Recently, my son gifted me the opportunity to write the stories of my life and have them bound into a book. The publishing company offered prompts to assist in writing chapters about significant people and experiences in my first 60 years.
One of the prompts was, “What places have you traveled to over and over again?” Although there isn’t much travel involved (we live in South Jersey), I immediately thought of Sandy Cove.
As I reflect over the 30 years of my life since we started attending Sandy Cove, there have been many joys and many sorrows, and Jesus has been my rock through them all. The messages, fellowship, and presence of the Holy Spirit I have experienced at Sandy Cove have empowered me to remember God’s love and faithfulness. Jesus Never Fails.
My husband, two young children, and I first visited Sandy Cove in July 1993. That was 30 years ago, and we haven’t missed a single summer since! We heard about Sandy Cove through fellow church members of Ashland Presbyterian Church. They had been attending since before Chesapeake Lodge was built. I imagine many had listened to The Morning Cheer Radio Broadcast with Dr. George Palmer because he used to pastor a nearby church.
We were impressed by the beautiful facility and grounds, excellent programming, quality music, and inspirational speakers. It was the perfect marriage of time alone as adults, and time together as a family. Between the boating, swimming, and numerous activities, there was plenty to keep us busy. Did I mention the spectacular sunsets? I told everyone who would listen how much we were blessed by our time at Sandy Cove.
Twenty years later, we enjoyed the week with all NINE of our children, our daughter-in-law, two “grand loves,” and numerous friends we brought with us and met on campus over the years. At that time, we attended Homeschool Week-- Family Camp Week 1. What a relief to have only one of many 15-passenger vans in the parking lot. Sandy Cove was the only place we could vacation without explaining ourselves!
My favorite memories include my husband, son, and granddaughter being baptized in the bay, milkshakes and grown-up conversations in The Galley, miniature golf, making crafts with our kids, and, of course, the spectacular sunsets!
Additionally, I am grateful for the opportunity my children have had to work at Sandy Cove. Ken served in Club Cove, Amanda in Crosswalk, and Elizabeth and Meredith in housekeeping. These experiences provided them with deep and lasting friendships, and the chance to learn the value of hard work and service to others.
Many in our family have developed long-term friendships at Sandy Cove that continue to this day. When you have the opportunities for work, fellowship, and fun that Sandy Cove provides, it’s not surprising.
More recently, in addition to Family Camp, I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous women’s events along with my mom, daughter, and friends. For me, the most significant by far have been the Restore Me retreats. At this beautiful retreat, God healed me of body image issues that have plagued me since my pre-teen years. God gave me a new name, Loren Grace, Victorious Spirit by God’s Grace.
He told me I am not awkward, clumsy, or lacking; I am His graceful, grace-filled, and beautiful child. I am enough just like I am—just as He created me to be. As I am sure you can guess, if I could choose only one place to travel to for the rest of my life, it would certainly be Sandy Cove