I have realized lately that I have not made my voice heard on this blog much. So I figured since my name was on it too, I had the right to say a couple things from time to time.
The first story is from our very long very emotional trip from the states. Many of you know that we were stuck in London for a day. We have shared the pictures with you, but we have never really had the opportunity to give the full story… so here it is.
Our tickets had us flying from Phoenix to Lyon, France with just one stop, in London. Departing from Phoenix at 7:30 pm on a Thrusday night everything went pretty smooth. We got our 19 bags checked, and pushed our 4 children, a stroller, three carseats and 7 carry-on bags through security and with my mom following in case someone or something fell, we made it swiftly and smoothly to the gate. No problem. At the gate they checked our boarding passes once again, along with our passports. At this point I was the responsible party for the passports. In a rush, Jess handed me her and the kids passports and for simplicity I stuck them in my back pocket. I told myself I would put them in a more secure place once we all got settled on the plane. So, we board, get settled, everyone is happy and we take off and “enjoy” our 10-hour flight over the “pond.” No big deal.
We arrive in London in the afternoon, the kids are somewhat rested, and are being very good troopers on this exciting adventure. We make our way around, try to figure out where our plane will be leaving from and eventually set up camp for our layover. Everything is going great. I am happy, Jess is excited, my mom and the kids are doing well we are just waiting.
Well, the waiting came to an end an it was our turn to board our plane, everything was going so smooth. The ticketing agent even saw us and let us through a special spot and starting checking us all in. The she very nonchalantly asks, “Passports please.” “Well of course, here they are,” I say and go in to my secure passports location and pull out 2 passports. Mine and my mom’s. No problem. “Jess, Can you get your and the kids passports please?” I say mildly concerned.
“I don’t have them, I gave them to your Mom. I remember handing them to your mom in Phoenix.” Jess says a little more agitated. Uh-oh.
Well we move out of the way and start scrounging through all the bags we have. I look in all the pockets of all the bags 3 times at least. So does Jess, so does my mom. I think Ali was even looking in all the bags. Nothing. We are praying and stressing, we can not find 5 passports. Finally, my mom says, “I think I remember putting them in this outside pocket of my backpack. Maybe when I put my backpack in the overhead bin they fell out. And when I got my bag back they stayed in the bin.” This was a long shot but it was hope.
By this time our plane to Lyon had left and we were looking at an even longer delay. However now, our missing passports were a HUGE problem. The ticket agent starting making arrangements for a maintenance crew to go and look on the plane for our passports and we were escorted to another part of the airport to wait.
While we were waiting I started to talk to an airline representative about when we could get a another flight. There was a later flight but it was very expensive, and we weren’t sure when we would have our passports. At this point, I might add, everyone was genuinely concerned about our plight. Even though it was a major blunder on our part there was some concern for us.
After waiting and stressing for about 2 maybe 3 hours, I was trying to make a phone call with my credit card. When I reached in to my back pocket where my wallet was a felt a larger bulge than normal. I grabbed it, and pulled out FIVE passports.
I can’t express the emotions that came over me. Excitement, frustration, relief, anger. All of this, all at one time! It was incredible. I go and tell my family, they are all just as relieved. My mom, bless her, was so crushed thinking this was her fault. All along it was mine. She had given the passports to me, as I mentioned before but we had all forgot, until that moment.
So the rest of the story is pretty simple and it has been told with some pretty cute pictures. We have also checked another country off our list of places we have visited Starbucks. So we got that going for us.
I thought it would be good for everyone to know the full story of our adventure of getting to France. You know for me, I struggled for the whole 24 hours with, Why? or How did I not feel 5 passports in my back pocket? I have come up with a couple answers.
1. Just because I serve a perfect God, doesn’t mean I am perfect. I am reminded every day I am not perfect. There are still times when I make mistakes, sometimes they are sin, sometimes they are just goofy mistakes. I just learn what I can and move on.
2. This may seem strange to some, for me I am always a little concerned about our finances. I am nervous if we are going to be supported the whole time we are in France, and in Africa and to get trained. I don’t dwell on it, but there are times when it is a concern. Then what happens, I make a very costly mistake. We had to change 7 plane tickets, pay for a hotel for a night in London, and pay for 2 trips of the taxi to take us from Lyon to Chambery. It is easy for me to say this was the costliest mistakes, in terms of dollars that I have ever made. But, we are still here. God has, and is providing for us. We have amazing friends, family and partners that are supporting us. This was a way for God to remind me to trust Him. Always, trust him.
So that is the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey likes to say.