I am so full of love. Everyone on this project is so loving and encouraging, and has built me up in so many ways. A little over a week ago, we were having Women’s Time as we always do on Mondays, but this week was special. We spent an entire hour intentionally with our roommates, building each other up and encouraging one another in everything we’ve done. The activity was complete with the giving of flowers, so while it felt a bit like the Bachelorette, as someone whose love languages are gift-giving and words of affirmation, I was overflowing with happiness. I thought that would be the end of it, and Women’s Day on Wednesday would be less emotionally intense. However, at the end of the day each of us was presented with a flower crown and encouraged specifically by our Disciplers. We all felt the love of everyone on project and as soon as we were done praying with our Disciplers, we began going up to each other and encouraging everyone on project, telling each other the things we’ve noticed, and hugging, and crying, and just generally being emotional. As we drove away in our cars to the next activity, I realized it was the fullest of love I’ve felt in a long time. I mean, the people at ACU love me and encourage me just like the people in Florida do, but I’ve only known the ladies here for a month, and I already feel like they’re some of my best friends. It breaks my heart that I will have to leave them in a little over a month! Each girl has made such an impact on me and I love them dearly.
As if that activity wasn’t emotional enough, we rounded out the night by watching Wishes at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and eating Dole Whip! This is a classic Disney activity to do, and something I’d never done before. Almost all the other people on project had tried Dole Whip (a pineapple-flavored, ice cream-like dessert), and nearly everyone had watched Wishes (the literal greatest firework show in the world that Disney puts on every night). I, however, had never done either activity! I cried. I also had melted Dole Whip down my arms after then end of the firework show. It was probably one of the most amazing nights of my life.
A week later we had our Mid-Summer banquet where we said good-bye to our staff. It was hard. I’ve bonded so well with all the people on project, and knowing that our time together was almost half-over was hard. It was a fun night of dancing, picture-taking, encouraging each other, and just hanging-out. When I came on this project, I wasn’t sure I would make any friends. Part of me was convinced I would be in tears begging to go home two weeks into the project. Instead, I got 50 best friends who encourage me spiritually and love me dearly. Going home in five weeks will be one of the hardest things in my life, but I know I will be left with amazing memories to last me a lifetime!
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 14:12-15