At the beginning of the year I wrote about how I want ridiculous things to happen to me this year, of the “funny later, funny now” variety. This trip to the Bible lands is causing me to reconsider that. Careful what you wish for.
Thus far, my flight home from Greece has been cancelled twice. (Turkish Airlines is moving to a new airport! According to their emails, I should be very excited for them! But mostly I feel upset that they’re trying to trap me in a foreign country.) I was woken up from a nap this afternoon by a friend informing me about the second cancellation. It had taken three flights and two long layovers to get me from Reno to Washington D.C. Twelve solid hours of travel time. Overnight. My travel to Istanbul from D.C. will be faster. I really really needed that nap, and was in far too fragile a state to receive that kind of news.
Because the first time my flights got cancelled, it was a BEAR. I’ve spent at least three hours on the phone with Turkish Airlines getting exactly nowhere. (If you ever have a question on their policies, I’m your girl. I know them ALL by heart.) Plus at least five additional hours looking for a replacement flight that was reasonably priced and didn’t have a 37-hour layover in Moscow. (I wish that was a joke.) So today, on very little sleep, very little food, and now leaving the country within 48 hours, I was not in a great state to receive the news that I no longer have a way to return to said country. Again.
I wish I could say I knelt before the Lord, poured out my heart, and He filled me with the peace that passes understanding that all will be well. But I didn’t. Truth to tell, I didn’t handle it well. My mom can tell you. She was on the receiving end of a very teary, very angsty phone call whilst I removed blood stains from my friend’s brand new, BRIGHT WHITE down comforter. My finger just spontaneously started bleeding out of nowhere. That’s the kind of day it’s been. (Side note, Tide Pens are EXTREMELY effective. THANK YOU GOD for nudging us to buy one for me in Walmart last week.) She prayed for all to work out, for all to be well, encouraged me that God is good and He’s got this and sent me on my way.
But I didn’t feel any better. Still tired and reeling. Mind going thirty thousand RPM about how much I do NOT want to spend tomorrow repeating the ordeal I went through last week the first time my flight got cancelled. So I ignored the problem, hung out with friends, got free Rita’s (Yay, first day of spring!!), and then climbed into bed several hours later, weary and feeling no better. Distracted, maybe, and better fed. But still stressed. My prayer life throughout all of this has been kind of pitiful. I’m not upset at God, thank goodness I’ve not reverted to that. I’m not expecting Him to produce some magic free flight out of nowhere that will solve all my troubles, so I’m not disappointed in Him. I’m just tired, and don’t seem to have a lot to say. Tonight what I managed was, “Thank you that even when I’m a mess, and try as I might can’t seem to muster up the desire to spend time with You, You’re just as much here and with me and for me as the times when I’m staggered by your love.”
And there it is.
Because even though today ranks right up there in my “worst days” hall of fame, God still loves me. He’s still here. He IS helping because I have asked for His help in all of this. Psalm 20 speaks about God answering in the day of trouble. In the very day, the very moment we need Him, He answers and helps. But the thing that we forget is that often, we’re still in trouble. He answers by showing up to help us out of it. To fight it with us and for us. But He doesn’t just magically make it go away. And it’s just good to know that He’s constant. Even now, when I frankly still don’t really feel Him. When my feathers are still a little ruffled and things are up in the air and I’m mostly just fighting to not completely lose it, He’s right next to me. Loving me. Helping me. Patient, kind, and so full of mercy. I’m still having a bad day. But God can handle my bad day. He’ll help me through it and out the other side. Then next time I get blindsided on a fragile day, my trust will be just a little bit stronger. My mind will be a little bit better trained to force itself to look at Him rather than the problem. Until next time, I guess I should laugh a little, because I know this will be funny later, so I suppose it should be funny now. Laugh and thank God that He’s with me at my worst as well as my best. Constant.