I’ve sat at this computer multiple times trying to articulate all the events that happened in the airport the FIRST time I tried to get to Atlanta, Georgia for training.
It was so overwhelming, and honestly, it wasn’t until I ended that hectic day that I actually saw God in it.
However, what happened in the airport as I left training camp was nothing short of God’s grace either! I’d like to believe I was unable to write this post because He wasn’t finished with the business he had for me at the airport. He is the God who finishes what He begins. It wasn’t enough to have a roundtrip ticket, but He wanted to give me a roundtrip EXPERIENCE.
GOING TO ATLANTA:
I was late to the airport and missed my flight. I have never, let me repeat—NEVER missed a flight. I’ve pushed it close, but my body always made it in a seat on the airplane that was to carry me to my next destination. Missing my flight caused a ripple effect of events because now I wouldn’t have a shuttle to get to training camp for storyteller, which meant I would have to find a place in Atlanta to sleep until the next day. After already having to pay a fee for a change of flight, your girl was dry. I couldn’t do that. So, I eventually had my flight rescheduled for the next day and everything played out fine. But here are the God moments I realized in retrospect.
- The first assistant I met was not snippy or snarky and extended such kindness to me. She rescheduled my flight, told me God’s got me and all things were working for my good, and got me tissues as tears streamed down my eyes. The irony is that the next day I returned, she was not that kind AT ALL, but I guess for that day God knew what I needed.
- After my flight was already changed to a later time and before considering the logistics of arriving in Atlanta the same day, I realized going home and arriving the next day would have been better (but I wasn’t notified of the other times before). All that said, when I went to the counter to change my flight, I was told my luggage was already checked for the flight I missed! Then I was directed to the baggage office where I met Lois. I was frustrated that my bag was able to make the plane and not my body. Any-who, she told me this situation was rare and that she would personally check herself. Before leaving she said these words, “ I believe speaking into existence matters. Your bag is not on the plane. Believe in divine providence. There is divine reason and divine purpose. Everything happens for a reason. You’re right where you’re supposed to be.”
Lois found my bag and brought it back. After everything was settled, I saw Lois as she was leaving for her lunch break. She told me she never goes down to look for a bag, but that God told her she needed to go down herself. She also said, “distractions come in the way when you’re on the right path.” That’s so true! I could have easily thought, “Maybe I’m not supposed to do this whole World Race thing.” Which is so untrue! Training camp confirmed that for me. ( I will soon post about training camp in another entry).
- Because I didn’t make my flight, I met a girl named Aatiyah who needed help with the size of her carry-on containers and I was able to give her mine. In “exchange” she gave me the remainder of her products which turned out to be medicine for a skin problem I encountered after the race!
- Right after that, I sat down and an older gentleman sits down next to me playing music-through his speakers. I asked who it is and he says “Hillsong.” WOW! All I could remember/hear from the song was “death is defeated.” It wasn’t until typing this post, I decided to look up the lyrics. As I type in those lyrics, the only song that comes up is “Raise A Hallelujah” by Bethel (Let’s be honest, they sound alike). But you want to know the cool part about it not actually being Hillsong and in fact a different song? I’ve NEVER heard this song, but I believe we sang it EVERY DAY of training camp! CRAZY, right!? Even crazier, is that it’s about praising in the midst of storms. Oh, CRAZIER than that—one girl on my squad decided to reframe the way she looked at disappointments or miss-happenings. The story I heard was that someone’s drink spilled and April quickly went, “Praise God/ Hallelujah/ Thank you Jesus” (something along that line). I even believe God allowed me to only remember that line from the song so I would look it up and be able to read the lyrics and hear the story behind the song.
- I was able to share the Gospel with a young man named Cliff. One point he highlighted was that if you say you’re a Christian, be a Christian. I got to chat with him about that and about his future hopes and dreams. What he stated is true! If we say we’re Christians, we have to be a Christian. But before we can BE a Christian, we have to know what a Christian is! It’s not just going to church on Sunday. It’s not even simply being “kind.” It’s surrendering your life, will, and way to Christ and His authority.
Now, let’s fast forward to my trip back home.
- I got to speak with a woman named Tina who expressed her unbelief in the Bible, but still believed in a “higher power.” You want to know why it was hard for her to believe the Bible? Ethnic division (Yes, ethnic, because we are ONE RACE). Crazy, right? No, not crazy. The distortion of Christianity for personal gain and the current tension in America concerning people of color can easily lead one to question, “Where is God?” I won’t expound on this, but I do believe believers and outsiders alike wonder “why do the fairer-skinned “Christians” care so much about everyone until it comes to the color of my skin?” Paul says he resolved not to put a hindering block in the way of the Gospel and we, as Christians, shouldn’t allow this issue to become one of those blocks.
- I met Tina because I checked my bag in too early (right, too late first time, too early this time. Haha). Therefore, I had to return to drop my bag. As I waited in line, I saw a man with a wrist band that said, “us strong.” Of course, I wanted to know what the cut-off portion said and it said JESUS!
I shared with him what I was doing and he introduced me to the people he was traveling with (who were in the education field – WOOT WOOT!). We conversed and they ended up praying for me. You ever wish you could pocket prayers? You know the prayers that are so needed that you could play them again and again for encouragement? Well, that’s how I felt when Daisy prayed for me. She specifically prayed about the call to obedience, and y’all, that’s been the hardest part about the World Race for me (more on that in a different post). That encounter truly blessed me.
So what can I say? I started and ended my training camp flights with tears.
But God was with me.
Lining up the right people and the right connections.
As the ultimate Pilot of my life, He will get me to the right destination.
On His time.
Yet, if I stay fastened to Him, I’ll land safe and secure.
As always, thank you for reading and for your support whether it be prayerfully, financially or both. If in prayer, please use this post for more specific ways to pray. If financially, thank you for the work your donation allows me to do.
Support Raising Update:
I have approximately $12,000 of the $15,000 I need for my September 1 goal.
If I can get 30 people to donate $100 OR $50 a month this month and next month, I will reach my September goal!
I look forward to what God has in store!
Until Heaven or Sooner,