This time a week ago I was driving down I-75 on my way to Georgia. I was probably listening to the newest Regina Spektor cd and snacking on warm grapes. Oh and my butt was probably starting to really hurt.
The night before I started to freak out a little bit. I emailed some of my closest friends, “Tomorrow morning I’m driving to Georgia. I’ve been really, really excited about getting back – but in this moment I’m feeling a little anxious. I’m not looking forward to moving/unpacking and I’m worried about being overwhelmed with seeing everyone all at once/jumping back into things right away. So I ask you once again for prayer. Prayer for PEACE and a smooth transition.”
I couldn’t fall asleep that night, so instead I lay in bed and watched Julia Roberts have her own freak-out moments in Eat Pray Love.
All day on the road to Georgia I felt peaceful. And as I entered Gainesville I started to get giddy, excited, hopeful to be back home. Bethany told me to meet her at the Lake House, so I parked my car and went inside…
but wait. Why were there steamers and balloons everywhere? And people hiding behind the couch?
Yes, that’s right. A surprise “Welcome Home/Belated Birthday” party. I was SHOCKED and overwhelmed in the best way possible. All night I couldn’t stop smiling – my jaw literally hurt when I went to bed. I probably looked like an idiot but I don’t care. Rarely have I experienced such definite moments of being so incredibly and undeservedly loved.
In January, before I left for the World Race, I wrote on my blog:
Last night was my final night in Gainesville. I had a going away party at the Lake House – few times in life have I felt so loved, supported, accepted, understood…now I’m scared I just lost something I won’t get back…
My last moments in Gainesville were spent saying goodbye at the Lake House, and my first minutes back were spent being embraced at the Lake House.
Isn’t God a beautiful storyteller?
I think so…
Oh and the following morning people helped me move my stuff in what felt like five minutes – I was practically weak in the knees from all the love I felt (…that and walking up and down those stairs probably had something to do with it.)
So yeah. A week ago I was on the road with no idea what was in store that night. Now I’m in Gainesville, getting settling in and starting my new job. I still don’t really know what’s in store…
but that’s what makes a great surprise, amen?