Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Letting Go

I don't really consider myself a control freak, or even a person who needs a lot of control. But today I sent my oldest daughter to Girls Camp for our church and found it hard to let go. I ended up crying all the way home.

I've never really had a testimony of Girls Camp. In fact, growing up I hated it. Now, as I send my daughter away, I pray that heaven will watch over her and protect her while she's gone. It floods my soul with so many emotions and feelings that have been long forgotten.

My first year at Girls Camp was horrible. I went with a friend named Susan. We were only 12 at the time. I don't know why, but every time we went into our cabin, a couple of older girls (14-16) would make fun of us. They would call us horrible names and tease us. I really still have no idea why. We weren't trying to hang out with them or bother them. We were just going into the cabin to hang out together. It got so bad that we ended up only going in the cabin when necessary (to sleep). Other than that, we found other places to hang out, far away from the insults. That was my first experience with Girls Camp. At least I had one friend, my best friend, with me though.

After that I had a sour attitude towards Camp. One year, I felt very alone. I wasn't friends with anyone in my church. They were in the "popular" crowd and I was not. No one was mean, I just felt very alone. I remember one night one of the girls woke me up and asked me to face the other way. I look back and think, "No big deal. I probably was breathing on her with nighttime breath." I ask my husband to that all the time! But at the time, I was horrified. I begged my parents to come and get me and take me home. I felt so out of place and all alone. I felt like I didn't have any friends and I felt like the leaders didn't like me either. I couldn't trust anyone. I was different and I knew it.

I did have one positive experience at Camp and that was my 4th year. I started with my regular feelings of "Here's another year at Camp," But this time a girl named Jodi Broadhead befriended me. I knew who she was from school, even though we had never been friends before. But on that camping trip we clicked and for the first time, I felt like I belonged. Amazing what one person can do. I actually enjoyed that year. We didn't do much together after Camp but her friendship was really needed at the time.

So, you can imagine the trepidation I felt at sending my own daughter to Girls Camp. Especially since she is socially awkward and has problems fitting in. I've worried about her seizures and she's been assigned to leaders that have no idea who she is. I've spent time on the phone talking to several different people so that they are aware of her and her situation.

On Friday, Hanna went swimming with a friend and got a really bad sunburn (2nd degree). She's been in a lot of pain. I was really worried about her going to camp but Jason gave her a blessing that if we had the faith, her sunburn would not bother her. Miraculously her sunburn was killing her until last night. Now it doesn't bother her at all, even when you rest your hand on her shoulder. I know it wouldn't heal like that on it's own. He also blessed her that she would have a good time and feel accepted and welcome. I pray that it is true and am sending her with all the faith that I can muster.

Yesterday she also had a seizure. She's been having them off and on and we're having a difficult time controlling them. The Bishop (the leader of our church ) said to send her and they would take care of her. We've been doing a lot of praying that she won't have any seizures while she's there.

So, with my faith in tow, I dropped her off this morning at the church. As we're waiting for everyone to arrive, I noticed that she was already being snubbed by a couple of girls in the ward. She hadn't even gotten past the parking lot! It is a trial of my faith to send my daughter to Camp. I gave her a hug and drove away crying and praying that she will be okay. She has such a pure heart and such a desire to fit in. I pray that someone will befriend her as Jodi Broadhead did for me.

I can't imagine how Heavenly Father must feel as he sends his spirit children to earth. Especially the ones that he knows will be abused and heartbroken. How much sorrow and pain he must go through when he sees us treat each other so cruelly.

I will pray. I will cry. I will have faith. And I will be on pins and needles until my daughter returns home.


Kristal said...

I will add my prayers to yours. She will come back with a stronger testimony, no matter what happens, I'm sure. Love ya!

Shannon said...

thinking of you...and Hannah. I hope camp is a positive thing...and that she comes away with some special friends and experiences.

Jason and Laura Roe said...

wow, thanks for sharing your cute story! I know how hard it is to let your kids grow up....it is so scary but rewarding too. I love Hannah and I agree she has a wonderful heart.....you hang in there and know that she is in good loving hands that will suround her when in need. Love ya girl, you are amazing don't ever forget that!