Thank you all for the prayers! Our trip was wonderful. I was worried that it would be painful, and while at times I was sad, it was more the regular day-to-day sadness that comes from missing my little girl than the heavy weight of “she should have been with us” that I dreaded. Instead it was a fantastic trip, and I actually found God was “blooming joy” in me during it a couple of times.

First of all, I laughed a lot. Some of it was stupid (ok, most of it was stupid) but it felt good. And we ate a lot. Probably more than we should have. And drank too much. But then in the midst of it were these moments where I was so aware of God at work in the lives of others, and I had to smile.

We went because a dear friend got married. And in the midst of her wedding, I was so aware that this was a holy moment, God-ordained. It was beautiful. I nearly cried. I’m pretty sure the bride did cry. It was amazing to see. We’re just so happy for her and her new husband!

Then we attended church at a congregation that I hadn’t been around for close to seven years, I think. Their pastor retired a couple of years ago and it was a tough situation for the congregation towards the end from what we’ve heard. But now they have a new pastor who has been there for about a year, and in the midst of his sermon I thought, “they have a pastor who really loves them! Praise God!” I just kept smiling. I was soooo happy for them. They needed him, needed a pastor to come in and love them. And he does.

We tried to fit in as many people as we could on our trip, but it’s hard when time is limited and there’s a major event like a wedding in the mix. So if you’re reading this and we didn’t fit you in, we’re so sorry we missed you. Next time we will try to see more folks if we can, though I don’t know when we’ll get back there again. It was so lovely to see so many friends and just chat and catch up. What a blessing!