was all about connections for me. I love the way God knits us together
in the most unusual ways. Some say, Its a small world
or What a coincidence! But I dont believe in coincidences.
Everyone we meet is both our teacher and our student. Everything
we experience is a lesson for us to learn or to share. I have learned
that God does amazing things when we open ourselves up to be a channel
for Gods love. When we ask to be used, God listens to that
prayer. God is waiting to answer that prayer!
I was supposed
to be in 4 different places last weekend. In order for me to be
in only one place hundreds of miles from the other places I was
supposed to be, I had to do a lot of work. I took each task that
needed to be done in stride, trusting that God would help me get
everything done. And God did it! Everything got done in time for
me to board a plane in State College, PA in route to Minneapolis,
Minnesota Friday afternoon.
I boarded the
plane and sank down into the vinyl-covered seat. I sighed a deep
sigh and a peace washed over me. Suddenly, I felt this feeling that
told me that God was about to do something really spectacular. I
figured it meant that I was going to have a great weekend visiting
with my Tour of Hope buddies.
A man sat down
in the seat next to me. He seemed like a normal guy but really happy.
He started to tell me about the earplugs he bought because he learned
on his flight to State College that the prop planes were really
noisy. He was concerned that I would be offended because he would
not be able to hear me if I wanted to talk to him. I told him not
to worry because I had gotten up at 2:30am that morning, and I planned
to sleep. We both slept. About 15 minutes before we were about to
land, we both woke up and started talking.
He told me that
he finally settled down in Ann Arbor, Michigan after spending most
of the last 15 years moving around a lot. He had two older sons,
and he felt that they would soon start their own families. He wanted
to be near them so he could be with his grandchildren. He finally
revealed that the reason he moved so much was because he was a missionary
traveling all around the world doing disaster relief work.
I started to
tell him about Bennett, and he stopped me right away and told me
the most amazing thing. The reason he started doing missionary work
was because his wife died of a brain tumor, the some type of brain
tumor that Bennett had. In two minutes, I felt like I was talking
to my best friend and began to share all the great things that happened
since Bennett came into my life. Even though our meeting was very
brief, it had the intensity and urgency that only God is capable
The whole reason
I was going to Minneapolis was to visit my friend Jim, who I rode
in the Tour of Hope with. He was receiving the Spirit Star Award
from the Minnesota Oncology and Hematology Foundation for his dedication
to cancer survivorship. Shortly after the Tour of Hope, Jim learned
that his tumor was growing again. He is living the message of the
Tour of Hope right now. He is currently enrolled in a clinical trial
that one of our teammates told him about. Talk about connections.
We are praying that this drug, Gleevac, which has been a miracle
drug for leukemia will stop Jims tumor in its tracks. As Jim
likes to say, Its time to get cancer out of our face
and into our rearview mirror. I know if anyone can do it,
Jim is capable of riding away from cancer.
At the awards
gala, another star award recipient was an eleven-year-old girl who
started a non-profit organization called the Dragonfly Project.
She sends cards and a wonderful story about a dragonfly to people
who have lost a loved one to cancer. The first one she sent was
to a mother whose son died from a brain tumor. The mother had caught
my eye earlier in the evening because I noticed her dragonfly pin
and her purple dress. When she was up on the stage sharing her story
before presenting the award, I just knew I had to go speak to this
her, and I did. Another connection made. It is amazing to know that
I have a purple dragonfly counterpart in the world!
The next day,
I was leaving to come home, and I found out that my friend Kristen,
who I rode in the Tour of Hope with, was flying to Detroit on a
flight that was leaving about 20 minutes before mine. I really wanted
to spend more time with Kristen, and so I signed up to fly standby
on her flight. When I got down to the gate, I found out that my
flight was cancelled, and they were rerouting everyone. Since I
already signed up to fly standby on Kristens flight, I was
in a much better position to make that flight. The minutes leading
up to the flight were intense because I did not know if I would
get on her flight, and I started to worry a little about getting
home. Finally, I just said, Ive got to let this go.
I knew God was testing my ability to trust. So I relented, if
I dont get on this flight, there is a reason. I trust you
God. Again God made the connection. My seat was right in front
of Kristens, so it was no problem getting someone to switch
seats so we could sit together.
the Detroit airport kept closing which delayed the takeoff of our
flight. When we finally arrived in Detroit, my connection to State
College was already gone. I was sent down to a gate at the opposite
end of the terminal to get rerouted. When I got there, there was
a huge line with only two people rerouting all the missed connections.
I decided to go up to the front ticketing counter. The line was
much shorter. I knew that there was no way I was going to get home
that night. It was going to be really tough to get home since all
these people needed to be re-ticketed too. But I also knew at this
point to just give it over to God. I was the last person to get
to an agent before they closed the line and told all the people
in it they would have to come back in morning! I spent the night
on the floor of the Detroit airport with a lot of other people.
They would not have let me back in the secure part of the airport
if I had not gotten a ticket for the flight in the morning. But
God made the connections for me, and I was let back in. I found
a quiet corner to rest in until the next morning.
I know what
you are saying, How is having to sleep in the airport a blessing?
I dont understand it but I was happy in the airport. Forced
out of my comfort zone, stranded and left in my solitude, I was
surrounded by Gods presence. And I knew that God was taking
care of me.
I talked to
my mom when I finally made it back to Pennsylvania. I told her all
about the trip and the weekend. Then I talked to her again at the
end of the week and started telling her about having to sleep in
the airport. I really sort of forgot all about calling her when
I got back Monday. She told me, I talked to you the day you
got back. You didnt sound like someone who had to spend the
night in the airport. You sounded really happy and excited.
When you let
God make the connections, you are taken to a level beyond the chaos
of this world. There is no such thing as a problem in that place.
You are given the joy you are seeking. You are given the life you
desire. Nothing seems impossible. My new motto: Let God make
on me, O Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
will answer me.
God, I praise
you for the miracles that you make happen in my life. I ask that
you continue to use me as you see fit. I know I must trust you and
have the faith of a child. Help me Lord when I am weak, give me
courage. From now on, I am letting you make the connections. Amen