We had never been camping before, so we were a little nervous to begin with. The weather forecast was cold and wet. We didn't know anyone in the campsite group we got put in. We weren't sure we could handle the hike in. We were frustrated and almost backed out. Thank God we didn't.
Nine years ago, my dad passed away and I had been carrying around a lot of anger and guilt because I was the one who had to make the decision to take my dad off life-support. The anger continued to build and I would explode more and more often. This began to affect our marriage and was one thing I wanted to work on at Couples Camp. What happened is something I had never experienced before: During the worship service as Brian spoke, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love and peace. I looked over to the other side of the tent and saw my father's face smiling back at me. The next thing I knew, he was standing beside me with one arm wrapped around me, as this was his way of giving a big hug. Although I couldn't hear his voice, I did hear the words, "It's okay. We will be together again." I felt a thousand pounds of chains being lifted off my shoulders.
When our camp lead told us our job was going to be splitting firewood, I didn't really think that much about it. During our "solitude" time, for some reason I ended up sitting on a pile of wood that would later be the wood that was being split for firewood. As I worked through the questions in our booklet, suddenly I began to think of my father-in-law and one of the first memories I had of him was being out in a field on his farm splitting firewood (by hand, not with a cool log splitter). I felt really warm inside even though it was cold and raining. I didn't say anything to my husband about it because I didn't want to make him sad thinking about his dad. Later that day, he began to tell me about what he had experienced in the tent and how he felt happy and that the anger and guilt was gone. I could see the difference in him right then, and it is still very evident that there is a change in him.
I am so thankful God pushed us beyond our limits to go to Couples Camp! For us, it was amazing.