The Intricacies of God:
I accidentally double-booked scheduling to speak. The tickets were already purchased before I noticed. I went from home in NY with three planes to get me to Vegas and then 3 planes back home. Then three planes to Santa Barbara, CA, and then home again. FOUR coast-to-coast trips in 6 days, only home for half a day in between. On my way home, I was exhausted from the time difference of California & NY. I was exhausted of constantly waiting for flights and sitting for too long. I was annoyed from having to pay for 4 days of meals with really expensive airport food while both my husband and I were unemployed for a year and a half and counting. I was nauseous from all this traveling and being 1st trimester pregnant. I was finally making it home from six days of what seemed to be too much for my body and my kids to handle. I had three planes to get me back, but one plane was delayed, and then another was canceled. After talking to an agent for a while, I was rerouted, and it pushed back my landing time by six hours.
My seat was on the first row, which meant I couldn’t have my bag on the ground under the seat in front of me. It would have to go in an above compartment, but the only available space was in the back of the plane. It may seem silly, but in my mind in this current situation, it was just another little something to make things a little worse because it would mean I couldn’t easily get my laptop out to write. And writing was the one thing I wanted to do that I felt I had control over.
Of course, I prayed for good flights to make it home to be with my kids. But on my trip home, I had both a delayed flight – then a canceled flight. Why? What about my faithful prayers? Wasn’t this simple enough to bless me with, a smooth journey home as a blessing for my efforts of devotionals I did? God did not seem to care about my fatigue from FOUR full travel days on planes & from the four-hour time difference I was struggling with & from my first-trimester symptoms while pregnant. He did not seem care enough about my desperation to make it home to my two kids, who had woken up every morning all week I was gone asking if today was the day I would come home. God did not seem to care about the tears from Gracie’s pleading for me to be there.
But what if we got it all wrong? What if there’s something else, a something better and a something different? As someone who is constantly having things go unplanned and unexpected, I know there is.
I sat next to an off-duty pilot who just loved to talk. Don’t get me wrong—I always go out of my way to talk to strangers at the airport. It’s like a sport of mine. But I hadn’t slept more than three hours in two days, and I was so pregnant nauseous & after being social to a crowd of eight hundred teenagers, I was too tired to talk and be social. I was burnt out. But this pilot next to me just. kept. going. Through my tired nods to him I just kept thinking in my mind, Looks like I don’t get to write at all. Looks like one more thing that’s going against me.
He told me all about his five-year old, who had blonde hair even though he and his wife are brunettes, he told me all about what schooling to become a pilot was like. He brought up his fear with ISIS and his fear with social media, and he talked about how living in Indiana is just okay. He asked why I travel so much, and he asked what I talk about as a public speaker, after I answered him. “God,” I told him, and he told me about how he went to college with “a Mormon” once we got to that part in our conversation. And then it came. God. With the something different. The something better. Halfway through this flight home in the middle of this unwanted situation, I recognized God in the unexpected and the unplanned and His hand in all these intricate details. I experienced His attention to me and to others because it didn’t go how I asked.
This man told me about when he was a pilot in the army and his deep, deep fear and unrest with how God saw Him because of it. He literally stuttered to tell me how he doesn’t know how he can forgive himself or if what he did while serving was okay. He told me about the weight he has carried for eight years wracked with this unrest. We had an inspired conversation, and the Spirit was so present it jolted my soul within and fatigue was far, far away. I don’t know what I said—no credit to myself in the least bit—but whatever it was, it ended with him saying, “This is the clarity I have been tirelessly seeking for so, so many years. This . . . is incredible.”
We have unconsciously limited our God to only a handful of adjectives, and by doing so we reject His vastness of profound love and miracles. What if God did hear me and my pleadings? What if He does care about me and my kids? But you know, what if He also cares about this pilot from Indiana and his tired pleadings, which were not a week long like my travels, or even a year and a half like our unemployment, but 8 years long? What if all of this, our life and such, is something so much bigger than just us? What if life is so much bigger than ourselves and our personal desires and our personal world we live in? What if we are unconsciously rejecting ourselves from having an abundance of experiences that leave us feeling incredible? Are we allowing God to be God? Are we allowing God the opportunity to show us how great He really is?
I am certain that there is something else that God is behind. I am certain God knows something we don’t. I am learning the vastness and intricate details of God in everyone’s lives, not just mine. And what a thrill it is to see it unfold! xox AL
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