I haven’t blogged in 4 days because I have been roughing it in the middle of a soybean field…SLEEPING IN A BARN! So I’m skipping the 30 day challenge for one more day to talk about my experience at camp.
So on thursday at about 1pm, my grandma took me over to my church property and dropped me off with about 15 other teenagers. It was SO hot, I was contemplating not even going because I had been outside for 10 minutes and I was already miserable. But I knew it’d be a blast once I got into it so I suffered through. Then we all piled into a massive church van which smelled like dog and traveled an hour and a half to Ross County, Ohio. We pulled into a huge yard with a big barn in the middle and I was like oh shit. When they said we were staying in a barn, I didn’t know it’d be a real wood barn. Omg. So we got out of the van, in the wonderful air conditioning, and stepped into a heat wave and within 5 minuets we were all complaining and ready to get back in the van. Then we went into the barn and set up air mattresses and ate and did all that fun stuff. The rest of the day we did some trust games and other stereotypical camp stuff.
Later that day we had an evening service which was led by the barn owner, Randy. It was a really powerful service which ended with our group “killing” the things in which dragged us down in the past. He had a homemade wooden cross set up on the other side of a bridge across a stream, and one by one we hung our thorn crowns (which we made) on the cross. We all took a deep breath and went back to the barn. After that we all hung out around the property and it was awesome. Out in the middle of no where, the atmosphere is different. It so quiet! You can just listen to the surroundings and all you can hear is birds and other creatures going about their lives. Once it got dark, the stars and moon were beautiful! The moon was so bright, it was insane! It lit up the entire yard! There were about a gizzlion stars! I was totally gross from being outside all day, so I took a shower in a really small, relatively gross shower. There was only one of them, by the way. After that the girls went into their sleeping space and got ready for bed. Someone was yelling about a spider, which was annoying me because I figured they were exaggerating about the size. Um, no. IT WAS A FEMALE WOLF SPIDER THE SIZE OF A BASEBALL. It was terrifying! Plus it was a jumping spider so it was nearly impossible to catch. Finally one of the guys came down stairs from the loft and caught it in a cup (he’s a hunter – aka our life saver). Then some guy ate it. Ew. After that I nearly had an anxiety attack from the thought of that thing crawling on me in my sleep. Finally at about two am, we all crashed and I didn’t sleep well. I kept waking up checking for bugs. I never did see one, by the way! 🙂
The next day (Friday) we woke up bright and early at the butt crack of dawn to a breakfast of pancakes and bacon, which some of the teens prepared. We then all spread out around the property and had our morning time with God. It was really, really spiritual because of the light fog over the hills and the quietness of the area. After that, we did water games and did some more stereotypical camp stuff. We had lunch, then an afternoon session. One of our youth group leaders did the session on worship, which was really eye-opening. Worship isn’t just songs and fellowship at church, worship is honoring Christ in every single thing you do. In what you say, do, hear, etc. I think we played more games after that and had a water balloon fight. After all that, we were dying from the heat and ate dinner. Right after that our church pastor came and gave a really powerful message, which I’m pretty sure every single person was touched by. His wife made these AMAZING cupcakes which tasted like Heaven. He ordered pizza, too, which was to die for! After he and his wife left, it was nearly dark and we chilled around the property for a bit. Once it was pitch black, we played a game of glow stick capture the flag. I’m not a very competitive person, but omg, I got sooo into it! We played that for like 2 hours. I took a shower after that and someone started a bonfire so a bunch of us sat and talked around that. At like 3 am, everyone went to bed and I slept like a baby.
The next day (Saturday) we again woke up at the butt crack of dawn, and had a breakfast that different teens made. My team had clean up that day, which was loads of fun (just kidding, haha). Then we all got ready for a canoeing trip everyone was looking forward to. We got out on the water at about 11am and the trip was supposed to take 4 hours max. IT WAS A CANOEING TRIP FROM HELL. Not only were me and my canoeing buddy’s arms KILLING us, but we hadn’t even made it half way there and we had been paddling away without stopped for 2 hours. Then, just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, a horrible storm hit and we all got separated. There was nowhere to pull off, it was lightning, POURING to the point where we couldn’t see, we were freezing from being soaked, it was thundering so loud, and we were both in hysterics. We finally found some of our group and two very, very kind guys from our group tied their kyack to the back of our canoe and we said in the kayaks which they paddled us for half of the trip, in the POURING rain. They were lifesavers! FINALLY, we reached the end, after what seemed like ages. It was 5 hours. I am never going canoeing ever again!
