My California Trip Continued
After finally making it to Windsor, I had a wonderful evening with some dear, dear friends. We had a lot of catching up to do, and I enjoyed every minute of my time there. I only wish it could have been longer.
I spent the night with them and then headed up across the hills to Angwin (with great directions!). It’s on the top of a mountain that is a dormant volcano. It’s the site of Pacific Union College, where I went (for a while) to school. It’s a beautiful, beautiful campus.
The drive is so gorgeous that I have a hard time staying on the road! I just want to keep stopping and take pictures. I didn’t have my “good” camera, so the photos weren’t that great, but it’s just habit I guess.
When I arrived at PUC, I was to call my friend Carol (who also traveled out there from Georgia) and hook up. But I had NO cell service! I was able to find a pay phone (I didn’t know any of those were left!) and get in touch with her. She and her sister, Bev, then met me and we began to plot our strategy.
Carol, Bev and I were there at this college to tell a story. A story that started way back in January 2004. It’s Carol’s story. It’s way too long for me to tell you all of it tonight, but it’s a story of a long and difficult journey through anorexia-bullemia. (I may try to write it out for you later.)My part in the story is small, but vital. I exposed her secret. I stirred the pot and got a lot of folks upset with me. Including her. It was not a fun time in my life. But neither was it fun for her. She was the one with the disease. Her jig was up and she was quite upset. She was dealing not only with the disease, but now with all her family and friends talking about her. It was a rough road for many months, but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Eventually it paid off, and she received the help and guidance she needed to be on the path of recovery.
Carol, Bev and I were there to tell the story from all three of our perspectives. We had never done anything like this before, in fact, the three of us had not talked about it together, ever, before now. So we each one heard somethings we hadn’t known before about the story. It was quite interesting.
I thought I’d be a nervous wreck, but as it turned out (after much prayer), I didn’t even get one butterfly! That is SO out of the ordinary for me. I had said I would try to let go of my anxious heart and let God be in control of how this program went. *It was His story from the very beginning, and He wasn’t going to let any of us mess it up now! So, really, there was nothing to be nervous about. It was His. End of story. He could bring to my mouth whatever it was that He needed someone there to hear! *(This is what my oldest son advised me before I left home. 🙂 )
We decided that we wouldn’t plan how it was presented. We would just let God direct us and lead us in what direction we should go. As it turned out, thankfully, we didn’t have to stand up on a stage and speak one at a time. We were able to sit in chairs (all three of us) up in the front of a large room and make it more like a discussion format. The students (and some staff) were sitting on couches before us. It was more of a casual setting and that made it a lot easier for all three of us.
We were asked if we could give about a thirty minute presentation and then have about thirty minutes for question and answer. The media technician told us that his tape was only 50 minutes long, so he would hold up his hand when it was about out and we could take a short break while he changed the tape. Carol and I laughed… “don’t worry”, we said, “we’ll be lucky to take this a whole thirty minutes!”
After we were introduced, Carol started telling her story. Bev and I sat on either side of her and prayed her up. She did amazing!! After a while Bev and I joined in and told our parts of the story too. It was awesome. Just awesome.
While I was talking the media guy raised up his hand to indicate that it had been 50 minutes. We were astonished! At that point we were pretty much done and so told him not to put in another tape. We then went to question and answers.
Several of the students were in the nursing program, and some were there because they were concerned about their roommate or a friend. A few of them came up to us afterwards to ask for more advice and to thank us for coming. Six of them were guys, and one of them was overheard saying that he wished more people could have heard this. We were so glad that someone passed that message along to us. It was sure nice to know that it was well received even from the guys.
After all of the students had left, one of the staff members came up and thanked us. She had looked quite miserable throughout the entire program and I thought that she may have accidentally come to the wrong meeting. But what she told us next explained her demeanor during the program. She told us that she lost her daughter to anorexia in 2004.
It was an emotional conversation. Not only that, but she then lost her husband to cancer just two years ago. My goodness. How does one deal with such a harsh life? She obviously believes in a powerful God that knows more than she does and knows that He will see her through to the end. Oh, to be so strong. She was a dear lady, and I will always find her in my thoughts and prayers.
So, that is the real reason I went out to California.
It was such a wonderful thing to be apart of. I am so proud of my friend Carol. I know her journey is not over, but at least she is set free from the chains of denial. She has come a long way and has such a beautiful story of recovery and Gods grace, to tell. I hope that someday she will put it in the form of a book. But until then, if any of you know of someone who is struggling with anorexia/bulimia, and would like some help or information, please leave me a message and I will put you in touch with Carol. She has been mentoring several people lately. Also, when we get a copy of the DVD of our program I will get some copies made so that if anyone would like to view it, I will have them available to send you.
I am also starting a prayer list for those that are concerned about someone who may be struggling with either or both of these diseases. This is how the whole thing started with Carol… I just said a prayer. So, if you would like to put someone on that prayer list, just message me their first name. God knows who they are… I don’t have to.
After the event, Bev took us down the hill to Calistoga, for some yummy Chinese food!
I spent the night at Bev’s home, “up on the hill” as we say, and then headed back to the bay area early the next day.
It was very foggy once I got down the hill, and so I was able to stop by my mom’s again as I rolled through Yountville and fill her in on the events of the night before. The fog didn’t lift, but I had to get back to Ricks and return my rental car, so didn’t stay long. But it made her happy to have me visit for just a few more minutes.
So with the pressure off and the program done, I head off to see if I can visit any more of my family before I have to hitch a ride back to Georgia!
P.S. I hope to get my side of the story written down one day. It is a story of how simply amazing our God is! And how He can use us for good, if we let Him.
(I just love the Napa Valley.)