WOW! It feels like it has been way longer than a week since I last posted, which technically its been 8 days… haha but still! So much has happened in the past week in my life!! Let me fill you guys in!
Last week, Wednesday through mid day on Sunday, I was at the University of Northwestern St. Paul at an FCA Leadership Camp! What an amazing experience! I could write a five-page paper explaining all the things we did, all the amazing things that happened, and how I saw Jesus move and work at that camp. But I’ll spare you that much reading and keep it under 3 pages 😉 (haha just kidding! It wont be that long!) When my campers arrived, they were a surprisingly quiet bunch of boys. I wasn’t expecting this because at sports camp my guys were more wound up and more talkative. During our first couple of huddle times, (huddle times are when we basically have a small group discussion with the campers in our huddles) my boys didn’t talk much. This lead me to be discouraged because I felt like I wasn’t “doing it right.” I felt like, as a huddle leader, I wasn’t saying the right things to get the boys to talk. Even though I know I was serving and pouring into my guys, I felt the time I had with them wasn’t fruitful. It seemed like the guys in my group were not opening up to each other, and more importantly to what the Lord was doing at the camp. I was feeling discouraged. And then this happened..!
After our night-time huddle meeting on Friday, I came down to where all the huddle leaders and campers were hanging out. Everyone was playing games and laughing, and I really wanted to join in on the games, but I knew I needed to talk with another huddle leader. As I scanned the room, I saw Sam Ferch. This man is awesome. I saw he was talking with a friend, but I walked over anyways and sat and waited for their conversation to end. After about 5 minutes, their conversation ended and he turned to me. He asked, “How is your huddle going?” Coincidence? I THINK NOT!! I told him about how my huddle seemed to be lackluster because my boys were not very talkative, I never told him I was being discouraged, but I think he could tell. After telling him, Sam prayed for me. He prayed a prayer of encouragement for me, reminding me that even if I don’t see the fruits of the huddle time with my boys, that the Lord was using me to reach those boys. He reminded me that Jesus had me there for a reason. He prayed for my boys to open up in the huddle times to come. I am not 100% sure on this, but I am almost positive that the conversation he had just had with his friend, Andrew Gulotta, was talking about encouraging other huddle leaders if they were feeling discouraged and praying for them and their campers. This brings me to this verse:
Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
WOW. Is that not crazy? The Lord knew exactly what I needed, what I needed to hear, and He used Sam in that moment to bring encouragement to me. And don’t forget about the prayers for the campers to open up! The next huddle meeting we had, the boys were talking, asking questions, and conversing with each other!
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
These verses are not saying that we can ask for a new truck or to win the lottery and the Lord will give that to us. When we ask and seek God in prayer with pure intentions, in complete faith and trust, and ask for things according to His will, He will answer our prayers. The power of prayer is real. I got to see Jesus glorified at this camp. I got to see my campers grow in their relationship with the Lord. I got to see the Holy Spirit move.
I’ll share one more amazing story from camp and then I’ll move on, I promise!! On Saturday night, the campers get to stay up an extra hour, so they all went to bed around 12. After the campers were all in bed, I was planning to share my testimony with one of the huddle leaders (Mathias Steen, aka T) and he was going to share his with me. We were both super excited to hear each others testimony, but we also wanted to talk with other huddle leaders that night too, so we decided to only spend 20 minuets sharing our testimony. But then T suggested that we should do “5” minute testimonials with the huddle leaders that were still up. What a great idea..! I am so thankful he brought up that idea. So we asked the other huddle leaders if they would be good with doing that, and they all said yes! So we started sharing our testimonies around 12:45am, and we got done with everyone around 4:30am. What an amazing time. It is impossible to put in words how amazing that time was. All of the huddle leaders were authentic, genuine, and real when telling their testimony. We were all open and raw with each other. Some of the huddle leaders shared things that they had never shared in a group that big before. It was a time of encouragement, inspiration, healing, and a time to point the glory back to Jesus. Testimonies are the best. They remind us that we are all sinners. They remind us of the power and love Jesus demonstrated in His life and on the Cross. This time deepened our friendship with each other, and it encouraged and inspired us all in our own walk and relationship with Jesus. After that everyone went to bed, but I ended up staying up till about 5:45am! I got about 30 minutes of sleep that night! On Sunday, all the campers went home, as well as the huddle leaders. This camp was amazing. I got to pour into the lives of high school kids, I got to be with and meet amazing brothers and sisters in Christ, and most importantly I got to see God move and deepen our/my relationship with Jesus.