We were all soaked, tired, and ready to be in warm clothes, so when we returned to the barn, we just laid around and didn’t do much. A lot of people took naps, but not everyone, and those who stayed up, played a million rounds of assassin, and then a million more rounds of mafia. It was great. It was still storming out, but we were able to stay dry in the barn. Once everyone woke up, the storm had cleared and it was beautiful out again! (really hot and humid though! We hung out, then played some games for a bit while the leaders set up something special in the barn. The service that night was life changing. They took us one by one into the barn, where a mirror was set up. You were asked to look at yourself and say aloud what you see, how you feel about that, how you think God sees you, etc. I broke down and sobbed. Everyone did! It was so powerful. When you weren’t inside there was a big circle outside where everyone was sitting and worshiping. One of the leaders led some songs on guitar and we all worshiped in our own way. Once we had done that for a while, we all talked, which led to more crying, group prayer, and tons of inner freedom. That when on for like 3 hours, but it didn’t seem long at all. Everyone poured their heart out to the group and God. It was the most spiritual thing I’ve ever done. It was releasing. The holy spirit was definitely in that place and everyone felt it. I watched people get moved in the most amazing ways.
The next day (Sunday), we got up early, packed up, and drove back to Columbus to attend the 10:30 church service. It was so exciting! We were all so happy and fired up for Jesus! I was so excited to see my mom because I never ever leave home for that long. When she finally pulled up, I ran to the car and SHE WAS HOLDING A LITTLE WHITE BUNDLE OF FUR IN HER ARMS. My new puppy! His name is Rigby and he’s SO cute. He’s 10 weeks old, a schnauzer/shitzu mix. He’s so tiny and adorable! He hops around and chews on everything. He’s already using the bathroom outside! I love him so much!
I feel so happy right now! I have a new sense of hope and I really don’t feel as terrible as I normally do! I’ve been awake since 7:30! I normally sleep until like 1-4pm! I feel so great! I’m so excited about my journey with Christ. I feel great. God has moved in my life in a way I never thought possible. I have hope for the future now. He has restored my soul. I am so happy.
Here’s some pictures of Rigby!
30 day challenge, day 5: things you want to say to an ex.
I’ve had more then one ex, but I am thinking of one in particular. The only one I really had a real relationship with. This is hard and I’ll probably be crying by the end of this.
I have been looking at this blank post page for like a long ass time and I still don’t even know what to say. It’s not like you’re ever going to see this, but my god, the thought of you just makes my stomach hurt and my heart ache. I think that when we were together we were both going through some really intense stuff. You with your insane brother and me with…well, all that shit I got caught up in. And even though I was dying every day I was with you, I loved being with you. Being with you was fantastic and I miss it every day more and more. But I fear that once I’m done with all this partial hospitalization stuff, you won’t think I am so great. I’m trying to get sober, lover. I’m really trying this time. I’m trying to get better. I’m trying to get healthy again and connect with my spirituality. I’m trying so hard and this is all so hard and I want you to be a part of it so fucking much – but I don’t think that you ever want to quit. Which I understand. You can do all those things that I can’t do and be okay. I can’t drink and smoke and sleep around anymore – it has destroyed everything inside me. I’ve wanted to die so badly and I just kept praying that I’d drink a little too much, or get high enough to justify suicide in my mind. I really wanted to die. I still do, but not like that. Not suicidal. Just want all of this to be over. Recovery is really so so hard! It really is! I didn’t realize how bad I let all of this get until I started this partial hospitalization thing. Which is basically all the fun of impatient hospitalization, with getting to go home (thank god). So three hours and group therapy, 3 times a week. It’s intense! It really is. But I’m learning loads of new things and I think it can really get better this time. I’m probably stupid for thinking that anything could ever get better, but I do! Lover, I want to be happy! God, this got really deep. Fuck. I don’t know, I hope you are well. I’m sure that you are doing loads of fun things and meeting neat new people. I am starting at square one with my social life. Meaning I don’t have anyone. I don’t want anyone right now. I don’t have my phone back yet, and won’t until September 4th. But even if I did, I think I would turn it off all the time. Everyone is so fake! Everyone is so lost and no one knows what they want and no one cares about anyone! I’m so tired of trusting people and letting them in and then they let all these bad things happen to me! What kind of friends let pictures of me, passed out drunk, with my dress ridding up my ass get posted on the internet! She was awake! She saw it, she posed in the picture! I’m so broken, but I’m trying to fix everything.
I hope that someday I can be with you again. I hope that one day you don’t need all those substances and things, because I can’t be with you while you abuse those. Like I can’t be around anyone who does. I’m not strong enough. One day I will be though. I love you, still. Please stay safe.
30 day challenge, day 4: Bullet your whole day. (today)
30 day challenge, day 3: A book you love.
I love books, so picking just one book to write about is hard! But I think I will talk about the book I just finished, because it was beautifully written and it was really moving.
