Courtney, Jonathan and I just returned from a Youth Ministry trip to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. With a group of 25 or so kids, it was filled with lots of prayer and even more laughter. This is the first trip I have taken Courtney on and it was wonderful. It is not often that a severely handicapped almost 16 year old finds a place with teenagers her own age. It was such a joy to watch the kids talk with her and spend time with her during the last 48 hours.
Once again I am reminded that Courtney is a witness to God's mercy and love and all she has to do is show up! I wish it were that easy for me. This was the last trip for her brother who is off to college next week, so to see them together was bittersweet for me. The dynamic in the house will be very different, but Jonathan is ready to go, so we shall send him off.
While at the bay, Courtney and I enjoyed the most beautiful sunset. It was a moment that still brings tears to my eyes. God was so good to give us a moment together free of stress, seizures or anything else that would interrupt this gift of time. It was just a Mom and her daughter enjoying the gift of God's wonder and majesty. It was so normal it was almost scary! I have included pictures below.
It has been a fabulous three years serving in the Youth Ministry in my parish. Courtney has been with me the whole time. So when I was encouraged to being her with me for this last trip of Jonathan's I said yes. I find these days, that's all God is really asking of me. He takes care of the rest. So I said "yes", and Courtney did not have a major seizure the whole weekend. She slept and ate normally and things went really well. Below is a picture of Court with Miss Emma and Miss Julia, two of her favorite people.
This group kids have been praying for my daughter and my family for the past three years. They have been there to help with the simple things of opening doors, carrying bags and helping with kitchen duties. It was delightful to spend time with them and pray for them this weekend. I ask that you keep all the kids in Youth Ministry in your prayers, those still in high school and those off to college. may God make their path smooth and keep them close to Him. May He bless them for loving my daughter as if she were walking among them.
Labels: catholic life, retreat, youth ministry