Night to Shine 2018

We just got back from Night to Shine 2018 and my heart is BURSTING! To think that these people put so much time and effort (in the middle of the biggest snow storm of the year) so my girl could have a prom, is amazing! This was such a well organized event and everyone was so kind to Sarah. She truly was the Queen of the Prom!

Sarah has been so excited for this day. All week we have been talking about it. She has seen her dress hung up in the closet and more than once she has tried to put it on. This morning I asked Sarah what was happening today and she yelled, “I’m going to PROM!!!!”

Sarah spent the day getting ready with me trimming her hair, painting her nails and doing other girly things.  She loved every moment of it. Some of Kendall’s school friends braved the 9” of snow to come to our house for pictures and Sarah posed and strutted across the house for them.

When we arrived at the church we were overwhelmed by the excitement in the air. These people were thrilled to be hosting this event! The church building was actually a renovated bowling alley. They even had few bowling lanes still there if Sarah wanted to play. After we checked in, Sarah received a corsage (we bought her one, too, but she liked the pink one they gave her) and then she had her makeup professionally done. When the makeup artist asked me if she should put mascara on Sarah, Sarah yelled, “YES!” She is a woman who knows her mind!

Sarah had her picture professionally taken and then she walked down the red carpet. She waved to people as she walked down. She was ADORABLE!! I was choked up seeing everyone cheer her on. They cheered, they clapped, and they shouted her name. They made her feel like she was the most important person there. Her face was PRICELESS!

Mrs. Emily was assigned to be Sarah’s aid tonight. She was the most tenderhearted woman! We could not have asked for a better aid! She and Sarah hit it off and Sarah had so much fun with her. Mrs. Emily said Sarah had 3 bags of chips, 2 cupcakes, 3 cans of Sprite and a plate full of Chick-Fil-A and mac and cheese.

For us parents, we also received the royal treatment. We had Jet’s pizza and a chocolate fountain dessert table. We had raffles of gift cards to restaurants and movies. (We didn’t win.) We also had gift bags of lotion and $5 Tim Horton gift cards. (How do these people know me?!?!)

Sarah danced with her aid and loved every moment of her night. Mrs. Emily, Sarah and I also took a limo ride around the parking lot a few times. Sarah felt like a movie star!

At the end of Prom, Tim Tebow spoke via video about how they were all kings and queens of the prom and much more than that, how much our Heavenly Father loves them. They are royalty in His eyes. Sarah received her crown and the look of pure joy filled her face. She beamed with pride!

There were so many things for Sarah to do. She went to the photo booth for candid photos and she loved to hang out at the Karaoke station. Sarah got up on stage, but didn’t want to sing any song in particular. She just kept saying, “Everybody stand up! Everybody stand up!” When I looked behind me, everyone stood up and cheered for Sarah. Once again, I got choked up that these people made her day by doing what she said. Sarah smiled and her eyes danced as she came down from the stage.

With that, she grabbed one more cupcake, but was too full to eat it. When we left they gave Sarah a grab bag. Inside was the professional photo, a Night to Shine picture frame and a Night to Shine cup.

What a magical night! I am in such awe of Life Bridge Church and Northline Church for putting on this amazing night for Sarah! Instead of Autism not allowing her to experience Prom, she was the star! They showed Christ’s love to our special needs children and gave us a glimpse of how He sees them…loved beyond measure.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:11

38 thoughts on “Night to Shine 2018

  1. Julie

    I love this so much! Sounds like a perfect prom night for sweet Sarah!! The juniors and seniors on my son’s lacrosse team participated in the Night to Shine here in Atlanta tonight. Such an amazing event!! ❤️

    1. I love that Juniors and Seniors are involved in this! What great kids to show love and compassion to others! My heart, that is awesome!! Julie, it was amazing! Ugly crying amazing! Love and miss my friend!! ❤

    1. It was!! Roads were horrific here as we are having quite a snow storm, but there were so many volunteers there to make it a special night for our kids. Honestly, heart bursting that people show such unconditional love to our special needs kids. What an awesome night! ❤

  2. Laura

    Oh sweet sister, my heart is bursting! I’m so grateful for all the wonder and joy each of you experienced, and I hope every kid there felt just as precious! What a gift! What an amazing, awe-inspiring gift! Crying hard and laughing with joy here – it’s not pretty. 🙂

    1. You are beautiful, so you make crying hard and laughing with joy work! 🙂 Each kid did! It was like Disney–happiest place on earth! All the kids were so excited! Melts your heart! ❤

    1. Love you!! He is!! What an awesome night! Bless these churches for hosting us! They came in the middle of a snow storm to give her the night of her life! My heart!! It was awesome! ❤

  3. Heather

    I’m not one to tear up often but this put tears in my eyes! I’m so happy Sarah was able to experience this event. Thank you for sharing.

