It was 4:15pm, 15 minutes after my party had officially started. No one was there, and we were running late - still cutting fruit, taking the paper cups out of their plastic bag, pouring chips into bowls, setting food out for the (hopefully) guests. And I was bummed because no one was there. I thought, "This is gonna be a long party." At approximately 4:17pm, my dear friends, Sara-Ruth and Lauren, strolled into the kitchen at Calvary. They gave me big smiles, told me congratulations, and immediately got right to work helping me put the food out and get ready for the rest of the (hopefully) party guests.
Around 4:30pm, the guests started to arrive ... just a couple of families. My beloved Nilsens and Dorene and Jim from church ... the party was rather slow. But then, maybe 10 minutes later, Ben and Brittney and Matt and Hannah showed up. That's when the party started! I got a big side hug from Ben and a "Hannah hug," which is really a fist bump with an explosion. :D From that point on, the SoZo youth room at Calvary was boomin'! There was barely room to move until about a quarter till 7, and a handful of people stayed until well after 7 just chatting and helping clean up the mess from the party.
It was such a blessing to see so many people from my church family stop by ... to chat with people from Grace Fellowship, Calvary's sister church and my second church home! Seriously. I don't even go to Grace, and there were at least 5 families that stopped by to congratulate me, love on me, and talk with me. And many of those 5 families stayed for over an hour!
God's grace was certainly in action through all the love that bounced around the room that night. So many friends saying "congratulations," "don't worry about that test, you'll be great at whatever you do," "God's got some great plans in store for you, Mical," "I'm so proud of you" ... even "You're my hero." It was an amazing night! I'm not sure I've ever felt more loved and appreciated.