Monday, January 26, 2009

The Introduction-Journal One


For the rest of the semester, I will be using my blog as a journal about my daily experiences with my new Best Buddy, Emily. Best Buddies is a service program where a college student is paired up with a mentally disabled person and spends at least once a week with them and enjoys companionship through email, phone, and group gatherings. I decided to do this through my love of people and felt the Lord really lead me straight to this organization. I believe He will show me the significance and teach me to better love difficult people. With that said, the process to meet my buddy was as fast as lightening. When the Lord is in on what you're doing or planted the idea in your head, He will direct it completely. I didn't think I would meet my Buddy until the group event this Wednesday. How little did I know that my buddy just couldn't wait. After about a week of constant text messages and emails, my buddy and I set up our first official date- Sunday dinner, January 25,2009.

My roommate, Chatty, and I met at the house to go over our feelings for the next 10 minutes. We were both a little nervous about this dinner. My Buddy had already called to make sure we wouldn't get lost and she scheduled us to eat at her favorite, McAlisters. I plugged her home address in the TomTom and before ya know it, Chatty and I were parked in her driveway. In the next 30 seconds, my world would be overwhelmed.

First Sight- As I looked to the house, I saw the front door slightly open about 5 inches. I turned to Chatty questioning if she saw it, and then as soon as I turned back, I saw Emily. Dressed in a blue jacket and a toboggan, this sweet new friend slowly made her way to my car. I got out to say hello and in no time we were on our way listening to her CD's she brought and speechless at her singing and dancing. She loves some Hannah Montana, Highschool Musical, and Ashley Tisdale. Our conversation covered her favorite things to do and favorite music and shows. When we got to the restaurant, I helped her out of my car as she took my hand and walked with me to the front door. Emily spotted what she wanted on the menu and I agreed to the same. As the three of us sat at our dinner, here are some of the highlights:

-Emily printed out her entire schedule for me with numbers of contact people, and location of activities. The girl has the most packed schedule I have ever seen. From bowling to gymnastics, cheer and creative dance, this girl is active in everything Special Olympics offers.

-Emily has been in Best Buddies since it started, 18 years ago.

-Emily suggests I write down my schedule so she can arrange our Best Buddies activities.

-Emily gets emotional talking about past buddies who didn't uphold the expectations.

-Emily holds my hand most of the dinner

-Emily whips out her hand held video camera to show us a video she recorded of Ashley Tisdale's dancing on T.V.

-Emily tells us she loves horses. In fact, she can ride them bareback.

-Emily is a mess.

The car ride home was really fun. Thanks to Chatty, Emily really enjoyed herself. She was dancing and singing to her Cd's while me and Chatty echoed with "yeah!" and "ohh mmm..." and anything else we could get in. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't even open up with her. I am so thankful that Chatty was there because she was really good with her. Emily is really great but has a whole lot of expectations for me so I will soon set some boundaries. I really am excited to get to know her though. She is so precious and I can already tell has an amazing heart and is very similar to my children from daycare. I know the Lord is going to really teach me alot thru my new Buddy. I just pray that I can be a light to Emily as well. She really touched me when she described her Best Buddy bracelet that said, "I See YOU." She said it means that your buddy sees past your disabilities and weaknesses and accepts you for who you really are. It really made me think about my Best Buddies. I am so thankful for so many friends that I can call Best Buddies too. I pray that I can do this for Emily and that we will all be encouraged, strengthened, and changed as the Lord does his work through my relationship with my Best Buddy, Emily.

Matt. 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

1 John 3:18 "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."