In 2005, well, it got a little bit out of control. Val had talked eight or nine of her friends into going with us to Lifest. I borrowed not only my sister’s larger popup camper but also someone’s full-size van. One of the girls’s brought her parent’s huge tent. Another woman was supposed to join us and act as a responsible adult, but she kind of just showed up to sleep in the camper and didn’t check up on the girls at all that I knew of.
The girls all did fine and there were no incidences, just me being crabby and stressed out because ours was the messiest campsite and I never saw anyone. In past years, we all spent some quality time together talking about our day and the bands we had seen or the speakers we had listened to, sharing something inspirational. We were family, if only for a couple days, so I felt that we should act like one. Instead, I spent my days mostly alone in the shade of a small tree near the family stage and crawled quietly into the camper after the last band was done playing at night.
Or that was how it felt. In retrospect, I spent time with lots of other people. Deb and Lisa, from past years, were there; they just had opted out of the camping and were staying in a hotel instead. The speakers were as awesome as ever and the bands were great, especially since I could see the performers I chose to, instead of the heavy metal band the girls dragged me to. I ran into the girls occasionally and it wasn’t like they were avoiding me at all.
But then all these other things happened that year. Little episodes that started adding up, pointing to another continent. I have to tell you, that of all the things that have ever happened in my life, I never felt God talking directly to me as much as He did that weekend.
I don’t think I am overly religious, but I know what I believe – that Jesus Christ is my savior and is by my side every day. And just because I don’t actually see him, doesn’t mean he isn’t there. That’s what faith is – believing what you don’t see.
But that weekend in July in 2005, it all changed. And it started with a baked potato.