Firecrackers. Tears. Laughter.
I love this story. It happened in Benton, TN near the Ocoee River with my college group from church. Our directions included something about turning past a trailer covered in kudzu; consequently, we knew it was going to be a great weekend. Friday night and all day Saturday we had a great time studying the Bible, talking about life, swimming in the lake, and playing in the great outdoors. Saturday night we dug in deep to what the verse at the bottom of this shirt means, specifically the “fellowship of His sufferings” part. I went to bed considering that night if I would be able to suffer like Jesus, sacrificing my life. I thought about what it would be like to live in a country in which there was fighting and turmoil. Little did I know that these thoughts would be tested. All of the girls were staying in one building with two rooms of bunk-beds and a common area. The guys were across the camp in another building. Around two or three in the morning the guys thought it would be a good idea to set off firecrackers in the common area of the girls building. All I remember was being afraid for my life. I thought my dreams were a reality. It was so loud. I curled up in a ball in my bunk and cried. My dear friend Alison found me and laughed hysterically. It took me a long time to calm down and I’m not sure that I slept anymore that night. Thankfully now I can laugh. And as it would turn out, Alison is now married to the man, Brandon, who set the firecrackers off. They love to tell this story and just laugh at me. I’m still striving to “know Jesus and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”