As we flew down the road towards our destination, my stomach twisted. Would this all be what I had dreamed?
I flashed back in time as we slowed behind the Amish buggies, and I grinned at the sweet little covered heads of two little girls on their way home from church. But all the while, through all the new scenery and beautiful landscape of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I couldn't focus. My mind churned back and forth; mingled excitement and nervousness distracted me.
Mom and I pulled into the hotel and lugged our bags upstairs. I swore I couldn't eat a bite, but found it extremely easy to gobble that delicious lamb and feta burger...
Nerves drove me to distraction and I had to remind myself to breathe evenly as I strode into the lobby to meet some of my friends for the first time.
As I hugged each of those boys, two from my classes, one being a family friend, and one being a brand new friend, any flicker of doubt I had was pinched out. I was euphoric as I got ready for bed that night, so looking forward to meeting one of my teachers from last year and my very best friends.
The week passed in a whirlwind of meeting new people, positively tackling my best chums with affectionate hugs, and creating memories fantastic enough to last me well into the next gathering.
The founder of my online school and, honestly, the reason I have so many forever-friends, made a great point. We students of Veritas Press are a new generation. We came to this gathering with the great anticipation and delight of meeting our best friends; some of us for the first time.
My Spanish teacher from last year noted how beautiful this really is as I cried in the hallway last night. It wouldn't be right to leave out this aspect of meeting new people and loving on other peers completely! We, though often apart from our best friends, are nevertheless learning how to love others and to keep friendships.
I had to leave a while before most, so I missed church and the final picnic. But the hugs I received last night were each one so meaningful and they made me smile. I laughed through tears as I held onto these people who mean so much to me, and I thanked God for bringing them all into my life.
I’ll post pictures and go into detail later, but for now, I just wanted to check in and let you know why I was gone. I’m writing this as I fly away from those friends whom I love, and I’ll admit that there’s a mist beginning to cloud my eyes. But that week with these people was absolutely worth any pain that the good-byes may have wrought.
I love you, my friends, and I am so blessed that you’re a part of my life.