Lost Passport (Mission Trip Lesson #2)…

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This is me and my pastor’s wife (hereafter “K”).  We’ve been friends for years now.  She is artistic, I am task-oriented.  Sometimes, I keep her grounded… sometimes, she encourages me to step out of my box.

Our group had a perfect trip, but our trip home had some hiccups.  We, by the grace of God, made it on the plane out of Mexico.  We landed in Atlanta.  We were hurrying to get on our plane home.  The six of us came around the corner to the US Customs area.  My son and I were in the back of the group.  The others were scanning their passports.  I told my son to get out his passport.  His reply… “I don’t have it, I put it in your bag.”  Excuse me? What?!  “Son, it’s not in my bag!”  Him… “maybe I left it on the plane.”

That is when I lost my mind.  I sat on the floor, emptied my bag, and confirmed that I didn’t have his passport.  All kinds of things went through my mind… we can’t get back in the US without his passport… we will miss our next flight… how could he lose his passport and be so nonchalant about it?!  I sat there and cried… for about 15 seconds.  Then, God said to me “it will be ok, I’m here… get up.” Then, my military spouse self kicked in.  I told my son to go tell the others that we didn’t have his passport.  We all got together and I told them with truest sincerity to go catch the flight home.  My son and I could rent a car and drive home, if we had to.  I didn’t want them to miss the flight.  We’d be ok.  I’m used to being independent.  We were in America, so I was ok.

I reassured my friends that it was ok to go.  They went.  My son and I sat.  We waited for around 20 minutes, which seemed like eternity, for someone to go look on the plane for his passport.  I called my husband, texted my mom.  Then, my phone rang… it was K.  She said “I’m down in baggage claim.  The other mom went to try to catch the plane.  I am here waiting for you.  I am not leaving you.”

Y’all, even now typing those words has me teared up.  I am a military spouse.  I am beyond accustomed to being left, to handling it alone, to being the one that stays behind.  To hear someone say to me “I am not leaving you” was profound.  To have someone choose to stay, to pick me, to lose her ride home… there are no words. I don’t think I’ve had anyone say that to me before.

We ended up getting my son’s passport and getting reunited with K.  She was at a ticket counter trying her best to get us home.  The other mom (hereafter K2), had missed our last flight even with best efforts not to.  We were all stuck.  I watched K as she worked through every scenario to get us all home.  Normally, I am the “doer,” she is the “visionary.”  At that point, all I could do was sit and watch… my brain was fried… I was done.  I was so proud of her for taking care of all of us (I think she was even proud of herself).  I knew it was out of her comfort zone, but she rocked it! I couldn’t find words to tell her what that whole event meant to me and I’d probably cry like a baby if I tried.

Sometimes, we just need someone to be there… to say “I’m not leaving you.”  God is with us all the time and while sometimes we may be physically alone, He is with us.  I knew that God was with me.  He told me it would be ok and I believed that.  But, I can’t tell you what it meant to have this human tell me she was with me.

Do you know someone who is going through a hard time?  Call them, text them, tell them that you are with them… you are not leaving them… hold their hand… cry… just be there.  It means more than you know.

After note: In NO way am I throwing K2 under the bus.  She had a new foster baby to get home to and medical appointments to take her father to.  She is a rock star in her own right and my next blog is focused on the lesson I learned from her.

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Make Time…

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TimeFriends are very important in our lives.  Sometimes, life gets filled with work, cleaning, sports, (you fill in the blank) that we neglect our relationships with our friends.  Something that was a daily or weekly bond becomes a “hey” as you pass in a hallway or a monthly text.

It’s not that you don’t care deeply for your friends, you just simply don’t have the time.  Well, I suggest you make time. 🙂  Plan ahead, make a date.  When you have a meeting planned, you tend to show up.  Why not plan a meeting with your friend (maybe even your spouse)?

I’ve been missing time with one of my friends lately.  Last night we checked our calendars and made a date.  It’s nothing extravagant and the kids are coming along.  But, it’s time and every friendship needs time.   You get out what you put in.  So, why not call up someone who you’ve been missing and make a date?  I guarantee you that you will be glad you did!  Comment and tell me about it!

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also real sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

Neighbors…

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Another trial of military life is having your friends move away.  We bought our house in July, 2005.  About two months later, a couple bought the house across the street.  They are a military family, too.  We became friends.  We shared birthdays and holidays together.

Our husbands have been on a deployment together and both have been gone for extended periods of time.  My friend and I have kept each other sane during absences from our spouse.  We’ve watched out for each other and helped each other.  We’ve been through our children being sick and one being born.  We’ve laughed and cried together.  Our children became friends and have shared many memories over the years.

They have been great neighbors.  I hope they would say the same about us.  Yesterday, we said good-bye.  They have left to start another journey in their life.  I thank God for the times that we shared.  They will have a forever place in my heart.  We are sad to see them go, but know that even if we don’t see them again in this life, we will see each other in Heaven.  Until then, you will be missed…

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love you neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

How Does Your Garden Grow?…

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I have some really great friends.  Now that my husband is gone, they’ve really surrounded me with love and support.  I started thinking how friendships are like flowers.  All flowers need soil and water to grow.  Without one or the other, the flower won’t bloom. Some flowers require more water or more soil than another, but they can not survive without bothWe are the water and soil in our relationships.

Some flowers can grow, flourish even, with very little care.  They can grow, fast and furious, on roadsides with very little soil or water.  They grow there, naturally, as if made for that spot.  They can be hacked down and sprout right back.

Other flowers take great care and an exact mix of soil and water to grow, much less bloom.  Left unattended, they wither and die.  Orchids for example, take more skill and care to bloom.  But… oh, what a flower it produces.  It’s beauty is worth every bit of care and love that it required.

In my life, I have a garden of friendships.  Some are easy to grow, others take a great effort.  Some take more water, some take more soil, and some an even mix.  I might be the water of one friendship and the soil of another.  My prayer is that I am the right amount of what I need to be to make each friendship bloom.

“It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.” Ezekiel 17:8