Friday, September 17, 2010

Fly a plane to Medford


I’m thousands of feet up in the air… on my way to Denver for the second time today. You wouldn’t even believe the story if I told you. In about an hour I will top over 12 hours of travel for today. I will {hopefully} arrive at my destination four hours later. It’s been my crazy {and so far} unsuccessful attempts at kicking off the 2010 Bring Me Hope tour.

My day started by the rude alarm at 5:25, which took a while to register with my sluggard brain. Grabbing my two grossly over-stuffed carry-ons {or rather what I was hoping would pass as carry-ons!}, I rushed through check-in and security and boarded my 6:28am flight in Des Moines. A short 80 minutes later, I landed in Denver.

Denver is really not that bad of an airport. I rather like it. Fossil imprints on the floor, great food selections like Jamba Juice and Starbucks, and not to mention free wireless Internet. Oh yes, how can I forget the sparrows that fly around in the food court area?! {Seriously scared the heck out of me the first time they swooped towards my table during a layover in April!}

I sat in the boarding area, waiting for my 8:30am flight to the next leg of my journey, Phoenix. {Which would be followed by a flight to San Francisco and finally on to my tour stop in Medford, Oregon.}

Over the loud speaker I heard the attendant asking for volunteers to give up their seats for $200 of free flight vouchers. Gathering my mountain of stuff, I volunteered my seat. SO LONG as I could catch my flight to Phoenix early in the afternoon. She said yes, clicked a few buttons on the computer and out came my new boarding passes with my {NOT $200} but $400 free travel vouchers! SCORE! Then she reseated me in rows 2-4 for the remaining flights.

Could life get better?! I submit that it could not… well, unless of course my Captain Awesome would have been also donating his seat with me. {Sigh} Moving on. I was pretty pumped. I killed the next two and a half hours with some Internet surfing and movies. I was feeling pretty good about my high life of traveling.

The flight to Phoenix was short and sweet. I had what felt like a million miles of legroom right behind first class. Even the looming two more flights couldn’t wreck my good spirits. After grabbing some lunch at the {surprising small and poor selection} in the Phoenix airport, I got ready to eat up the miles between me and San Francisco.

That’s when that next fateful message came over the loud speaker. “Ladies and gentleman, unfortunately due to weather delays in San Francisco, our flight has been delayed until we get clearance from the tower. We have an estimated time of wheels up at 3:58”

NOOOOOO!!!! With that flight being two hours, there was no way I would make my 5:15 boarding time for that last flight into Medford. Once again I gathered my million pounds of carry-on luggage and headed for that infamous counter.

To make this very long story short and to spare you the gory details {cuz it was very painful}, I decided to avoid the chance of spending the night in the San Francisco airport and take the next possible route to Medford.

Can you believe where they sent me?!

“Ma’am, you can catch the 1:50 flight to Denver and from there, catch a flight to Medford arriving at 8:15.”

Seriously? Denver again?? I don’t really love it that much. But somehow that appealed to me more than a hard airport seat for sleeping. {Sigh}

I feel like today has been a vivid picture of my life. Well, all of our lives, really. Exciting adventures and unexpected blessings. Only to be followed by set-backs, detours and disappointments. I have moments when I feel like my life is finally coming together. I finally have things figured out. I get a big break. I start dating the hottest guy around who loves Jesus so much and I get to feel that love overflow to me. I have a job where I get to travel the world. Finish my fourth year of summer camps. Hug what is probably the 100th orphan. Watched them scream and shout for joy in the pool for the first. Hug my friends who just got secretly baptized in a hotel hot tub. Life makes sense. God is good. His blessings are so real. His love so evident.

Then the next morning I wake up and it all seems to have fallen apart. I have an argument with someone I love. I let my parents down. My times in the Word seem dry and like I’m going nowhere. My heart gets hurt and I wonder how I can heal. Some friends loose the baby they are desperately trying to adopt. An email comes saying that Spring {one of the orphans who lived with us at the Ranch} is talking about committing suicide. Suddenly nothing makes sense anymore. The world closes in and I feel like I’m going nowhere. I cry. I burry my head in the proverbial sand and wish it would all go away. That life would just fall into place again.

What has changed? Nothing. The God who blessed me with $400 of free travel vouchers, is the same God who sovereignly allowed me to come back to Denver. I’ll be the first to admit, many of the things God does in my life don’t make sense. {Of course my strange detours don’t really have that much weight in my life} But for the things that do, I’m thankful that as I wrestle with the questions I ask God, He is always lovingly drawing me back to Himself. Reminding me that He alone sees the bigger picture. He will not forget me. He will not leave me alone. He will keep His promise to work all things for the good of those who love Him.

So yes. I will soon be landing in my beloved Denver airport. I will enjoy the free Internet. I’ll dance over the fossils in the floor. I will thank Jesus for loving me. Always remembering that He is up to something good. Something heavenly. Something that will, I pray, bring glory and honor to Him through my life.

PS. And when I finally get to Oregon, I’m gonna rock every minute. There’s gotta be something amazing there for ALL the trouble the journey has been! ;)


Luke Sullivan said...

wow Nicole, that really encouraged me. You have such a way with words that people can really relate to what you are feeling, and somehow realize that we are not alone in what we are feeling. Hope the rest of your travels are {relatively} smooth, or at least you have free internet at the airport....

Amos said...

Its so good to hear from you Nicole! Thank you for writing that..I feel ya! Miss you!

I'll be praying for you!

Olivia said...

Your airport account was pretty funny. So glad to see an updated from you!!!

Sarah Grace said...

i love you. soo much.

Anonymous said...

"you made me laugh and cry all at the same time!!! you make me want to quit writing the stuff i write for good---"
ahhhh nicole. i love you??? do you know that??? you made me feel like i was sitting right next to you and we were just--- talking.
always remember to stay close. ;) i dont mind that you leave but always come back--- {home} or to me... where ever that may be!!!
<3 you MoH!!!