Don’t let anyone ever tell you that God doesn’t still work miracles…
For so many that have prayed–thank you! For others who are just hearing of our plight, here is our story. God’s story. He is at work. He is alive and working in ways we don’t always recognize, but this one has just unfolded right in front of our eyes…
Weeks ago we scheduled a flight for Johannesburg, South Africa. The last several months have been crazy busy in preparation for the Southern Baptist Convention that was held here in St Louis, MO, which ended just days before we were to leave. Packing on Friday for our Sunday afternoon flight, we discovered that our passports were to expire on the.very.day we were supposed to leave. Immediately I cried out to God for help, and after my panic, I went online and located the closest Passport agency that could give us an appointment ASAP. Chicago was booked up until Thursday and the next closest was Hot Springs, Arkansas (6 hours away).
SO, right after Sunday morning services, we loaded up and drove to Hot Springs for our 10:30 a.m. Monday morning appointment. We got in early, told our story, and waited. They were understanding of our situation–but made no promises–only to help as best they could. We had our new passports in hand before 11:30!!
BUT, after leaving the passport agency, driving straight for the airport, I tried to rebook our flights on my Delta app and it wouldn’t let us apply the credit from our cancelled flight–so I called Delta–and they told us it was going to be $3800 more! That was not even in the realm of possibilities, so we pulled off the highway to find a McDonald’s to get on wi-fi. We knew the process might just work if we could get on the laptop and try to do it that way. After two failed attempts, we realized our only option remaining seemed to be to go on to the airport, SO we got back in the truck and drove to the airport to talk to a Delta agent. Bags in hand, still believing that God might just get us there today, we plowed forward.
And I couldn’t accept that…
SO, I showed him the price I had acquired by making a new reservation for the next day–proving that if I bought a ticket myself on my app, the total price would be the same as our original ticket. He agreed that it didn’t make sense, and conferred with the agent, who agreed to book us on the flight leaving Tuesday-if we were willing to pay a $97 pp price difference! (When we cancelled our flight for Sunday we were told we would have to pay a $300.00 per person cancellation fee!)
SO, Here we are, booked on the same flight only one day later, and to top it off, we were given a voucher for a hotel here at the airport!
(Oh yeah, and the icing on the cake? Long term parking at the Little Rock airport was going to be $10/day BUT the free hotel they gave us also allows us to leave our car at the hotel while we’re gone –and take a hotel shuttle for only $20!).
You might want to think that this is all “just coincidence”,
But I most certainly do not.
You might say, “Well, why did it have to happen in the first place?” Why didn’t God just remind us to check those passports months ago?
I think He wanted to stop us in our tracks and remind us in all of our busy-ness, our planning, our frailty, that
HE IS IN CONTROL
And I have to say, I don’t think it was a lesson just for us. I think there just might be others out there that need a fresh reminder that God is bigger than they think. Maybe He just wanted us to be a vessel to share a story that would remind you that He knows. He hears. He provides. We could take this experience and just focus on what didn’t happen, or we can focus on what did happen, and see His hand guiding us all along the way. I won’t pretend that this has been easy. Keeping my mind on the big picture (baby has already arrived healthy!) has only been possible as I tried to take one step at a time, trusting Him and knowing that He has already ordained my days.
And I’m grateful.
There will be more to come in this adventure, I’m sure, but hopefully the rest will be written in South Africa!