But I think this phrase has grown into a general phrase meaning,
"I am far from home and all that is familiar."
I'm pretty tired right now but I'm going to try to string a few thoughts together. Please bear with me because I totally miss you guys and my brain needs to be seriously unpacked. Keep in mind, I tend to "talk ghetto" when I'm tired. It takes too much energy to control my speech and I tend to slip into what is most comfortable :)
I am currently in Missouri.
I left last Sunday August 23rd at, oh get this,
Let's do some math, 45 minutes drive plus 2 hours before departure add a couple more hours to reassure and kiss my babies in addition to last minute packing, doing laundry, writing notes and kissing my hubby. What does that equal? I just didn't go to sleep Saturday night.
I figured it was no biggie since I know I am going to sleep on the plane and I would have Sunday afternoon to rest up.
No Sunday afternoon rest for this weary traveler.
My first flight into Phoenix was uneventful. Fast, quick with nary a bump. Awesome!
Connecting to my next flight was a little hectic. I did a little "Mall Walking" trying to hustle to the next gate but I made it.
Now, I know, that I know, that I know I'm supposed to go to Missouri. But as departure gets closer I have this really bad feeling something is gonna happen on this plane.
"Lord, am I supposed to get on this plane?"
"But I got this bad feeling. Really?"
"Am I gonna die? I don't mind dying I mean it's going home and being with You. But a plane crash? I wasn't counting on no plane crash Lord."
Insert crickets chirping here.
I'm left with nothing but my own thoughts. Boarding call-- gotta go.
I'm looking for my row and I'm feeling sick because I can "feel" this looming "thing."
I find my aisle seat and in the middle seat? Guess who is sitting there?
A just off-duty pilot taking a flight home! I am sitting next to a pilot! Yeah-- I figure if this baby is going down and there is any chance for survival this guy is going to find it and guess where I'm going to be?
You guessed it. I'm going to be like white on rice with pilot dude.
I sit and I give him a few minutes before I start chatting. Pretty soon he is telling me his life story and when his son was really sick and almost died. Poor thing.
Oh look! The beverage cart. How nice :)
We get our drinks and start chatting some more-- son was in PICU intubated because of some horrible pneumonia.
I'm a Mom so I am able to listen to his story while paying attention to the flight attendants. Remember, I'm a little "on alert" at the moment.
The attendants have know moved onto the passengers behind us.
"Sir would you like-- Sir? Sir? Sir?! Can you hear me?! Move the cart! Get him out... is he breathing?"
I looked over my shoulder and the man directly behind pilot dude is unconscious. I am certain he is unconscious because I was recently face to face with unconscious. I didn't like how it looked then and I didn't like how it looked thousands of miles in the sky.
As fast as you could blink, smiling, beverage cart pushing attendants have been replaced with expertly trained flight staff. They had him out of his seat and to the back galley in less than a minute.
I turned to pilot dude and ask, "By any chance, are you a Christian?"
Yes I am.
"Oh good, can I pray with you? You know where two or more are gathered..."
So we pray and I'm thinking, "Was this it? Was this what I sensed? Is it over? Is he dead back there? I wonder when we can go to the bathroom?"
Random I know, but there it is...
Pilot dude tells me that the plane has a direct link to the hospital in Phoenix in order that the staff can consult with a doctor on the ground. They can even send vitals over so someone on the other side can read them.
Cool. He tells me medical emergencies happen pretty often and most often it's not that big of a deal. He is totally calm. I'm taking my cue from him.
We start chatting about his son again--"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking, " uh-oh, " we apologize for the inconvenience but we need to divert the plane and land in Albuquerque. Please prepare for landing. We will be on the ground in fifteen minutes."
Excuse me?! We are UP in the sky. How in the world are we going to be on the ground in fifteen minutes?!!
Oh, I'll tell you how.
Just put the plane in, basically, a nose dive, add several more gray hairs to the head of the 42 year old women in row 17 that is mumbling under her breath, "Lord?! Are you serious? You have GOT to be kidding me? Really? A plane crash? Really? Come on!!!"
Safe and sound we land in Albuquerque New Mexico. We stay on the plane.
(Why do pilots always call us 'Folks'? Hmm funny that.)
Anyway, "Folks please stay seated. The ambulance attendants are going to take our passenger with the medical emergency off the plane and we will quickly refuel and be back in the air in half an hour or so."
Half an hour comes and goes. Then, here comes the beverage cart.
I'm suspicious. Why would they get the cart out for a quick refuel and take off?
"Folks," see there it is again, "Folks, we're going to have to deplane. We've detected a problem with the plane and we can't continue to St. Louis. Another plane is being sent for you from Phoenix and will be here at," wait for it, "at 3 pm."