Sunday I left from home around 1pm, and I’ll just leave it at this… That drive was the hardest of my life because I was so tired haha! But the Lord got me home safely. I got home around 3 and then I was baptized around 4!! Like I said, this past week has been so amazing! Last year I wanted to get baptized, but my health held me back from doing so. This year I knew I wanted to. Baptism is an outward expression of the inward devotion we have to Jesus. I feel like I have been outwardly expressing my inward devotion to Christ for the past 2 years of my life. So I am not saying that me getting baptized wasn’t meaningful to me, but it felt normal to me. For some people, when they get baptized, it is the first time they are expressing their devotion to Christ, and that is a huge step in our walk with Christ! For me, it was another opportunity to openly share my love for Jesus and how He has worked in my life! So I am so happy to say that I am now baptized!!
Quick funny story. Some family came to my baptism and they wanted to go out for dinner. So we decided to meet at Angilena’s! We drove separate so I headed to Angilena’s and beat everyone there so I decided to shut my eyes for a couple of minutes… 😂 Yeah, so my dad came up to my car and saw me passed out haha! He asked me if I just wanted to go home and sleep and I said, “You know what? I think I am going to do that.” hahahah!!! So I went home and slept for 13 hours that night!
Now let’s move to Wednesday August 1st! On Wednesday we moved all the big stuff into my apartment in Fargo! I am going to be attending NDSU as a freshman this year! I am not living there yet, but I will be within the next week or so! I am very excited to start the next chapter in my life! Jesus has healed me and given me the opportunity to spread my wings and fly! My parents would be the first to tell you that I am very eager to move up there.. Love you mom and dad 😊
Then, the very next day, I had my check-up at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. I know, I am sorry I didn’t tell you guys this was coming up!! I was actually told on Tuesday that I had these appointments coming up! Obviously I knew these appointments would be happening sometime, but I had no idea that they were happening so soon! This was just a routine check-up. I really don’t need them anymore, but the doctors and parents insist I go… So I go haha. It is a small price I have to pay, things could be much worse! At the appointment they checked my blood counts, the doctors asked me how I was doing and if I had any health concerns, and we also saw a dermatologist. I’ll go over the blood counts first… MY BLOOD COUNTS WERE AMAZING!!
White blood count was 5.6 – This is the highest it has been in probably 2 years (the normal range is from 4.5-11)
ANC was 3.7 – normal range is 1.5-8.0
Hemoglobin was 15.5 – normal range is 13.5-17.5
Platelets were 170,000 – normal range is 150,00-450,00
I am normal again guys!! It took sooooooo long for my counts to recover from my bone marrow transplant. But they finally have 😊 We are waiting on a result from the blood they took which will come back next week sometime. We are waiting on the results from the donor study. This result will tell us if I am still 100% donor. I am sure that this result will come back telling us that I am still 100% donor! The doctors said I look great, the people who check me in for appointments said I look so great, the nurses said I look great! We have no health concerns and the doctors said everything sounds, feels, and looks great! The dermatologist gave us some new shampoo to try out for my dry scalp and we talked with them about my skin care regimen. They showed us pictures from when my skin was super dry, like more dry than the desert. They said my skin looks 10 times better! They were very impressed with my skin haha. Doctors are funny 😂 They are so passionate about their work and get so excited for us patients when we are healthy! Mainly because they saw us when we were super sick! So bottom line is, my health is great! The check-up went great! No worries!
I will end with prayer requests. Please continue to pray for Maddi and Kalli. Maddi is doing better, but she still has a tough road ahead of her and needs all the prayer she can get! Pray for healing, for peace and hope for the whole family, and pray that insurance will cover the second transplant she will need! Kalli went in to be tested for lyme disease, and as she thought, she has lyme! It is crazy because for 5 years she never had answers for why she felt the way she did, so after she was diagnosed, she couldn’t help but smile because she finally got an answer! You guys should check out her most recent blog post at this link:
Continue to pray for healing. Pray for patience and for discernment as she is making some big discussions in her life right now, and pray for the joy of Christ in her life! For me personally, pray that when I move into my apartment in Fargo, that I would be able to find men who love Jesus and that I will be able to make life-long friendship with those guys. Pray that I will keep Jesus the number 1 priority in my life. Pray that I will be bold in sharing my faith in Christ with others.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Pray this verse over me! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and thank you for the prayers! Have a blessed day!