a little history, i met Lauren as a Christian boyband obsessed (can anyone say Plus One?!) 13 year old girl in a journalism class at my homeschool co op. (that might be one of the most dorkiest sentences i've ever typed...) she was sweet and kind and quiet and i instantly loved her. We had the same interests for the most part - and one of them has always been a deep rooted love/obsession with boybands and disney. ( i mean, while Plus One was still a band we went to every single concert they ever did in Seattle and waited hours and hours to meet them each time. insane.) there was 3 of us in our little group, and like a lot of jr high/highschool girls there was some drama. there were some years that we didnt talk and eventually we grew up, left the drama behind and became sweet friends again. Lauren has been a constant, sweet friend to me and getting to go on this trip with her was incredible.
about 4 days before i left i started getting anxiety. like, i couldnt sleep, tummy problems, trying to talk myself into going, because i have never flown by myself - or gone on a trip without my husband. so many things made me nervous, but i was determined to go and have a great time. i was determined to go and be brave just like Jesus wanted me too, to go on this trip that He gave me.
last wednesday i did the bravest thing i have done all year.
at 5:30am i kissed my husband good by and rolled my hot pink suitcase into the airport. alone.
as i sat in the airport i thought a lot about the last year. i thought a lot about how Jesus has promised to sustain me, to walk me through deep waters, and i praised Him for holding true to His promises. i felt so emotional doing this big thing. this thing that might be so small to someone else was the bravest thing i have done. it felt so good to trust in the Lord, to know that no matter what, He would be there. my flight took off and it was great. no one sat next to me, i lathered myself in essential oils, and calmly read a magazine that ive been wanting to read for a month. i stepped off that plane and into the hot california sun. i felt alive. i felt free. and it wasnt because there was not a 3 year old on my hip, but because there was bravery in Christ in my heart.
the rest of the day was spent at Disneyland. eating beignets and drinking mint juleps. chasing after princesses and riding the non kid rides (and the kid rides too.) i missed my family so much, but felt so thankful to experience all this with one of my most treasured friends. we stayed till almost closing, then slept in the most comfortable hotel bed of my life. (probably only comfy because i didn't have to share it with anyone!)
we spent the next 2 days driving through the state of California and then Oregon and then on to Washington. it was long. it was the best. at one point the drive seemed like it would never end, so we blasted that oh so familiar boyband and sang our hearts out just like it was 2002. and there was nothing better for my heart in those moments. i needed those songs. i needed those miles, i needed her friendship. this year marks knowing her longer than i havent and there is something special about being friends with someone that long. they get you. they know you. they have seen you as the awkward 15 year old with way way way too much black eyeshadow/liner & bronzer and they still love you.
i cant explain how this trip refreshed my heart, but it did. i didnt know how badly i needed it or how badly i needed her. i came back home as a mama whose tank was full. who is more patient and excited. who is ready to work hard at raising this sweet preschooler. a mama who prays that someday her little girl will have a Lauren too, because everyone deserves a friend like that.
i am thankful i listened to Jesus and took this sweet gift He gave me. thankful i let Him work in my heart to be brave and do hard things. and thankful that i got to go to the happiest place on earth to experience it all.