Have you ever had one of those days..... and then it didn't end?
I (Mia) had one (three) of those days and I am happy to report,
"I MADE IT!"
A little over a week ago a friend of mine died and so I flew to Nashville to be there for the funeral. Seeing as buying a last minute plane ticket can be quite costly (and I don’t have the spiritual gift of extra funds) I was thankful to secure a buddy pass and fly stand-by which was a huge blessing.
The funeral was amazing as we remembered the life my song-writing champion and friend Cindy Wilt-Colville. Seeing all the people that she championed and encouraged, reuniting with friends and song-writers whose lives she changed (me included), praising God and thanking Jesus for eternal life was all bitter sweet as we celebrated this amazing women.
Then……… I headed home…... and that is where the adventure began.
Standing in the Nashville airport, my first conversation with the US Airways gate agent (sweetest lady) as she re-routed me to Philadelphia was this “I know that no matter where I am re-routed and no matter where I go, it is all under the sovereign hand of God, He’s got me!” To which she said “AMEN!”
Little did I know at that point that I would not make any flights out that day or the next day. Little did I know that I would be sleeping in an airport (and by sleeping, I mean not sleeping all night long-just to start the rat race all over again in the morning.) Little did I know that I would walk the length of the Philadelphia airport repeatedly as I scurried from one gate to the next trying to make each and every flight that flew out to Phoenix. Little did I know that every attempt would end up as a loss and I would always be “just the next person on the list” before each and every flight was full. Little did I know how true the statement that I had made earlier that day would be.
For me going a night without sleep can be somewhat manageable and as a traveling musician can be quite normal, but as I documented on one of my facebook statuses, my sleep log before this adventure began was already a bit whack and I was reminded how tired and sleep deprived my body already was.
Sun: 60 minutes of sleep
Mon: 11 hours of sleep
Tues: 0 minutes of sleep
Wed: 6 hours of sleep
Thurs: looking like 0 minutes
Thinking this week’s averages are not so hot, but....
I love that God's grace is sufficient!
After all attempts on the following day (DAY 2) in Philadelphia failed (I wish I could have tracked how many miles I walked in that airport) and there were no good chances for me to make any of those flights, I was flown to Chicago (my hometown) to try and get a flight out the next day to return home to Phoenix.
Why do I tell you all this? I share this for a few reasons. First, because I wouldn't trade it or change anything (except that I wish I would have claimed the only couch in that airport before someone else did.) Secondly, because I learned how to focus when deprived of sleep and to push myself to maintain a positive attitude in spite of it. And lastly, through it, I was reminded how God covers me and connects me with people who need to see Jesus, need prayer and need hope. Because I was “stuck/appointed” to the airport for three days, I got to do all the above.
I got to pray for teenagers flying standby who just wanted to get home to their parents. I got to pray for a man too drunk (as evidenced by him passing out and puking) to get on a plane and had to send his children on ahead of him, just to come back the next day and miss his flight again. I got to pray for his wife who appeared to have had enough.
I got to offer food and lend my phone to a man from Kenya who had been traveling for three days and had no money, no food and no cell phone. I got to see him get the last open seat on a standby ticket and I got to say good-bye to him as I again stayed behind. I got to build community with my fellow standby stranded friends.
I got to sit in an airport overnight and be still….be quiet….talk to my Lord and hear Him talk back to me.
Through my second re-routing to Chicago, I got to stop at my favorite food shop and see a dear friend.
But the most amazing thing that I gleaned from my time in the airport was this…..I got to set my mind on things above, not on things that are on the earth (Colossians 3:2). I got to trust my Lord to be my guide and provider and to trust Him to know what is best for me. I got to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). I got to be tired and weary and be given strength (Isaiah 40:29). I got to hope in Him and be renewed (Isaiah 40:31). I got to trust in Him alone to give me all that I needed to be godly (2 Peter 2:1-3). I got to practice patience and kindness in frustrating situations and always give glory to God.
I got to be DELIBERATE about being a WOMAN of God. It would have been easy for me to become nasty, snippy, agitated (don’t get me wrong, I did call my husband after not sleeping and cry that I was so tired that I could not see straight), but instead, I CHOSE to think on things above and trust God in the midst of my fatigue. He did not disappoint.
So three days in an airport with no sleep and getting to see God reign…Nope, wouldn't trade it for the world! God knew what I needed and He knew what He had to do to get me alone to be reminded and taught. I love that He will go to any lengths to train and teach us. That's how great His love is for us!
And just because God is so amazing like that, I made the first flight out of Chicago on the third day, landed with about 3 hours to spare before I had to unpack and then repack to head out to Tuscon, AZ for a music ministry event I had to do. Now tell me, was that not God?! On time, all the time!!
May I encourage you today and remind you that you have a God that is watching over every detail of your life. He cares and He sees. Times when you are detoured, re-routed, re-planted and none of it makes sense, know, trust that God is behind you, in the midst of it and has gone before you to prepare you for things that only He can imagine…and YOU get to be a part of His amazing plans…even the crazy ones.
Be DELIBERATE friends. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, Let your gladness be evident to ALL. (Philippians 4:4)
And Finally, sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4: 8-9)
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