Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On the Airplane...

Denver to Salt Lake:  Not a Chance Meeting

I was already seated for my final leg of my flight when a bright and beautiful young woman and her husband sat beside me.  There was something so familiar about her.  Our flight was short, but we started chatting from the moment she sat down.  She told me she was going to Utah for a blogging conference.  "I blog too!" I exclaimed.

We both began sharing intimate stories from our lives.  I felt blessed by the energy that she shared.  She was not of my same religion, but we talked extensively about God.

I realized that the areas in her life where her faith struggled, I too had struggled, but those were the areas where I now have unshakeable faith.  I was grateful for the opportunity to bear strong testimony to her about the miracles that God provides us in our daily lives.

Likewise, the areas in my life where I lacked confidence were areas where it seemed as if she had mastered complete confidence.  I learned so much from her!!  Yesterday I wrote about my prayer in the airport when I asked God to "open the way" to share HIS word…

As this new friend and I spoke, I felt very strongly that God had "opened the way" for us to meet.  She agreed!  I even invited her and her husband into our home for a visit this summer, and it felt completely natural! I hope they come! :-)

When I recognize God's hand in my life, I can't help but proclaim that HIS orchestrations… simple as they may seem… are simply miraculous.

Salt Lake to Denver:  Heart-felt Prayers

I sat in my seat, and 2 huge men sat on both sides of me.  Their knees towered almost twice as high as mine did.  I soon discovered that both men were return missionaries from my church!!  Their love for Christ helped carry on the spirit I had felt at my training in the mountains over the weekend.

Our plane was delayed over an hour, so we shared our worries about catching our next flight.  Once the plane landed, I ran off looking for my gate and realized that I was already at my gate!!  I would re-board my same plane!!  Hooray!  

In great relief, I said out loud, "Thank goodness my plane is the delayed plane!!  I would have missed my flight!"  

A woman standing beside me exclaimed her same gratitude… She barely made the plane because it was delayed.  She had to buy an emergency plane ticket to go see her daughter in Orlando who was giving birth.  The doctors were very concerned about both her daughter and the baby's lives.  The doctors had told her to get to her daughter's side as fast as she could.

In the next few minutes I listened to this woman speak.  I could see the anxiety and worry in her eyes and in her entire demeanor.  My heart ached with hers, and I promised to pray for her daughter… and I continue to do so. 

I couldn't help but ponder on the fact that there are so many people with great struggles in this life at this very moment… I am eternally grateful for the power of prayer… to receive guidance and deliver comfort.

This sweet mother had great faith and hope because of the power of prayer.  I understand that the power of prayer lifts our perspective to greater hope even when things seem to be spinning out of our control.


Denver to Orlando:  Death Is Not the End

Once I boarded the plane, I found my seat in the exit row… across the way from the same, worried mother for whom I was praying.

There was a unique man in his 20's sitting right beside me.  There was something a little "off" about him.  I laughed a lot for those first few minutes he sat there.  He kept asking me the same questions over and over again and had absolutely no inhibitions. In the middle of our conversation, he said a swear word.  I gave him a look of disapproval.  He asked me if he said something rude.  I responded, "Yes!  I'm a woman!  I want respect!  I don't want to hear that language." He tried hard to watch his tongue after that. :-)

The flight attendant came to our row and informed us of the duties associated with sitting in the exit row, she sweetly placed her hand on this unique man's knees and specifically asked him if he would be capable of the duties in the exit row.  After she left, he looked at me and was confused as to why he was singled out.  As our conversation continued, he finally admitted he was DRUNK!

I broke the news to him:  "If you're drunk, I don't think you should be sitting in the exit row!"  He told me I needed to tell the flight attendant because he was too embarrassed.  I informed the flight attendant, and she promptly found a different man to sit in his place beside me.

The moment this other man sat down, a strong feeling came over me that there was a purpose to this change in seating.  I felt that once again… God was "opening the way."

The man and I joked around for a moment about the drunk man, and then he mentioned that his first child was born just a week ago.  My heart was touched as I listened to the details of his daughter's birth story.  He showed me pictures and glowed with love for his newborn and his wife.

He beautifully described his awe of how his little daughter was as an extension of him.

Overcome by the sweetness of the experience, I shared my faith in God and how Heavenly newborns are.  I noticed that he was polite about my beliefs, but he seemed a bit indifferent when I said the word "God." As we continued to converse, I learned that he had been through quite a bit in his life.  Both of his parents and his sister had died.  He even quit school for a time while he cared for his dying mother.  While pregnant, his wife was diagnosed with melanoma!  (She is doing well now.)

I expressed that his parents would surely want to be a part of this beautiful time in his life… for his sweet, first-born child was an extension of them as well.  Knowing that "God" was a topic he didn't especially appreciate, I was scared to say what was in my heart…. but the Spirit kept telling me I had to share… so I did….

I asked this man if he believed that his parents were still living.  He told me he really wasn't sure and that he wasn't into religion.  I told him that this was not about religion… this was about eternal truths pertaining to his life.

I shared with him sacred experiences I had been given with my sister who had died from cancer many years ago, and I bore pure testimony that I knew his parents were still living as she is.  I told him that there are many things about God that are based completely on faith, but this knowledge of life after death was an absolute for me.  As I tried to be respectful of the tender feelings surrounding this subject, he broke down his walls and shared with me about a sacred dream he had received many years previously suggesting that there is indeed life after death.

An overwhelming feeling came over me that he needed to believe this truth.  He and I continued to talk for a LONG time about God.  His wife was Jewish, so we had very different views on Jesus.  We were both respectful and learned from each other.  It was mutually uplifting, and I felt the Spirit present in our conversation.  I don't know what will become of this kind man, but I do know that God loves him and will continue to call to him with HIS arms open wide.


Grateful

I am grateful for the opportunity to bear testimony of the truths which are so dear to my heart.  I am grateful to have met so many wonderful people in the most unlikely moments.  I am grateful for the influence of The Holy Ghost in every conversation.  I am grateful to see how much God loves ALL HIS children… He loves us enough to place us in each other's paths to uplift each other.  There are opportunities all around us to feel of HIS love.  I am grateful…