Here at Emma’s home, internet is sparse and power is a spotty luxury….so this post was to be published a few days back…but that internet thing and that power thing and here we are…a constant reminder of just how good we have it in the US.
Early one morning, just prior to leaving for Uganda, I had finished up spending some time with the Lord and decided to check my email and found a letter from the airline regarding Elizabeth and my upcoming trip to Uganda. But first a little background so you can get the full picture…
While looking for flights we always attempt to be as frugal as possible and I found the rates to be pretty high. So I continued to pray and check other major airports to see if they were offering any sweet deals. Miraculously I found that LAX had flights for under $1,000. That was truly incredible – almost unheard of from the west!! A quick search found that Southwest was also offering a great deal…so we could fly from Phoenix to LAX on Southwest and then switch airlines and head to Uganda! Since Southwest allows two free bags up to 50 pounds each it was a win/win kind of thing! I booked the tickets.
Realizing that LAX is an enormous airport I allowed us plenty of time between flights so that we could maneuver all our loaded luggage between the terminals. Our bags are always spot on for 50 pounds to get the maximum use out of each ounce we are allowed (and sometimes some extra) while taking supplies to the Gems and needs for our favorite missionaries as well as a few goodies thrown in!
Every now and then, as the concerns of maneuvering the LAX airport with all our bags would come to mind, I would just pray that God would meet all our needs because I knew it was He who had provided the reasonable flights in the midst of all the others being ridiculously expensive and so that would mean He must have a great plan in place already!
So back to that morning….I noticed the email from the airline and opened it to find a little surprise – but not really the good kind of surprise – ha! It basically said that there was some major renovations going on at LAX and the shuttles between the terminals were not in service and to plan our trip accordingly. It went on to say that taxis were also not available. I hopped on to see a layout of the airlines at LAX..maybe they were actually near each other to begin with. But taking a closer look showed Southwest at Terminal 1 and the other airline we were hopping on was located in Terminal 5 – completely kitty-corner to Terminal 1 across the entire LAX complex. At that point I started to giggle. Of course the email said that. I then whispered, “Okay, Lord, this is going to be a good Memorial Box story, because you are going to show up big time! I just know it!!”
You know friends, the enemy comes to steal our peace and to make us fret and worry and stress. But our astoundingly faithful God *is* peace and I knew He had to have a plan because He knows me and He knows Elizabeth is young and my arms (with the MS) can’t easily haul five 50 pound bags across an entire airport complex while dragging two roll-ons and 2 back packs…no matter how up for the challenge we were – this would be a bit of a stretch!
When Dw came in the room, I said, “Okay babe. Listen. I need you not to say, ‘Oh boy! What in the world are you gonna’ do?’ when I tell you what I’m about to tell you. I need you to say, ‘Oh honey!! God’s got this! He’s going to demonstrate His power and you will have a really cool Memorial Box story to tell when you are done.'” My handsome hubby started to laugh as he listened then to what the email had said and where the map showed the terminals to be. He then said, ‘Linny, you are going to have one amazing Memorial Box story from this!” We both laughed heartily! We were choosing to trust God would be working and that actually He already had a plan over the potential stress of the email! Whew!
As I did our final packing and we celebrated Graham’s birthday that Sunday, each time it would come up in my mind I would smile and say, “This is going to be so exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do Lord!” And I meant it with all my heart!
Now friends, the reality is that I had lived much of my life in fear, worry and anxiety…often anxious about things that I couldn’t change and trying to figure out what I thought I could change. Learning to trust my astoundingly faithful God has been a process. One of my favorite verses which I memorized when our Abigail was a baby is Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep me in perfect peace when my heart and mind is stayed on you.” It’s true, when I whisper that prayer to Him, my heart refocuses on Christ and His faithfulness, His mercy, His provision, His care and His love and all that He has done in my life. Actually some situations over the years, have overwhelmed my heart with fear and I have literally stood in our home and shut my eyes and repeated Isaiah 26:3 over and over until peace came. It has been a long journey but I’m so thankful to be on this side of the journey!
While praying about this year and what word I should meditate and pray about ….it kept coming: “Peace!” Of course, just as the year started our lives were hit with something that left me wide-eyed at the thought of my word being “peace” because I had anything but! But the Lord knew that when He was prompting me to have my word be ‘peace’.
Truthfully there are occasions where something happens and I can easily fly into panic mode in an instant. But I don’t want that to be my response! I want my response to unequivocally be, “The Lord has this. He is awake. He knew this would happen and He has always been faithful. I have no clue what He is going to do, but He will work it out for our good.” I long to have the Lord’s peace every minute of every day – no matter what comes our way. There is no doubt that our level of peace directly correlates to our level of trust….and so I knew I had to trust Him in order to have His peace.
So as Elizabeth and I flew toward LAX Terminal 1, I was filled with excitement! What exactly was the Lord going to do?? I couldn’t wait to see!
First off I was tickled to see a luggage carrier rental station right next to where the bags were arriving. Thank you Lord for that provision! After gathering all our bags we headed to the counter to ask where we needed to go to catch our next flight. The airline employee was really sweet and told us that due to the remodeling instead of going to Terminal 5, we actually needed to go to Terminal 2. Terminal 2? Where is that we asked? “Right out this door here, turn right and it’s the next building.” The next building!! Not Terminal 5 kitty-corner across the complex but Terminal 2!! And yes, we could move the luggage carriers with us between the buildings! We literally walked out the door, turned right, walked about 600 feet and inside Terminal 2.
Once inside Terminal 2, we found that there was no line and we stepped immediately to a very kind hearted gentleman. We were chatting about where we were going and The Gem Foundation and he said, “You have 5 bags to check but it’s your lucky day – you don’t have to pay for the 5th bag! I’m just thankful for the work that you are doing.” We thanked him and praised our faithful God and were literally off to security, where we both had – to our surprise – TSA pre-check! We had gathered our bags, moved them a terminal away, checked in, tickets printed, luggage checked and through security in record time – like seriously 20 minutes. I giggle thinking of it! People say they don’t like LAX, but I have to say it was probably the smoothest of all parts of any of the trips to Uganda!
Choosing to trust and not to be consumed by worry, God had come through and totally provided, just like I had trusted Him to. It was such an exciting reminder of His faithful provision. In our Memorial Box I am going to put Elizabeth and my tickets to Uganda and write, “Terminal #1 to Terminal #2 and one free bag.” We praise His astounding faithfulness!
Lastly, I know many of you stop by Our Place Called Simplicity and aren’t on Facebook. So with you all in mind, I knew you would just love to see her beautiful belly! So here you go! I posted this picture on Tuesday, Feb 19th – just 2 days before her actual due date.
And here’s what I wrote with the picture:
Waiting on Wee One while snapping full-term pictures against the sunset.
Any guesses if that beautiful belly is carrying a wee little girl or a wee little boy?