HEROES AND MONSTERS: AN HONEST LOOK AT THE STRUGGLE WITHIN ALL OF US by JOSH JAMES RIEBOCK
Publication Date: March 1, 2012“Heroes and Monsters is an unforgettable memoir of passion and redemption, a ragged look into a world at once wildly twisted and profoundly beautiful, an exposé of both the hero and the monster within all of us.In this stunningly honest, thoroughly unconventional, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues that form us into the people we are–issues of family, love, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey. With artful prose and vivid storytelling, he shows that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter.
If you’re grappling with life’s inconsistencies and trials,
if you’re searching for an encounter with something real,
if you’re craving a story that’s just a wee bit odd . . . ” -Amazon.com
“Heroes and Monsters is a beautiful book–and an ugly one. Beautiful because it’s so honest, and ugly for precisely the same reason. Josh tells his life story with lively prose that explores the paradox of human splendor and wretchedness while dangling hints of redemption. As you read, don’t be surprised to find your story in his story, and the divine companion who interrupts his life–the same one who has broken into yours. For Josh, the road traveled with God is twisting, bumpy, potholed . . . and well worth the ride.”– Drew Dyck, managing editor of Leadership Journal; author of Generation Ex-Christian“The vulnerability in this memoir is shocking…Riebock’s understanding of the human condition is breathtaking. To the point that I often had to pause…because he was talking about me. He was talking about things I have felt deep within my soul…about flaws that I too bear…This memoir left me feel stripped down yet understood, opened up yet restored, and hopeful. Hopeful because of the constant pointing back to the Savior as the answer to all of life’s uncertainties and mysteries. Wonderful.”
– In the Low Light“Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle Within All of Us is easily the best book I’ve read so far this year, and quite frankly, it’ll take something special to take it down…I can’t recommend this book enough. “
– Ian Cameron McLaren-Reviews & Other Stuff
30 day challenge, Day 2: Something you feel strongly about.
What don’t I feel strongly about? Anything I have an opinion about normally is an extremely strong and firm opinion. I’m one of those people who is overly passionate about stuff that doesn’t even affect me. But if there weren’t any people like that in the world, I suppose the world would never progress, and history would continue to repeat itself.
I don’t really understand why there are still being decisions made in the government about things related to human rights. We do this every generation with some kind of hate against some group of people. My generation would be the whole day rights thing. It honestly just annoys me at this point that there is still debate over this shit. Like really? Really, you think that the government has any kind of right over who you are allowed to love? That’s bullshit. And what about the assholes who make it that way? The homophobes who get butt-hurt over something that literally does not affect their lives in any way. That’s like getting pissed at someone for buying off brand ketchup. It doesn’t affect what kind of ketchup you’re going to buy/eat, but yet, you’re getting so mad about it that you are rallying against these off brand ketchup consumers. It doesn’t even make sense. People have too much power and too little brains. People who are going to be judgmental and unjust should not find themselves in positions of power. I get so pissed off with this matter. And people who bring the whole religious aspect into it. Religion has no place in government. I myself am I believer in the love and truth found in the love of Jesus Christ, but religion needs to stay in the church. No one has any right to shove their rights down anyone’s throats. Just because you believe something does not mean that it is a) right or b)okay to force other people to believe that same thing. Humans are creatures of free will – so how to people justify it in their mind to take away other people’s free will? It just doesn’t make sense to me. As far as my personal religious aspect on gay rights, here’s what I think: The Christian God is a god of love, compassion, and no mistakes. Number one, if God is a god of love and compassion, why would he shun people based on their love? That’s literally saying that God is saying, “I love all my children that I crafted perfectly at the beginning of time, except if you like those of the same-sex”. It just makes no sense. Number two, I have known multiple people in my lifetime who have known they were gay since the moment they could comprehend their own thoughts. If God makes no mistakes, as the Bible clearly states about a million-trillion times, why would this be? Exactly. I believe that if someone loves Jesus, accepts him salvation, and lives a selfless life for him, he will warmly accept them into his kingdom, regardless of their sexuality. Anyone who believes otherwise must not believe in the same God I do. Oh, and lastly, God says that we are to live by the law of the New Testament, not the Old Testament. If we were expected as Christians to follow the Old Testament, getting a divorce would be punishable by death, no men shall cut their hair, and we should be sacrificing animals every Sabbath. So unless someone does not only all that, but also all the other crazy shit the Old Testament talks about, they have no place to claim that “God hates fags”. Putting the word God and fag in the same sentence just is contradictory anyways. Here is some scripture to back that up:
1 John 4:7-8 “7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:16:“16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
Challenge Question, Day One: 5 ways to win your heart
But all in all, the easiest way to my heart is with candy. 😉