Well, dear readers, I am happy to report that the trip was a smashing success! There were a couple minor challenges but it was all more than worth it to be with my friends again.
The hotel was tolerable but the mattress was definitely contaminated with something. Thankfully, our cargo van, also known as Baymax, saved the day. We ended up sleeping in the van and only using the hotel room during the day. We used the room for showering and eating and for Brett to work while I spent time with my friends.
It was so wonderful to be with them again and connect face to face. It was really special for me to witness their excitement over how much better I’m doing. It was so healing to realize that I made it through five years of debilitating illness with these three beautiful friendships still intact. I’m so thankful that even long periods of silence weren’t able to destroy the relationships.
There were many times when I feared my friendships wouldn’t survive because I had so little to give. And to be sure, not all of my friendships did. But I’m just so happy that I didn’t wake up from this nightmare to find myself alone.
It also gave me a lot of hope to see that my years of social isolation didn’t permanently damage my ability to connect with people deeply. No doubt, my experiences have introduced an element of fear surrounding vulnerability and intimacy. But I think this trip showed me that the fear can be overcome and that people are so worth it. I had very little social anxiety on this trip compared to other times. I think I’m making progress!
Speaking of progress, on Friday, we got to see Ballet Magnificat perform! I went to check out the building ahead of time and it wasn’t as pristine as I’d hoped. I felt some minor throat irritation as soon as I walked in. It wasn’t bad, but last time I ignored a warning sign it didn’t turn out so well. So, we decided to go to Home Depot and buy a respirator mask. We weren’t sure if it would work but I really, really, really wanted to see my friends perform. I promised I would tell Brett as soon as I felt myself going downhill.
Amazingly, the mask worked and we were able to enjoy the entire show! It was beautiful and we both cried! After the show I chatted with my friends until it was time to say goodbye. Then we went outside and I took off my mask to hug each of them for the first time. Brett and I thought it best to avoid hugs until the last day because I didn’t want to risk having a reaction before I got to spend time with them. Saying goodbye was difficult. I cried a little but I left with a heart full of gratitude.
We started towards home the next day and enjoyed a peaceful drive to Denver. We spent the night in the van and got to see Brett’s twin brother, his wife and our little niece on Sunday. We had lunch at the park and it was really nice. I hadn’t seen them in over two years!
This whole trip just made me all the more happy that I get to live and love again. I’m not going to die. I get to live!
By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.
So happy for you Ana!!November 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm
Thank you so much Lisa! 😊November 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm
Praising God with you!November 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm
😊November 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm
I’m so happy for you, Anna! <3November 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm
Thank you Amanda! 💕November 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm
Aww, how sweet! I am to thankful to God that the visit worked out for you, I just love watching ballets. They are so moving and inspiring in their own unique way. <3November 1, 2017 at 5:32 pm
Exactly! 💕😊November 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm
What a beautiful post!November 1, 2017 at 7:15 pm
So much joy in living!
So happy for you
You are inspiring so many others to keep at it they to can say “I get to live!”
Aww… Thank you Ashley!November 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm
*claps in excitement*November 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Yay!!!! I’m so happy it went well and you were able to have a wonderful time.
😊 Thanks Natalie!November 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm
Aww, that’s lovely! So happy it worked out!November 1, 2017 at 7:47 pm
Me too! 😊November 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm
That is soooooo wonderful to hear – God is good!November 1, 2017 at 9:11 pm
😊November 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Awesome, Ana! Glad you had so much fun, and sounds like you have some lifelong friends there. True friends are a beauty to cherish forever. Also, love the name Baymax! 😀November 1, 2017 at 9:35 pm
So true! 😊💕November 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤November 2, 2017 at 1:15 am
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️November 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm
Praise God! So glad you had such a great trip!November 2, 2017 at 6:57 am
Thank you Jen!November 2, 2017 at 2:05 pm
So Happy to see your progress. Glory to God almighty as he leads your way out of this. You’ve been such a blessing to me.November 2, 2017 at 8:27 am
Thank you Martin! I’m so glad! 😊November 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Shedding Happy tears for you Ana! You look beautiful in the photo! I am so happy you got to see your friends and enjoy your time with them ❤️November 2, 2017 at 11:52 am
Aww… Thank you so much Hannah! 💕November 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Ana, how wonderful! Ohh, this post made my heart warm for you! What a blessing from God! 🙂November 2, 2017 at 12:48 pm
Aww… So sweet! 💕November 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Ana, this is such a wonderful report. I am so thrilled to hear the joy in your words and the restoration that is continuing to happen. Many blessings to you and Brett.November 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm
Thank you so much Mrs. Johnson! I will forever be grateful for the way you and Mr.Johnson supported us and prayed for us for so many years. ❤️November 4, 2017 at 9:30 am
Praise the Lord! So glad you got to enjoy yourself and see your beautiful friends perform. 💕November 3, 2017 at 7:54 am
😊💕November 4, 2017 at 9:30 am
Amazing Ana! Love you so much ❤November 3, 2017 at 10:15 pm
Aww! So good to hear from you friend! I love you too! 💕November 4, 2017 at 9:31 am
Wonderful to hear! I’m wondering what sort of mask you used.November 5, 2017 at 9:02 pm
Crying tears of joy with you.November 12, 2017 at 3:15 am
This post brought tears to my eyes, Ana…<3 Those friendships are precious! And you got to go to a BALLET!!! AHHHH!!! I'm hoping to go to the Nutcracker this year since previous years it was such a tradition for me, but I'm nervous for the same reasons you were….silly mold! 😛 Anyways, yay for friends who stick with us and are still there when we pull out of our dark days! Love you, friend!November 14, 2017 at 10:10 am
Aww… thanks Monica! I wish we could go see the Nutcracker together!November 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm
Ana, it really IS wonderful to see you on the up and up, and we all were SO happy you could see us on tour and that you could catch up with some of your good buddies in person! Glory to God for your improvement in health, and just for you in general! I love your heart, your story, and what He is doing with it! And love your blog writing; it is just fantastic. God Bless you and Brett!
http://www.theoccupiedoptimist.comNovember 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Aww… Thank you so much Lillian! This is such a sweet and encouraging comment! I had such a wonderful time on this trip and it was so beautiful to see all of you perform. 💕💕💕November 20, 2017 at 5:47 pm
Since the respirator mask worked for the ballet, maybe it could work for church? Perhaps an option anyway!December 25, 2017 at 8:39 pm
Those are some amazing friends! I hope your relationship keeps blossoming. This post was really encouraging to me friendship can hold together even when it hard.October 11, 2018 at 6:20 am