Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Camp Hope

We arrived at camp. Our Fifth Family Camp weekend at Camp Forest Springs. The stress leading up to the vacation was immense, I will tell you. The planning and packing. Noah had some sort of a sinus issue that was bothering him and we took him to the doctor the week before and they did NOT offer anything to help. I wish we ONLY had to pay them if they DID something to fix the situation or offered advice that I COULDN'T Google myself! He had been doing SO good with not hitting himself and had JUST started doing it again and crying more with this sinus thing just before we left for our vacation.

I had hoped this would not be something the staff would have to deal with! I wrote a letter ahead of time to them explaining a little bit about Noah. I wanted to help them as they were to watch him in nursery while Frank and I went to our sessions. It's so hard to even imagine what other people think of our boy, as we're just so used to him. I would never want anyone to EVER feel uncomfortable with him. I didn't want to be a burden on their amazing staff.

Noah did NOT cry all the way there, which was something I was very thankful for. We got unpacked and settled with only some minor grumpiness and irritability on our part. Noah did great the first evening and the next Sat. afternoon. Then came Sat night and the rest of the weekend... He did NOT want to go to nursery (very UNLIKE him) and would just cry and cry and sign "owie". We tried what we could and just couldn't get him to do it. So Frank and I took turns listening to the speaker while the other watched Noah.

But there is just a sadness that comes over my heart sometimes. I can't get my 7 year old boy to go into NURSERY!!! My hope was that going to camp would become easier and easier as he got older, and I did not feel as though that were happening. 

Please understand that we LOVE our boy and would not trade him for a million "normal" kids. But pretty much everything we do is like having a 1-2 year old with us (for the last 7 yrs)... feeding is a struggle, play time (by now they should BOTH be able to take off and have fun at the playground) dressing him while he's all over the place, diapering, watching him every second, trying to understand what he may be communicating to us, not knowing quite how to deal with tantrums (certainly NOT as easy as it was with Holly). I have to worry incessantly about bug bites because he doesn't know to swat and has a semi-allergic reaction to them and does not heal quickly and will not stop scratching. Sigh. So ALL of this, coupled with the fact that he wouldn't allow us to have that one brief time of being able to sit together as a couple, hold hands and hear the speaker was...hard. I spent a bit of the session time in the bathroom sobbing and asking Jesus my favorite questions... WHY?? And HELP!!??? I was thinking this may be the last Family Camp we go to. Which was a sad and hard thought for me... It's the only vacation we take as a family.

I am someone who has learned that I should NEVER rely on people. I feel that is the way that we can really become confused and disillusioned on the journey of Christianity. By thinking people are supposed to be exactly like Jesus. I know I'M not, why should I expect people to come to my rescue and be perfect? People let us down, A LOT, even those we love most. Don't get me wrong, God has used people OFTEN in my life to lift me up. It's just that I know I can sometimes lean a little too heavily on that. I have found myself feeling sad that someone has not reached out to me, but then I remind myself to make Jesus the One I bring my troubles to. I have to admit, there are times I have felt that He has let me down as well... but there, I know I am wrong. He NEVER lets me down. He always has me right where He wants me.

The last night of camp we were having a snack with Noah after we enjoyed a hay ride. Holly was off playing with a new found friend. One of the camp staff came up to Frank and I and just kind of told us she noticed we were struggling and would there be anything they could do to help our time at Camp Forest Springs? I can't tell you what that meant to me!!! To actually have someone see, and reach out with TRUE SINCERITY... and offer help! Even if they couldn't help, it wouldn't matter. It was EXACTLY what I needed at that moment and God sent it to me. She gave me what I needed most... HOPE.

I spent a bit of time and tears talking with that lovely woman who also happened to be raising a child with a disability. For all of the struggles of the weekend... the time and grace that woman gave to me, reminding me how sometimes God DOES choose to show us Himself through OTHER people... was the thing I needed more than anything else.

I don't know what the future holds.... I do know Who holds my future. I don't know WHERE I would be without Him!!!


  1. I read both entries to Dennis, good thing I've had practice reading while crying over the years! Dennis says "she is a very good writer, she takes after you. (lol) Very heartfelt and touching."

    Yeah. Hope! That is what makes me know Grace! When it was (is!) darkest and *I* could not "do it" God shined hope into my heart.

    {hugs for you}

  2. My 2 favorite hope verses.
    Romans 8:24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

    AND Romans 5:1-5 Which ends with "and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

    Allison's Hope/Anchor tattoo says Romans 15:13 (Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.)

    Just sharing. Hope I didn't fill your comments up too much!

    (lol, just noticed the last sentence was pun not intended!)


We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19