United 2014

Confession: I've sat here staring at my blinking cursor longer than I'm going to admit, trying to figure out what exactly to say. And I'm honestly still not sure, because everything I type just isn't quite right.

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Lucas and I left for United a little over a week ago. Last Thursday, we packed up Minzy (our car) and drove to Austin for Christian and Nicole’s engagement session. We stayed the night in literally the middle of nowhere Texas, then woke up early to drive to Carlsbad Caverns to explore.

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We played there for a large part of the day and drove far into the night until we reached Tucson. The next day, we drove to Tucson to Santa Barbara, with only a few quick stops to see (and poke at) a few giant cacti.

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Lucas and I spent Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday with Jennie and John, two of our Santa Barbara friends who have meant the world to us over the past several years. We went to reality Sunday morning (a church was a huge part of my walk with the Lord during the first year or so of my conversion) then wandered around State street for most of the afternoon.

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We checked into our hotel Sunday evening, took lots of deep breaths, worked up the courage, and finally found ourselves at United. When we walked in, I was immediately overwhelmed by how many people were already standing around in groups, talking, laughing, and making new friends. I wasn’t sure where to start… and then I heard someone yelling my name. I couldn’t locate it, but I kept hearing it… until I finally looked up and saw Cassie. :) Seriously, ya’ll. That girl. I just love her.

Anyway, the past few days have been intense, overwhelming, and challenging in more ways than I can explain, but that's completely okay. Because it's also been absolutely incredible. More than anything, I learned from the example of others. Serving others has always been a huge part of everything I do, but watching the leadership, speakers, and volunteers tirelessly work to serve each and every one of us changed me. It was encouraging beyond explanation to see others consistently living selflessly and the push I needed to keep my priorities straight as I move forward.

There's so much more I could say, and I probably will in the near future. But for now? I'm just so very grateful.

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