Prepare yourself for a tale of sleeplessness, anxiety, pain and fear!
OK, maybe not quite that dramatic, but I did learn an incredibly life changing lesson.
Let’s begin with last weekend.
I was sore. Oh so sore. Eric made us start up our workout routine again, and Saturday I did Jillian’s “Killer buns and thighs” for the first time in almost a year. Ugh. Painful. But the best part is the very next day the whole family participated in a high ropes/climbing/zip lining course. Well, Jason/Crystal/Mark, Eric/Lisa and Brad did while Bobbi and grandparents watched all the tots. It was a little stressful because we had to rush out of church and home to change and Eric had to pick up his car from the mechanic and we had to get Aria to Bobbi’s house all while trying madly to get on the road as soon as possible. We didn’t get to eat lunch because we were running late.
So we did that and at first I was just cold and hungry, and sore from working out.. But it ended up being a blast and Bobbi had soup and grilled cheese sandwiches waiting for us when we got home (5 hours later!) which was really nice and welcome.
So Sunday night I put Aria to bed, with many hugs and kisses, then packed for my trip. This time just one night, but the difference this time was a) I was presenting for the first time in about two years, and b) was doing so in front of a customer! Haven’t done that before ever (in this career)! Ok…so no pressure…except what the heck was I going to wear! 🙂
I get all packed, set my alarm for 4:30, and try to go to bed. But Aria starts screaming. I go and hold her and rock her back to sleep, and she falls asleep in my arms. Such a little adorable sleepy one, I was ok with getting a little less sleep in order to hold my baby a little more.
So now when I went to bed I was going to get around 6 hours. But then she woke up again. I sat up in a panic thinking I’d overslept, but it was only 2:30.. She fell back asleep before I could formulate a plan to identify what was wrong with her, so I went back to sleep.
Then again at 3:30… This time she didn’t go back to sleep. I gave her some medicine and held her but she didn’t want to sleep. Instead she stared at me and would occasionally poke my mouth or nose. I held her for a while longer then tried to put her back down, and she just cried. I went and got a bottle and held her a little longer, but around 4:30 I decided I should really get going.
Just before 5:00 I was ready to go, and Aria was still crying. I crawled into her crib with her to see if I could hold her and let her fall back to sleep, but she just wanted to climb on me and play. I gave up and kissed everyone goodbye.
As I drove away at 5:10 and I was feeling pretty good about my time. I was thinking how I’d stop and get coffee and then when I got to the airport I’d get some chocolate covered pretzels for the trip and maybe some breakfast. I glanced at the clock and was calculating in my head what time I’d get to the airport.
It’s 5:15 now, which means I’ll get there around 6:15… wait… why doesn’t that seem right? For a 6:30 flight I have to leave at 5:30 which means get up at 4:30… no wait.. why doesn’t that seem right.
I shook my head, to try to clear the fog. Had I really miscalculated? No, I do this all the time, I can’t have messed up when I leave and when I get there… could I?
Ok, Lisa, so for a flight that leaves at 6:30, you have to BE at the airport at 5:30. Parked. It’s 5:20 now and I just left. Oh my goodness.. what did I do????
I started to panic. I’ve only been working for this new boss for a little while and last time I flew I missed my flight because I overslept (sick child that time also!). It was the first time I had ever missed a flight and it was so stressful. I had managed to get on a later flight and make it on the same day, but there were no meetings on the first day last time. This time was different. This time I was presenting, and the meeting was that afternoon. I HAD to make it, and I also didn’t want this boss to think I couldn’t manage travel. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME??
My heart was racing, I stepped on the gas and started praying a mantra “please let me make this flight, please let me make this flight.”
My brain was processing my options: if I miss this flight the next flights available wouldn’t get me there until early afternoon.. IF I could get on another flight… I’d have to call and tell my boss and the sales person driving us around would have to pick me up later and then we’d have to hustle to the meeting. The morning spent going over the presentation as a team wouldn’t happen. And oh the costs! We’re supposed to be managing our costs right now and I just blew a plane ticket and would have to buy another, or at least pay some hefty fees.. Would she ever forgive me? Maybe. But really, two missed flights within a few months? Really Lisa???
“Please let me make this flight, please let me make this flight.”
A little ways down the road I had a new thought. God will take care of me. Who woke me up so that I could leave earlier than I had planned? Who made me realize that I was running late so not to stop and get coffee and poke around getting there?
I took a deep breath and said, “God, I know you have a plan. I’m not worried. This will all turn out according to your will and I will just do all that I can to not make any more mistakes.”
