May 25, 2010

10 years ago this summer.....

-I had just finished my junior year of college and was back on campus ready to start our summer New Ed rehearsals.
-I was serving as student director for the most interesting group of summer New Ed I think HLG has ever had!
-Weast's dad had a heart attack, which meant Weast was headed back to OK and I was in charge indefinitely! Scary, I know!
-I was standing in the lobby outside the bathrooms in some building on SBU's campus during mom and pop weekend for Super Summer with all of summer New Ed and all other HLG students working that week, when Micky Ary broke the news to us that Tim Champ (HLG alum, fiancee of a fellow New Edder -though she wasn't with us that summer-, and good friend to many of us) had passed away. It was unbelievable! We had no idea what to do! And we didn't have our fearless leader with us for two more days. It was a miserable two days. I don't think any of us had ever been so glad to see Weast as we were that Tues. afternoon when she walked through the doors of the SBU auditorium. I am pretty sure we just stood there crying and hugging, not saying a word, for at least a full 5 mins. Tim was my first "non-boyfriend" boyfriend at college. (Those of you who attended HLG or any other Christian college, you know exactly what I mean!) He was the fiancee of what I would have to say was one of the funniest, sweetest, and best ladies New Ed has ever seen. Did we stay at Super Summer? Did we leave to go be with Amber? Our dramas were the main crux of the services each night, so our leaving would leave a huge hole. But, we really wanted to be there to wrap our arms around Amber and cry with her. But, after discussing it, we decided Weast would go, but we would stay. I know there were a lot of people angry with us for that decision, but it was truly what we thought was best at the time. Tim loved youth and poured out much of his energy to help them learn and know Christ, so we felt that staying at Super Summer was a great way to honor him. It was a long, hard week. I was the only one who wasn't in charge of a group, so I had all day long to pretty much do nothing but think about Tim and Amber. I remember, the night that we were told about Tim's death, my group had been rehearsing and was unable to eat dinner. Two of the week's worship band members took me to McDonald's to get food for the team. As we were driving, I looked out the window and saw the sun just beginning to set. I remember thinking, "Wow! That is so pretty. And Tim is now seeing that sunset from the other side! I bet his view is amazing!!!" It was very hard, at the time, to accept that, no matter how much faith we had, no matter how we pleaded and begged God, Tim was gone. Many times, His ways are not our ways...but they are always higher than our ways! It would be almost three months before we would get to see Amber and hug her and cry with her and share memories with her. She is a strong woman and God has now blessed her with a great husband and two beautiful children!
-I took my first trip outside of the United States when our summer New Ed team became the first of many to travel to Switzerland to participate in Euroventure. Back then, it was through AweStar ministries. We spent a week in Switzerland and a week in Hungary. It was a lot of fun, it was crazy, it was weird. Our worship band that week was a little known group (at the time) by the name of Mercy Me. (It was so long ago that Bart, Nathan and Robby didn't have children, Mike wasn't married, Jim was still engaged, and Barry wasn't even in the group, yet!) I got to see the Swiss Alps and worship to I Can Only Imagine while staring out the window and seeing all the beauty that God had made in those mountains. I was accosted by a drunk man in a Hungarian subway while no one helped! Luckily, my ignoring him paid off and he eventually left! I got to go white water rafting for the first and only time in my life. It was a lot of fun and, if the waters were as calm as they were for us that day, I would totally do it again.
-I met the man who I thought was the man of my dreams. Thankfully, I was wrong.
-I was only a few months away from meeting, for the second time (the third, if you ask him...but I have no memory at all of the first meeting, so I am pretty sure he is making it up...JK!) the man who would become my husband.
-I was trying to prepare myself for leaving the comfort of New Ed and heading into the scary world of Praise Song. Not so much scary because the people were scary, I just didn't know them, and well, I'm not really all that musical! I can sing and that's about it...and I don't really sing all that well...I can't sing harmony, was a fun year and that's where I met and fell in love with Kevin, so, regardless of my musical ability, it was all God moving things together as they needed to be!
-I was about a year away from graduation and had no idea what I would be doing after I finished. There wasn't really anything I had a passion or desire to do. OK, that's not true. If I could have travelled in New Ed for the rest of my life, I totally would joke. I would still do that today if my family could go with me!
-I was preparing to say goodbye to my sweet friend Lauren Allen as she was graduating a year early and heading off to seminary. Man, we had some fun times that summer. "Take it home with ya, ladies!"
-I had no idea that I was heading into my hardest year of college. The classes really weren't that bad. I mean, I was a Comm Arts major when the degree was mostly theatre classes, so that was easy. But, the living situation was tough. One roommate was trying to finish a degree in three years that normally takes four, and could probably easily take five if you didn't want it to drive you crazy on the way there. The other roommate was trying to plan a wedding. We were all heading in different directions and I think a little crazy about graduating and not really knowing what was next. I was really missing the two constants we'd had up until that point, Lauren and JacQueline. Fortunately, we have all grown up and turned out just fine! One is a missionary for the IMB and is expecting her first baby in Sept., and the other is about to make a huuuuuuuuge move to AZ with the hubs and two sweet kids.
-I had no idea what great things God had in store for me, even though I was full of doubt and fear. What a great and mighty God we serve. He alone changes times and seasons. He alone sets up kings and deposes them! Praise Him that He doesn't always give us what we want, but rather what He alone knows we need!

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