Friday, March 05, 2010

My Trip from Seattle: A Metaphor for Life

Yesterday I decided to break down my day -- because it was going to be a long one -- and just ask God to take care of me, step by step, through the day.

Walking is quite difficult for me at the moment. Ankles and calves very swollen, abdomen extended, and carrying an extra 25 pounds of water weight and who knows what else since I haven't really been eating the last month, but still gained the weight.... all that contributing to walking being quite difficult. Had I started my medical issues weighing 140 this would all be a different story, but I digress....

So I asked God to help me with phase one.... getting up, showering, getting dressed, and making it out the hotel door. My shoes went on (the day before I had needed help) thanks to the water pill and after a nice breakfast, we were out the door and into the nice Lincoln town car taxi by 6:20, a bathroom being right next to the exit. Phase one, check.

I then asked for help getting to the gate. This would involve checking in, walking through security, and getting to whatever gate was assigned to my flight. If you travel much you know that gates can be literally a mile from security and I was really concerned about making it that far. As I stood in security, I could see that gate A1 and several other letters and numbers were to the left, and gates A2-4 were to my right, but I was a bit concerned because I couldn't see my gate, which was A3. Wouldn't you know it? I walked out of the security line and was standing smack dab in front of my gate. Phase two, check.

Very grateful for God's help so far, I confess to believing that maybe I was going to run out of luck, which is kind of blasphemous if you think about it, but I was thinking those thoughts nonetheless. But there was a bathroom close by, a gift shop to purchase a gift for one of the kids (every time I go away alone, I select one gift for one child). This time it was Wilson's and I found a cute stuffed animal with a Seattle t-shirt on, which he ended up liking quite a bit, especially considering he found the price tag and was quite excited I had spent that much. Sigh. (By the way, Wilson was giving us parenting advice today. He thinks maybe Tony and Dominyk would be better parented by the utilization of a "consequence wheel." OK, so maybe Wilson doesn't quite get FASD, but I digress...

I got on the plane and then began to pray about Phase three. Phoenix was phase three. I would only have one hour to change planes and have lunch and since breakfast had been quite early, I was a bit hungry. This phase had me quite concerned as I have been in situations where connecting flights were literally miles away (I remember once in Atlanta where the guy told me "your gate is seriously 3 miles from here" -- with trams, but still).

So I prayed during my flight and when I got off the plane (which arrived 30 minutes early) I just smiled at God. Have you ever smiled at God? I do sometimes, inwardly, when things are just so orchestrated that you have to smile. I stepped off on Gate A24. My connecting flight was gate A21. Between the two? My favorite restaurant in all of the Phoenix airport -- a Burrito place, similar to Chipotle, that makes the most awesome burritos. I had time to go to the bathroom, have a burrito, and make it on my plane with plenty of time. Phase 3, check.

The final phase was making the shuttle. I knew things were going to be close. My plane was supposed to arrive at 5 and the shuttle leaves at 6. Walking to the baggage claim from a far gate and getting luggage to come quickly, followed by the long walk to the shuttle spot, I knew it would be a challenge. However, when the plane arrived 30 minutes late, I had nearly given up faith that God would see me through the whole day.

Except that He did. The gate was E1 -- the closest gate, I think, to the baggage claim in all of the MSP airport. By the time I went to the bathroom and made it downstairs, I walked up to the carousel and within 3 minutes, my bag came down. I walked slowly to the shuttle desk and had 3 minutes to spare. While it wouldn't have killed me to wait an hour and a half for the next shuttle, I certainly preferred spending those 90 minutes at home with Bart and the kids. Phase four, check.

And so why is this a metaphor for my life? I learned that breaking things down into steps and praying about each of those helped me to see God's answers more readily. A blanket prayer -- even if it is -- get me through this day -- isn't specific enough for me to see God's answer and remember to give thanks. But I'm determined to start praying for step by step guidance.

Having only enough energy for the next thing on my plate isn't actually a bad thing. When I wasn't experiencing health issues, I could think about everything all at once -- everything that needed to be done, all the drama surrounding me, filled my head. But the last month, I have had to force myself just to think about what is next.

And so today, what is next, is getting Salinda and Gabby home. I have a doctor's appointment in a few minutes, and then I will be waiting for her to tell us what time she would like her ride home. Today all I have to do is get her here. I need God's help to do that. I don't need to worry about how she will act tomorrow or next week or if there will be great conflict, I just need to pick her up, bring her home, help her settle in, and hold that baby.

It's amazing how easy it is to forget that God is a step by step God as well as a big picture one. But yesterday's reminder was wonderful.


GZimmy said...

:-) Welcome home, sister!

Marge said...

What a great lesson for us all to learn. He is with us every step of the way! I like your plan of breaking it down that way and praying about each event as it comes up and think I will try that.

The command to "pray without ceasing" is much easier to obey when it's broken down like this.

Welcome home. Take care of yourself. I predict that holding Gabby will cure all of your ills!