(I have to come up with a better title for this series!) OK... Better get moving on this or I'll never get to Houston! : ) (If you missed Part One somehow, you can start here.) OK. So I got on the flight from San Francisco to Houston, full of excitement and anticipation, already just glad to get out of the GRAY blanket of clouds that had been hanging over the valley for at least a week, enjoying listening to God's voice and JUST RESTING! It felt so good just to rest my mind! Something I've realized since last week is just how much energy I spend THINKING!!! It was nice to not have to think so much. : ) As we were sitting on the plane waiting to take off, an attendant made an announcement saying that all of the passengers and attendants were on board... but there weren't any pilots yet! : ) They were on their way, so we should be on our way soon. Immediately I knew I was being taught another lesson! I started thinking about how ridiculous it would be if I decided I couldn't wait any longer! What if the pilots never showed up??? I just couldn't wait any longer and was going to just fly that plane myself! Wouldn't that be a disaster? For me and everyone else on the plane??? Lesson #4: Wait for God even when it seems like He's late. Trust Him because He's never late and taking matters into my own hands will always end badly - for me and everyone around me. (Psalm 37:7 "Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act...") On that flight we ran into some turbulence. The pilot got on the intercom and apologized to all of us saying that we were going to be in some choppy air for about 10 minutes because there wasn't a clear altitude we could move to. We'd be through in a few minutes and we'd be fine. I've been over the ocean (on the way to Thailand) in turbulence before, but it was different in this smaller plane. I could hear and see the plane's wings bouncing around and was amazed that the plane could take that kind of jostling. (And that air could be so bumpy! But I guess wind can be awfully windy sometimes...) Have you already figured out what lesson #5 was? : ) Lesson #5: Sometimes there isn't a way around the challenges in life. I have to trust God as my Pilot to get me through them - and trust that He won't let me get torn apart in the process. Panicking and pulling out the parachute and bailing out on the process God is leading me through would only get me into a whole new set of mountains to climb. Trusting Him to get me through the turbulence in one piece is better. (Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts, by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.") (Both of these scripture passages are ones I memorized last year!) Well, I made it to Houston! : ) My flight was a bit late, so I only had about an hour to get my car rented, get some food and get to the church before the celebration started! God got me through the car process and I was trusting Him to lead me through the maze out of the airport and to the church. (Remember His promise to "Get me there?") All was well until I found myself in a slow-moving line of cars and I started to feel uncertain about whether or not I had missed something. Was I in a line of cars waiting to get onto the freeway or was I in a line of people who had already gotten off the freeway??? I started to feel more and more like I was in the wrong place and pulled off into a courthouse annex parking lot. Could see the address number, but not what street I was on! Nobody was in the lot and the doors were locked. My husband wasn't answering his phone. I was alone and starting to feel a little bit panicky. Not so much that I would stay lost, but because I didn't want to be late!!!!! And I didn't know where I was!!! What good were all of my wonderful maps if I didn't KNOW WHERE I WAS??? And what happened to GOD GETTING ME THERE??????? Well, I prayed and told God I didn't know what to do! Ended up calling my in-laws and tried to get them to figure out where I was. Turned out they were looking online at a courthouse in Georgia, so I'm especially glad that while I was on the phone with them a sheriff pulled into the parking lot. Phew! I waved him down and he told me where to go and within about a minute I was heading back the right way, got on the freeway and was on my way to the church where Yvonne and Bethany (my new friends that I hadn't met yet!) were saving me a seat. All weekend I kept thinking about getting lost and wondering "What in the world was that? I was trusting God to lead me. I know He helped me and I did get there, but I still don't get it!" You might already know what the lesson there was, but I didn't figure it out until Sunday on my way home. And you'll have to wait until I get to that part of the story to see what I learned. : ) OK. Enough for now. I'll talk about the actual Celebration event next! : ) Isn't God good???
Click here to go to PART THREE!