A Different Anniversary

A Different Anniversary

This summer marks an important anniversary in my life. There won’t be any gifts exchanged to mark the day. No one will be hosting a party. I’m not even certain of the exact day. I am certain that without this anniversary I wouldn’t be able to celebrate the anniversary of my marriage or the anniversary of my children’s birth. I am also certain that without this anniversary I wouldn’t be here writing.  

At age 14, I wanted to kill myself. My life didn’t seem worth living. I had already begun experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Desperately, I was searching for a place to belong, to fit in. My search was in vain. Overlooked, forgotten, alone. My depression gripped tight around me, threatening to sink me. Would I let it?

Through my depression I remembered a little girl swinging her feet in the sawdust. One of the happiest memories of my childhood was going with my parents to pick my older sisters up at church camp. I remember sitting in a tabernacle and digging the toes of my shoes in the sawdust. I remember a feeling of happiness and peace had enveloped me. Could I return? Could I ever feel that way again?

My parents must have been amazed when I asked to go to church camp. I know I was amazed when they paid for me to go. At the camp, I was equally amazed at the other teens around me. They were welcoming, friendly and happy. Some of them seemed to exude a peace and joy I wanted, I needed. A strange thing happened that week. I realized that the Bible stories I had heard all my life were not stories but truth. The messages I had heard about God’s love were real. I saw Jesus that week. I felt his arms wrap around me.

This summer marks the anniversary of the day when I realized Jesus loved me. He died for me so that I don’t need to feel alone. He died for me so that I don’t have to die. He wants me to live. He wants to be with me.

4 thoughts on “A Different Anniversary

  1. Sarah, that was such a beautiful post. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for you to write and even harder to endure that much pain and depression in your teens. Please know that I am so glad you went to church camp and I am thrilled God found you and let you know he would never leave you or forsake you. I am honored to call you family. We miss you guys so much. Love you sweetheart! Give our best to Matt and the kids.

  2. So grateful for church camp tradition. Wonderful opportunities for many of us. Great writing, Sarah!

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