It Was The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened to Me

It Was The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened to Me

2008 was my senior year of High School. I had been involved with Youth For Christ since Middle School, was a Peer Leader, and devoted many days to my peer group as well as the younger middle school group. I helped tutor kids, planned fun activities, and shared the love of Christ with them. I had never done camp, but my leader convinced me to come one summer.

It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

11 years later, camp is still one of the fondest, most distinctive memories I have and something I will NEVER forget.

It was breathtaking and beautiful being surrounded by God’s unbelievable and boundless beauty in the mountains. It was soul-awakening and inspiring. It made me yearn and desire to know the Lord more. It transformed my relationship with him. 

Fast forward.

I’m now 29. I still love the Lord and praise him daily for the blessings in my life.

But it’s starkly different than it was 11 years ago.

A few years ago, severe illness took my ability to walk, leaving me in a wheelchair and with the title “disabled.” Illness ravaged my body and left me 75lbs and, several times, close to death. Now my body is fed completely thru an IV. I battle things like anaphylaxis and sepsis - stark realities of a failing body.

But I refuse to be seen as my illness.

I refuse to be seen as just my wheelchair or my service dog. I’m a girl, determined to live a God-fearing life that radiates light, grace, and compassion.

I recently found photos from 2008 YFC Camp in Quaker Ridge. They sparked such deep emotion in me. I starkly remember the people who touched my life, who helped shape me into the strong and resilient woman I am.

I pray one day before my time on this earth is complete, I can come back to Quaker Ridge and have a chance to connect and show kids that just because someone is a little different, they are made in God’s image and deserve love.

If I could remind even one person of this truth, then in living, I have made my mark. 

- Amanda

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