What an amazing week! And the fact that I am saying that after spending 4 days with 23,000 teenagers is just a beautiful testament to God's Grace :).
Last Wednesday, I headed West on I-70 (is there a flatter road in this country? I'm thinking there is not.) towards Indianapolis to attend NCYC as our Diocesan Group Leader. And my first stop was at the home of the lovely Jenny from All Things. She and Daisy were so awesome to meet and hang out with for a couple of hours (the time flew by!). And Kali and Mei Mei say thank-you so much for the awesome treats! It was so great to talk in person with someone about our IF journey and not have to explain things - though Jenny had to do some explaining for me and she was so gracious. Daisy was so excited we were taking pictures, she decided to join us.
My next stop was my hotel. And dinner at the Colts Grille. I knew I should've packed my black and gold!
NCYC began on Thursday and was a truly amazing experience. Jamie at Roman Catholic Cop has a list of the top 15 things about NCYC and they are pretty right on target - I love that his #1 is time with his daughter. Emma is a sweet heart and it's so nice to see a teen who still enjoys hanging out with her dad. Jamie and I had plans to try to meet up at some point, but we didn't plan to run into each other on Thursday afternoon (even before the kids from WV arrived). Emma took this picture for us on Friday afternoon, thanks Emma!
Saturday evening was the culmination of the week with Mass. There are no words to describe what it's like to experience Mass with 25,000 other people. Truly amazing. Truly awesome. Truly hope-giving.
On Sunday, I got to sleep in a little and then headed towards home. BUT, I only had to go about 15 minutes before my first stop at Sarah from Fumbling Towards Grace's home. She was a lovely host and made yummy french toast with bacon and homemade applesauce. I've been reading Sarah's blog since I started blogging (I think I might have been reading her blog before I started my own) and was so excited to meet her and sweet Maggie (her husband too, of course!). We sat down to talk after brunch and the time flew by - it was like we've been friends forever.
I know my purpose for traveling west was for NCYC, and I loved every minute of the conference (though I am also quite sure that youth ministry is not for me, and I'm totally OK with that!), but where God was most present to me (other than in the sacraments of course!) was in my time with these three people. There is something about meeting someone face to face for the first time and there being zero awkwardness or need for small talk that is truly heart warming. It was in these conversations, these laughs, these hugs that the Body of Christ was truly evident to me.
Thank-you to both Jenny and Sarah for opening their homes to this girl from WV; for the laughter and the shared stories. Thank-you to Jamie for laughing with me at my silliness and sharing your sweet Emma with me. NCYC was amazing, but my trip to Indianapolis in 2011 will always be remembered for the times that we spent together.