I walked into school that morning, and my dearest Alma friend--Dee Ann--had set a package in my seat. It was pink tote with an embroidered "A" on it. Inside was a wall decoration that read, "Faith is not knowing God can. It is knowing God will." (And boy, did He ever...)
Since my birthday is the end of May, we were having school assemblies left and right. My birthday fell on a Friday, which happened to be the same day as our AMS awards' assembly. School dismissed early, and the teachers had a luncheon at the PAC. When I got there, Leslie had saved me a seat. She also surprised me with an apron she had made just for me! You may not know my friend Leslie, but she is the best at anything sewn! She also knew I loved aprons, so to have her make me something I'm so fond of was just overwhelmingly amazing to me!
My sweet friend Leslie--I love her like she is my very own sister. I hate that we live away from each other now, but I love what God is doing in our lives and in our friendship!
After the luncheon, I went home and just sat around. I had no clue what to do that night. My mom offered for me to go to Ozark, but at that point in my life I wanted to show I could do it and make it on my own. Maybe I was trying to prove a point to my ex-fiance. Or maybe I was trying to prove a point to myself. Either way, I was in the business of living a brand new life...I just didn't have many brand new friends yet!
Then my phone rang, and it was sweet Kolby Dilbeck. She asked if we could please go to supper, and of course I wanted to! We ate Chili's down! The lady kept saying, "Do you want anything else?" And every time, we found something new on the menu! I felt terrible afterward, though, when I was surprised to find out that Coach and Bobbie had given Kolby their card to pay for our dinner. Bobbie told me later, "I didn't know a girl your size could eat SO MUCH!" We all had a good laugh about my ability to throw down some food.
We hung out and had just the best time of our lives! Ultimately, it wasn't how I had expected to spend my 24th birthday, but it was definitely the perfect way. I found that even during times that you think you're at your worst...when you think you have no friends...when you think that you're in a new town without any family...that's when you find those friends, you find that family, and find that every season of life has a celebration.
I wouldn't know what to do without those friendships over the past year. That time of my life gave me the opportunity to develop relationships with people I may never have gotten to know had I been married or in a relationship. This year my birthday will be much different, especially since it'll be my last weekend with my family for almost 3 months. But what I've learned is you have to take every season, every circumstance, and every moment that you're given; and you have to celebrate it like it's the most defining moment of your life. Because chances are, it is.
However, I'm not sure I'm ready for that defining moment of being a quarter of a century old. Ouch.