“I wanna go back” or “I’ll never go back”….these are two statements that seem to run through my head when I think about a place that holds many memories (good or bad), especially concerning Camp.
There are many places that have so many happy memories (Disney World, the beach, Memphis, local parks, church, favorite restaurants, etc…) that are difficult to return to now that Camp is in heaven. There are also a few places that have very hard memories (including my own home) that make it very hard to think about being in those places without thinking about the pain we endured while we were there.
Exactly 2 years ago I was in Waco, Texas (1 month before Camp was diagnosed with his brain tumor). Exactly 1 month ago, I was back there again. Waco is one of those places that has changed so drastically for me. When I visited the first time in June of 2016, it was for a 10 year anniversary trip for me and Brent. We went alone, just the two of us, and did all of the touristy things concerning Waco now that Chip and Joanna have made it a bucket-list destination for so many. When I went back in May of 2018, I revisited this city for very different reasons.
On my first visit, I was at a place in my life where I knew God was about to start making some major changes, I was not at peace in my soul and I just didn’t know why. I was begging God for answers and direction for my life, but He just wasn’t giving it to me. I prayed over and over again for Him to show me what He wanted me to do with my life, but the answers just weren’t coming. I remember so vividly standing in the Magnolia Market by myself and with hundreds of strangers when I felt a tangible touch for the Lord. I heard Him whisper to me (not audibly, but very loudly in my heart)… He said, “Sarah, just wait. The answers are coming, I just can’t tell you yet. Be patient and wait on me.” Camp was diagnosed with a brain tumor that would eventually take his life only 3 weeks later. Then, 11 months after that encounter with the Lord, he led me to leave my secure job in education and begin our retail business and non-profit that is dedicated to funding childhood cancer research and sharing about Jesus.
Fast forward to May of 2018…I visited Waco again…this time with a different group of people and for a very different reason. This time, I traveled there with Isabelle (my 8 year old daughter) and Sarah Halter (my precious friend from St. Jude that lost her sweet Austyn just 8 months after Camp passed). This time we didn’t go to site see and take in all of the attractions of this Texas town, we went to make donations to childhood cancer research and volunteer for 2 days at a race supporting rare cancer research. Talk about doing a complete 180!