A total peace came over me. I was still driving along at the highest speeds I could safely (and mostly-legally) maintain, but I wasn’t worried anymore. If I missed this flight, God would get me on another one. If I wasn’t meant to make it to the meeting, God would have some other plan for me. Why worry? God was in control.
There were a few times along my route that I started to get a little bit nervous, like when it started to rain, but that passed. Then there was a big slow down, but that too was only for a minute then everyone sped back up again.
So for the entire duration I listened to the radio and sang my Klove songs and didn’t fret. I wasn’t in control so what could I really do but to just get to the airport when I got there?
When I got to the parking lot I parked, grabbed my luggage, and ran across the parking lot. It was 5:50. The plane was to board at 6:00, with takeoff at 6:30.. meaning it would already be on the tarmac by that point and no longer accepting passengers.
By this point I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make this flight, but might as well hurry to the security gates anyway.
I run through the doors, and there in front of me is a line at security that wraps back and forth like an amusement park line, and no one is moving. It’s at least 30 minutes minimum based on past experiences. I glance at the sign that points upstairs for the alternate checkpoint, and it says, “Closed”.
I sigh, resign myself to whatever God has planned, and walk up to the entrance of the line. There’s a TSA agent standing at the entry point. Oh, maybe he’ll wave me through to the pre-check line, which is only about 10 people long, and you don’t have to unpack or take off shoes or anything. It’s like the old school way of traveling where you just walk through the metal detector and continue on your merry way. Oh maybe oh maybe.. but he waves the lady in front of me through to that side. Oh. Well there goes that chance.
I walk up to him and start to head for the long line, and he says, “this way ma’am.”
Really??? Really God? You’re going to let me go through the short line?? Does this mean I’ll get to make my flight??
I’m standing in that line, which is moving quickly, and my heart is racing. I can feel my eyes rolling as my thoughts are flying around, “I have absolutely no business being on time for this flight. Absolutely none. I don’t deserve this.”
I get through, I check my phone for the boarding pass, and there is no gate listed. When I get off the tram thing that takes us to the terminals I rush to the screen that shows flights and gates and whatnot, and it takes me a few minutes to find my flight. It’s 6:10. I finally find that I’m in terminal A and with construction of the main section of the airport, it takes me a while to figure out which way to go and to get over to A. My gate is at the very end. I rush. I hurry. I make myself calm again, “all in God’s hands.”
When I get to my gate they haven’t started boarding yet.
The whole rest of my trip I kept thanking God and telling him I want to share this story with others to give him glory.
I don’t want to give him glory for getting me to my flight on time. I mean I do, but that’s not the lesson I learned. I never ever ever want to test him or try this again. It was much too stressful and I don’t want to experience something so preventable ever again. No, what I learned was that even in an incredibly stressful situation, where it looks bleak and completely impossible, God can give me peace. I can just give everything over to Him and just wait to see what happens, and not worry. This example may not be that impressive in the grand scheme of things, but knowing that when I’m 120% sure that I’ve messed up beyond recovery and will have a lot of people to answer to and am stressed out beyond belief, that He can take all of that away and just fill me with peace and trust, is utterly amazing.
Believe me when I say that this spreads to all aspects of life. Why worry about when or if I’m going to have another baby? God’s plan will be fulfilled whether I actively participate or struggle against Him to do my own will. Why stress about the little things in life, when I know that He is watching and He knows what I endure? He will make all things right, and in the mean time He will give me peace and joy that I could never find or supply on my own. Thank you God. You are truly amazing.
Oh, and just to finish off the story, my flight was on time, the second leg (which I would have missed) was on time, we had the morning discussion over the presentation, were able to go do a store walk so that we had the perspective needed to be able to talk to these folks directly about what we saw in their stores first-hand; the presentation to the buyers was phenomenal with a better-than-expected turnout and lots of questions and praise and lots of requests for follow-ups. My boss and I had shared the presentation, and we both were highly praised from the internal team afterwards.
Then Wednesday when I was back at the office at home, both the Director over the team we had visited with (as well as other teams) and the CCO (head of sales, reports to the CEO) asked how the meeting went. They are literally never in this office.. this was the first time in several months that either was in, and both of them to boot! I was able to tell them all kinds of information because I had been there and didn’t have to shirk with a, “I missed the flight, so I wouldn’t know..” Thank you God. So not only did God let me make the meeting, but he blessed me with doing a good job, and recognition by higher-ups afterwards. I really don’t deserve any of it. I screwed up beyond repair, but he blessed me anyway. I feel like someone in the Old Testament.
I realize that only God can give this kind of peace, but hopefully the next time you’re stressed out you’ll remember my story and just give it all over to God.
Oh, and Lord, please bless that wonderful TSA agent who let me go through the fast line.