, dismal place that emanates suffering and death. She should be anywhere but here.
“Please. Sign it.” She whispered into his ears.
He shook his head. “I’m not afraid of him.”
“If you don’t marry her, they will run after you. My father’s people are everywhere.”
” It doesn’t matter.”
” Don’t be a fool.”
“I will never marry someone I don’t love!” He shouted at her.” Do you understand?”
Her eyes started to fill with tears. “Yes, because you will marry me.”
“But your father said…”
“That you passed his test.”
“What made him change his mind?”
She gently placed his hands on her stomach, watching reverent surprise
play on his features.