  4. lorenwarn

    This is so awesome! I was praying all would work out with the weather, and it looks like it was fantastic. Sarah’s smile is megawatt, and her dress is so lovely–she wore it well. What an incredible memory for her and you!

  5. Sue Schram

    Sarah looked beautiful!!! What a wonderful night – brought tears to my eyes to hear about all the wonderful things planned for Sarah and how much she enjoyed it. God is so good!!!!

  6. Teri

    I was in the Karoake room when Sarah was singing!! My guest was loving her singing and clapped right along with everyone else!! She was a Star and she rocked A Night to Shine ❤ God Bless

  7. Sue Gentry

    As the mother of a special-needs daughter, I can tell you that the joy in the faces of the parents hit me the hardest. The struggle is real. Daily, and moment-to-moment sacrifices made out of parental love for a child that only you truly “get”. YOU are a hero. Doing it every day and loving your girl with the love of Jesus.
    I’m so happy you felt pampered and celebrated you truly deserve it. Keep on Mom. God hasn’t left your side for one moment. LifeBridge church was honored to be a small part of your journey. 💗💗💗

    1. Sue, bless you! I am in tears reading your note as you know this journey…this marathon, too. Last night was amazing! I can’t thank LifeBridge church enough! What a outreach to our community! Bless you all! Yes, our Lord is faithful and it’s nights like last night that remind us of the great love He has for our kids and us. It was a night we will never forget! THANK YOU!!

  8. Sherry Roulo

    What a amazing night for your daughter! I can tell she also has an amazing Mom! Thank you for taking the time to share this experience with all of us! My friend, Leslie Daunter was one of the organizers and my daughter was a makeup artist. Life Bridge is simply wonderful!
    I’m so happy your daughter truly had a night to remember. May God Bless you both🙏🙏

    1. Thank you, Sherry! My heart is overwhelmed by your church showing Christ’s love to all of us! Please let Leslie and your daughter know what a blessing and impact they made in our lives! What a wonderful night! Sarah was just wearing her crown and she had the sweetest smile on her face. We are so deeply, deeply grateful!! Bless you all!! ❤

  9. Emily Bartolomei

    I absolutely was honored to be part of her night! She made me heart so happy. I loved hearing her sing, celebrate, and lead a room of people. Thanks for sharing her with me, even if only for one night! I pray for more joyous celebrations in the future for your whole beautiful family.

    Mrs. Emily

    1. Mrs. Emily! What a special place you have in our heart!! We feel the same way! What a blessing that God gave us you last night. Thank you for dancing and caring for our girl! She was so happy! We are still amazed at how much she ate! That was crazy!! She saw, she ate! Too funny! Thank you again for coming on such a snowy night to make our daughter so happy! From one mother’s heart to another, bless you Mrs. Emily!! You are a gift!! My mother’s heart is bursting and I am so deeply, deeply grateful!! ❤ ❤

    1. It was so amazing! I am still in awe and have such deep appreciation for the many, many volunteers who came in the middle of a snowstorm to show Christ’s love to our kids. It was beautiful!! ❤

  10. Nancy Rand

    Thank you for that! I was a buddy, that sums up the night we all had so well. It was a beautiful time. I hope we do it again next year.

  11. Jan Eagan

    Oh how nice! Wow, what a wonderful event. To all of those and the churches who put this on, thank you, what a great idea!!! Thanks Jill for this update. I needed something to lift my day today, and this certainly did just that. God’s blessings.

  12. Oh, Jill…I can see God’s blessing all over this night. What a beautiful, pictorial report! You are a faithful, loving Mama and it is so sweet to read this amazing report on what God did on that special night. I know there are many hard days–and then He rings glimmers of joy that surprise us beyond expectation. Love you, friend. You are always in my prayers.

    1. Thank you, my dear friend! I love how you phrased this, “He rings glimmers of joy that surprise us beyond expectation.” That beautifully sums up how I felt! It was truly an event I will treasure in my heart!! LOVE YOU!!! ❤

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