possibly the most fun night of my life

Tuesdays will never be the same. Because on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, a greater, never-imagined dream came true.

My friend Brittany and I were stoked – we had tickets for the SYTYCD tour in Boston. For weeks we had talked about the tour – what routines we hoped they would perform, how the dances might transition, and who would be our fashion inspiration since Cat Deeley would not be on tour. (insert sad emoticon) Our group had faithfully watched this season together and even texted about the show when I was out of town. We even joked that watching SYTYCD was our “Summer Soul Care.” Having watched SYTYCD for 8 seasons, but never having seen them on tour, Brittany and I were completely 100% giddy that we were going to see the dances LIVE.

Little did we know what the Lord had in store for us.

The show was phenomenal.

The choreography of the transitions was Emmy-awarding.

Ricky filled the all-stars’ shoes.. and then some.

And Brittany and I were somewhat speechless by it all.

Once the show ended and the lights were turned on, we decided to let the crowd exit while we stayed seated. We looked through the program, browsed some of the pictures on my camera, and then decided to look for a bathroom. Since we had floor seats, we walked this lowest level of the arena but found no bathroom. We re-entered the floor area only to be told to exit by Security Guard #1. So we climbed 47 stairs up to the main level of the concourse. Brittany found a bathroom while I waited at the top of the stairs to people-watch. I noticed a group of 20 or so people on the opposite side of the arena who had not left their seats and seemed to be waiting for something.

Perhaps the dancers are coming in here to sign autographs?” I wondered.

When Brittany returned, we decided to walk (read: skip with excitement) around to the other side of the arena, down the 47 stairs to that section, to see if we could get an autograph or two.

Little did we know what the Lord had in store for us.

As we descended the stairs, we hardly noticed the two girls ascending the same set of stairs. Once we reached the floor, we were immediately asked if we had passes. Answer: nope. So our dear old pal Security Guard #1 asked us to (once again) exit. Feeling great about the fact that we had tried, but feeling pretty sad to leave, we walked slowly back up the 47 steps, knowing these people were going to be hanging out with the dancers in a matter of minutes.

Little did we know what the Lord had in store for us.

As we approached the concourse’s doorway, I noticed the two girls that we passed earlier on the stairs talking to Security Guard #2. As we climbed those last few steps, one of the girls (Lauren) began talking to me and handed me an envelope.

“Where have the two of you been?”

Confusion.

“We have two VIP passes for you…”

Disbelief.

Unable to think, process, or understand what was happening, Lauren opened the envelope, handed us the passes, began recapping our “family history” in case Security Guard #2 didn’t buy in to this tale, called Brittany and me her “cousins,” and then officially introduced herself. The perfect blend of excitement and complete disbelief overwhelmed us. If I had thought to pinch myself as I stood there waiting to be escorted to. hang. out. with. the. dancers, I would have.

Little did we know what the Lord had in store for us.

We talked to Missy first. Then, Sasha, Jordan, Mitchell, Melanie, and Marko. Then, quick hugs and pictures with Nick and Ricky. They were so engaging and real and funny. If they weren’t stars, I think we’d be friends. Seriously, they were so normal and witty and wanting to connect with us.

Obviously, Brittany and I couldn’t wait to talk to Melanie. As we watched her this season, we were captivated not only by her artistry and talent, but by her joy. As Brittany and I pondered what to say to each of the dancers, the Lord provided the courage to ask Melanie a very pointed question. Too familiar with the grief that comes with a parent’s tragic death, I was curious to know the source of Melanie’s joy.

So after a “hello” and a hug, I introduced myself and jumped right in to my questions:

“So Melanie, I notice that you have a diamond ring on your left hand and yet you call Mitchell ‘boyfriend’ not ‘fiancé.’ What’s up with that?”

Smiling: “Oh, great question. Mitchell and I started dating when we were sophomores in high school. When we graduated, we bought each other promise rings because he was going to UGA and I was going to New York…”

Excellent. Total lead-in to my 2nd question.

“… I’m so curious, Melanie… do you know Jesus?”

Looking me straight in the eyes: “Yeah, I know Jesus.”

It’s been a week. I’m still in awe of the Lord’s sovereignty in timing, His kindness in giving us passes, and His infusion of courage to ask a stranger about her relationship with Jesus.

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