I was reminded of this story tonight so thought to write it down before I forget:
I started my college career at Nebraska Christian College when it was in Norfolk in the fall of 2000/2001 school year. I honestly really liked it, and the people there, but I knew that I would be happier with a bigger school. And I had kinda changed up my major to more "counseling" than "family ministry." And a week before I went to college I had a counseling session in McCook and the counselor, whom I still greatly respect, told me all about her Family Life Science degree from UNL. I was intrigued. Still, I think God brought this information to me when He did because He knew how much I would get out of my time at NCC, not to mention the people I met, friends I love, and network I still count on.
I had two special friends at NCC-- Lora and Aimee. Time has taken its toll on our friendship but I still love and cherish them in my heart, even if we don't get to talk very often at all. It was awful to leave them. Girls, I will never forget the special meal you made me on one of my last nights there.
So off to UNL I went, and the three of us decided to stay in touch and even to volunteer that summer at some type of camp. I did some research and found out about an organization called "SKIP" that needed summer camp volunteers fairly badly. I talked to the girls, we applied and were accepted. SKIP stands for: Support for Kids of Incarcerated Parents.
Unfortunately, I thought Incarcerated meant that someone had lost a limb. I think I had it confused with incapacitated-- which actually means disabled or "laid up" (and not having lost a limb). Or maybe I had it confused with decapitated-- which means the head is separated from the body. So I don't know where I got this limb business but I was pretty sure of myself.
One night at our UNL Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) meeting I stayed late and was talking to some friends and just hanging out. We get to talking about my upcoming week at SKIP Camp. I start telling them my grand plans to help the kids understand the struggle their parent(s) go through when they are incarcerated-- and the way it affects daily living. "Like, maybe I will tie one hand behind their back and make them go through the day with only one arm." (The looks got rather skeptical at this point-- people were imagining handcuffs but I didn't know that yet.) "Maybe I could borrow some crutches, or wheelchairs...." I had really thought this through-- I had some friends who were nursing students, etc... At this point my friend Jay can not stand it any longer. He asks me what I think incarcerated means. "That they have lost a limb." Laughter erupts (thankfully with the only six or so left in the room). He fills me in that incarcerated means being in jail! Hahaha. I laughed so hard I cried.
I had NO CLUE that we were headed to a week of camp with kids who had a parent(s) in jail. Totally different!! I think Lora and Aimee knew what they were getting into :) (Aimee... I know you read this occasionally... are you out there?? Did you know??) You know what, though-- it was a great week of camp. We went back the next summer, too. Guess God knew what He was doing!
On the journey,
PS I have held myself accountable to ONE ice-cream sandwich everyday this week (this is sooooo hard) and have walked everyday. I will weigh in Friday and I will let you know.