One particular meet-up has been YEARS in the works. Gina is one of my favorites and always has been. She's the most caring and non-judgemental person. I honestly don't remember how we became friends, but ever since, she's been someone I can text or call about anything. I call her "My Yoda."
Quite literally, for about six weeks straight this past Fall, I would call her every Sunday after church. I'd be crying, yelling, confused.... She would patiently listen, advise, pray, and just support.
Like I said, I've waited for years to meet her. I remember when Harry Potter opened up at Universal, she started talking about coming down. They've made tentative plans over and over, but it just wasn't the right time.
However, in March, the time had FINALLY come. The original plan was for me to meet with them after work at Magic Kingdom. What actually happened worked out so much better.
I'd come off a super long weekend, working. I was exhausted, but so excited to meet her. They'd been at the park all day and were ready to call it a night. With some quick texting, we decided that they would walk to the Contemporary and I would pick them up to take them back to their hotel.
I've said for years that I couldn't wait to hug her neck.....
We ended up eating dinner, enjoying a couple of drinks, and just talking. It was great. It's always a tiny worry when you meet someone in person for the first time that they won't live up. This teeny-tiny worry barely registered with Gina and then completely evaporated in about .025 seconds. She's fabulous.
And, her sweet, sweet family. OMG. They are precious. As we were getting ready to pray over our meal, Gina told her sons, "Jess loves Jesus, too." Her husband's genuine joy and "Oh, how wonderful!" at hearing that was so sweet. Sometimes, we get a bit jaded.... our Faith becomes routine. To be reminded by that small gesture that finding another brother or sister in Christ is something to be happy about was a moment I won't soon forget.
The evening ended all too soon, but with promises that it won't be our last face-to-face. As supremely tired as I was (so, so tired), I was filled to the brim with happiness. Finally met My Yoda!