It's only 11 am.
"Oh and Ladies and Gentleman because you do not have a boarding pass, you CANNOT leave the terminal. If you do, you will not make it through security again."
Armed with $5 meal vouchers complements of the airline, we all drift off to find the best Albuquerque's airport has to offer.
After half of a Quizno sub, I buy a blankie and a neck pillow that looks like a bear.
My family is out at 5 Rock for church that day. Marimba Sticks is getting baptized.
I realized there is no cell phone coverage out at 5 Rock.
I stopped smiling.
I sat off by myself and started all over with the Lord.
"I am supposed to go to Missouri, right?"
"Is the "situation" over? No plane crash?"
No plane crash.
"But I'm sitting here by myself far from home, far from my babies recently scared about what would happen to them if something happened to me. I'm not in Missouri where I thought I would be. I'm confused."
You're getting closer.
More crickets chirp.
I start wracking my brain... I faintly hear the echo of my own words, "if something happened to me."
I remembered Marsha's post about being afraid something would happen to her and what would her family do after already losing their little Christian a year ago.
When I read her post I remember agreeing with her that we can't live in fear and that we need to trust the Lord with our own lives as much as we trust Him with our kids because He is a God that provides.
I thought I did trust the Lord in this area.
I guess not.
I try to hold my kids loosely before the Lord. But I never realized how indispensable I felt to my family. I know it's silly. I tell them constantly, okay maybe just Leisl, but I tell her all the time,
"I'm not the answer for you sweetie. I will fail you. I will disappoint you. I will not always be there for you. Put your trust in Jesus because only He can promise to never leave you and never forsake you. Only He can keep that promise."
But when faced with the possibility that I wouldn't make it home, I realized how much stake I put in myself to take care of my children.
I didn't know what to do so I did what I know. I reached for my bible and my hands found their way to the Book of Jeremiah 32:
(all emphasis mine)
"... and I will bring them again unto this place,
and I will cause them to dwell safely;
and they shall be my people,
and I will be their God:
and I will give them one heart,
and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them,
and of their children after them
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, to do them good;
but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good,
I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart
with My whole soul."
(Like a skilled surgeon with a scalpel, He removed the last of my fear with this last verse)
"For thus saith the Lord; like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people,
so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them."
All at once I realized that all I really want for my children is that they walk in the fear of the Lord... because He is good and walking in awe and respect of Him will bring blessing to their lives.
After reading this verse, I realized only the Lord has the power to truly change the hearts and turn them towards Him.
I didn't want anything to happen to me because I thought my kids would be "mad" at God and not walk with Him and turn away from Him.
But God is trustworthy and He knows what is in their hearts just as well as He knows mine. He knows how to reveal Himself to us. He knows how to speak to my heart and the hearts of my children.
I know I can trust Him because of Jesus and the lavish display of love that is Calvary.
The Cross is where God provided our greatest need--salvation, eternal life and a victorious life here while preparing for there, for then.
I looked up .. from my little seat in that tiny airport and I saw the construction barrier in front of me.
Looks brand new huh? But as I sat in my seat, I kept staring at this bright orange plastic and then I saw it.
I laughed to myself and I laughed to the Lord and how He comforts me in the strangest ways.
What's a matter? Don't you see it?
Here, look closer...
This brand-new, perfectly intact orange "barrier" had a little tear in it. Just enough that from my angle all I could see was a Cross rising and a reminder that He tore the barrier that was between us and God and made a way to boldly come to the throne of Grace.
At the bottom of my notebook, underneath where I wrote those verses from Jeremiah, I wrote:
He is a keeper and fulfiller of His promise.After that, I was good. I finally got through to Karl. I chatted with Andrea. A plane finally showed up from Phoenix... at 4 pm. I made it to St. Louis and after a two hour drive, at 10:30 pm, I finally made it... home in a weird way. No, not my physical, geographical home.
And no, not my Heavenly home.
But, stay with me, if being truly at home in Heaven is being with Jesus that is the Head and we are the body, then being with part of His body is still being home isn't it? It sure felt like it.
It was different. I didn't know the names of the street and how to get around or even where I was sleeping that night. But I was with people that love the Lord and are part of His body. So even though I wasn't with my husband or my children or my Nana and Papa, I was still home in the Lord because I was with Him and with His people, my people.
Hmmm, funny that.
Those are the "dots" and I'll let you connect 'em. I'd be interested in knowing what your "picture" looks like. But for now, for me, sleep is calling. It was been a long, satisfying, fun, tiring week.
(One down, one to go. I'll be home soon sweeties. Oh and Leisl, don't let Kurt read this.
It might freak him out.
I love you.)