yesterday was perfect. well no, of course it wasn’t perfect. nothing is. it actually started out all on the wrong foot–Ellen overslept and so instead of leaving at 9 as we had planned. we left at 10:30 but despite of that, yesterday was good. Katie, Amanda, Beka and i went to breakfast and then we hung out in our room for a while while we were waiting for Ellen to get ready. it turned out that she wasn’t ready when we went back so we went down to brunch and ate fruit. after that, we got on the road at about 10:30. we ended up having what we have labeled as a “confession session” in the car since there were some things that we needed to discuss before we made farther plans to live together next year (that’s not certain yet–im stressing about it). The talk was really good though. it was one of those moments when everything, despite what was being said, seemed whole. we were being honest and honesty can be really hard sometimes but we created a safe environment for each other and because of that talk, i feel even closer to everyone than i did before.
we got to Independence at about 12:30 and went thrfiting for the next 4 hours, first at Trift World and then at Savers. Beka had never been before so it was really fun in that aspect but mostly I was just in love with it all because I love thrifting. I love searching for things and trying on the crazy clothes and looking at all the dishes and having to be talked out of buying another sweater (okay i didn’t like that part). i found black overalls!!!!!! that was probably one of the best moments. except i also found a daisy lazy Susan that Beka and I bought together.
After thrifting, we went to Olive Garden for dinner. There was a special so we all ended up getting 3 course meals for around $13 which was a really good deal! Plus the food (the breadsticks) is sooooo good. We were the loudest people in the restaurant by far and when one of the waiters dropped something, we all did the Cottey response–clapped—without even thinking and then burst into laughter. Food and friends=the perfect combination.
Then there was the concert, the whole reason behind the trip. I was somewhat nervous about it all, simply because Chris Tomlin is a Christian artist and some of my friends are a lot more religious on a daily basis than I am and we had never been in that environment with each other before so I wasn’t sure how they would respond/how they would respond to my response. Other other part of me though was really excited. I love that environment and as the concert started and the opening band came on the stage and the woman in front of us started screaming insanely loud, I remembered just how much I love being in situations like that–in mass worships that are all about music and unity. The God that I believe in is not the same God that anyone else believes in. Not Beka or Katie or any of my friend back home or anyone but in that moment, in moments like that, that doesn’t matter. Of course God isn’t the same for all of us–we are not the same and underneath that high ceiling, we accept that and we sing and clap together and we hold each other when the tears fall and we clasp each others hands when the words become too much, and to me, that’s what God is: love. I believe in something more powerful than human beings, than myself and it may not be the church’s definition of god but who can define god for me but myself? And that concert, it helped me remember that last night. I do not go to church here because I don’t believe that I will be able to find a church that accepts that, that is open to my beliefs and I am sure that there is one out there somewhere but until then, in all honesty, I am happier being with God in the places where I see God: the people I love and the nature that has been lent to me.