Sunday, after a long night meeting family and friends at the coffee house for one last show, James and I once again headed separate ways to tie up loose ends, finish packing and play one last set. Our paths have constantly split during this month of preparation, knowing that we were heading towards a common goal and would eventually end up back together again - on a plane to China.
Last night we said goodbye to our closest friends. I have so fallen in love with our community! The freedom, laughter, genuine care, and closeness we have all experienced together makes up the most unique body we have ever been apart of. The house was packed with our closest friends; Megan floating around with camera in hand, Andrew driving the jokes until he quickly dipped out for bed time around 8, Joy and Cory coming up with topics for our Pictionary competition while preparing lesson plans for the week, and everyone stuffing their mouths full of my junk food binge from a trip through the last American grocery store I will see for months.
While watching this incredible group of friends play and dance their hearts out, all for the sake of making one another explode into laughter, it started to set in once again just how incredibly blessed we are to belong to this family. We have genuine hearts that care and fight along side of us everyday. Friends who bring strength and light wherever they go.
This morning, we arrived to the airport a few minutes after 4:30. The Murdock’s gave up a night’s sleep before a long week of teaching to drive with us to Daytona and take our car back home. We were immediately met with challenges. Wouldn’t be life without twists in the road..
We were greeted with a sympathetic look and the advice that we should probably drive to Jacksonville as we were 10th and 11th on the stand by list & there were only 9 seats available. With what was likely perceived as dumb persistence, we decided to wait it out, knowing that this was the only flight to Atlanta leaving for the day. Sure enough, grace intervened and we were seated on the plane right before take off.
So now I sit, slowly melting in the airport after less than 6 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours with Starbucks in hand and a flight just over 5 hours from take off. Even exhausted and cranky (because I can’t [read: refuse] to sleep in public places, unlike James) I can’t believe how blessed we are to be heading to China after only 6 months of newlywed “bliss” with my best friend. We are so excited to get immersed and fall in love with the Chinese all over again.
Next stop: Shanghai, CN