To say that I enjoyed my vacation would be a complete understatement. I had the the most amazing experience of my life and the setting couldnít have been more perfect. I spent five glorious days at The Salvation Armyís Hoblitzelle Camp and Conference Center in Midlothian.

From the moment I arrived on the campgrounds I could feel the presence of the Lord. There is nothing more precious than spending time with God tucked away in a cottage surrounded by his creation.

I went there with the expectation of hearing from God, and he did not disappoint. In fact, the minute I walked through the door of the cottage I burst into tears. It was the ultimate meeting place for me and the Lord.

Iím not sure if it was the fact that I was totally surrounded by Godís creation or the panoramic view of the lake that drew me in, I think maybe it was a little bit of both. I can say with certainty that out of all the serene spots located on the campus the amphitheater was my favorite. Sitting there looking out across the lake with the view of the cross before me was absolutely breathtaking. And it was at the amphitheater that I had an encounter with Christ that I will never forget.

It was midnight on Wednesday and I had chosen to meet the Lord there. I needed a new and fresh move of God in my life. I was desperate and was willing to stay out there all night if thatís what it took.

As I followed the lighted pathway to the theater, I began bracing myself for what I was about to see. Climbing the stairs was like climbing up the side of a mountain. We climb with an expectation of the breathtaking sight that awaits us below. What would be my reaction once I reached the peak of the amphitheater?

When the cross began to come into view I did the only thing I knew to do, fell facedown and submitted everything to God. I was in awe and had to completely surrender to Christ. I thought I understood. I thought I had it all figured out, but it was at that moment that I came to truly understand the importance of what Jesus had done for me on the cross more than 2,000 years ago. And it was at that very moment that I realized what it meant to ďtake up the cross dailyĒ and follow Christ.

Living completely for the Lord means dying every day to my flesh and selfish desires. It means embracing all that Jesus represents in the hope that others will recognize him in me. It means using my life as a living sacrifice in the hope of winning others to him. I want to live each day as a soldier for Christ with the cross of Jesus going on before.

Melissa Cade is a journalist for Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. Follow her on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.