Throughout the spring, I made lists in my head of things Sabine would need for college.
Extra long twin sheets, laundry basket, coat, Ramen . . .
Practical things, to be sure, but always, ALWAYS the list began and ended with FRIENDS.
I would not have stayed or survived Black Hills State without the friends I made. Indeed, if I had not met Chrisa that first day of classes and had someone to eat with, I would have starved. Starved and gone home. That morning I had woken up with tears threatening to fall and I said a fervent prayer.
“Lord, I don’t want to go home and prove to everyone that I couldn’t make it here. YOU brought me here so bring me some friends. I can’t do this alone.”
The ladies he sent were an answer to prayer and continue to be.
Saturday we met amid the Pumpkin Festival celebrations downtown and kicked off our weekend reunion with lunch. From there we [had to jump the van and congratulated ourselves on no one getting electrocuted, get last minute items at Walgreen’s and Safeway and pick up Julie’s stuff] headed to Terra Sancta. In the Monastic wing we relived a little of that good old dorm-living feeling. We took Mia outside into the lovely sunshine so she could crawl about on the grass. We visited and played catch-up with each other. Then we celebrated Julie’s birthday with a fantastic lasagna Lace made and plenty of laughter.
We swapped recipes and advice and prayed with one another. Though it was less than 24 hours, it was packed full of the blessing that only friends can understand.
We marveled at how we have stuck together through these years. Fifteen years since that first fall semester. Through boyfriends and jobs and weddings and babies,we’ve marked them all together. This time we even dared speak of the future – of a time when there are no more nursing babies, perhaps weekends spent together when our kids are grown and in school and we are praying for them and their friends.
Ladies, it was a great weekend. You guys encourage and inspire me in such magnificent ways. I’m looking forward to the next time already. Taiwan 2014, baby! (You know it’d be fun, Beth!)
If you are in the Hills and need a place to stay, Terra Sancta Retreat Center is the place to be. Many, many thanks to Reeny and her crew for setting us up and going out of their way to make the Monastic wing comfortable for us.