When I feel like I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, I call it a Patronus Moment. If you’ve never read Harry Potter then that won’t make sense to you, but I’m sure you can read about them on Wikipedia.
So if wizards were real and I was being attacked by dementors, I’d picture one of the following.
5)After me and Holli had stood 45 minutes in line for the Intimidator at Carowinds telling our life stories and becoming best friends and got to ride in the front row when we finally got on.
4)At the 2012 staff reunion, all of us sitting in a big circle in cabin 5, and I don’t remember what it was but something made all of us laugh at once, and I remember looking around and realizing I knew everyone so well that I could close my eyes and pick out each person’s laugh, and right then I was so thankful to love so many people so much.
3)After they announced our new teams in Colombia and I was lying on the floor in our parking garage-like meeting space in an ecstatic shock, crying tears of joy and thanking God for what would soon be named Team Boxcar.
2)The night in cabin 2 when I told the most incredible group of teenage girls about how God had called me on the World Race and how leaving camp forever felt like it might kill me, and every one of them told me how much I meant to them and how excited they were for me to go follow Jesus somewhere else, even though they’d miss me so much.
1)This moment when I got off my plane in the Columbia airport on May 24th.
And then I’m running, without even thinking about what my legs are doing, only who they’re carrying me to, and I vaguely wonder if people think I just hijacked a plane but I just can’t stop and I don’t care, and now my lungs are closing but I still can’t stop, I wave to a few strangers staring at the crazy sprinting lady, and I get to the lobby and stop myself, huffing and puffing and seeing no one I know…I look at my watch and realize my plane landed ten minutes early, then I look up and see my mom and dad on a bench far away with their backs to me…for a half second I contemplate hiding until they stand up and turn around so they can be waiting and holding up their signs…but I’ve waited eleven months and can’t wait ten more minutes.
So I run again, and my mom hears my footsteps and turns around just in time for me to slam into her, and I’m screeching like a chihuahua having a heart attack, and I don’t know how to make any other noise because I can’t stop crying so hard, and laughing so hard, all at once, and then Scott and Matthew appear and tackle me too and I’m squished in a huddle of my favorite people on earth, and I don’t think I’ll ever be this happy again even on my wedding day or the birth of my first child.
I look over my mom’s shoulder and see a lady on a bench, watching the whole scene with the biggest smile like we’ve made her day. I wave so she’ll know I don’t care that she watches.
I. am. HOME.
PS If you were wondering, my Patronus would take the form of Doug, the dog from Up.