The Road to Dry Gulch Pt. 1

Dazzle Digest | 04.19.22

The summer that my dad died, the mothers of my hometown moved mountains and parted the Red Sea to make way for me to attend any and every camp that would take me.

Handbell camp?

Ding.

archery?

Bullseye.

But everything paled in comparison to Camp Dry Gulch USA, or Gospel Bill Camp as I called it.

Gospel Bill was a character from a Christian television series that my family received on VHS monthly in the mail. Set in the wild west, Gospel Bill, his sidekick Nicodemus, and the other residents of Dry Gulch defended their town from any ruffians that came round their parts, all in the name of the Lord.

I LOVED Gospel Bill, so imagine my elation when I found out my cousins and I were going on a road trip all the way to Oklahoma to attend the ministry’s summer camp!

(Think you can keep your jealousy in check? Then check out this ad for the camp! >>)

Somewhere along our journey, we stopped to stretch our legs and enjoy a sit-down dinner. As we waited for our table, a fellow patron told one of my cousins, “You have the most radiant eyes.”

He then turned to her sister. “So do you.”

I stood up just a little taller as this Santa Claus of compliments, a selfless giver of self-esteem, turned his attention to me.

“You’re not related to them, are you?”

RUDE!

Thankfully my self-confidence was as strong as the prescription on my eyeglasses (and I was born with a lazy eye!), but I’d be lying if I said I’m never bothered by what other people have to say.

Chances are you care what others think too. Research shows that almost everyone’s self-esteem is affected by other people’s opinions – for better or for worse.

I’m 99.9999999999% certain that man forgot about me and my cousins before he made it out of the parking lot that night, so why in Gospel Bill’s name am I sitting here writing about him almost three decades later?!

Because even a passing comment has the power to stick, so be careful to give that power to the right people.


The rude dude did have one thing right, though. My cousins are, in fact, radiant – inside and out.

And so am I.

AND SO ARE YOU.

So tell the naysayers in your life (and the voice inside your head) to grab a pair of shades, cause we’re showing up to the Year of the Dazzle as our full, radiant, shiny, dazzling selves!

Lauren

Gospel Bill photo credit: https://myfaithroots.com/about/

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