“…Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am…” Philippians 4:13-14 (The Message)
In addition to teaching me to look past myself and see what I could do to help others (or bless others) through Him, God taught me two more valuable lessons, in the very gentle way that He has with me.
The first lesson was this. I’m stronger in Him than I give myself credit for. When I got into the Denver airport and realized I had missed my flight, if my aunt wasn’t there, I would have stood in line and asked them to book me on the first flight back to my starting point, missing the wonderful opportunity to celebrate my dad…all out of fear. However, because I believe God is starting to stretch me but doesn’t want me to break in the process, He allowed me the choice to experience an adventure with the company of someone I trusted, because after all, adventures are meant to be shared. Now, He could have allowed this crazy adventure two weeks prior with our family of five traveling, but I think He wanted me to rely more on Him and less on Bill. And I’m glad because I wouldn’t have had to rely as much on God if Bill was there. I wouldn’t have been making decisions but instead letting my husband lead.
Second, God cares about all the details, even the seemingly insignificant ones. The night we stayed at the hotel in downtown San Francisco, I had a few heart-to-heart talks with God. I asked Him to keep us safe and to please multiple the few hours of sleep we were going to get so we could drive safely to Sacramento. He allowed me to fall into a deep sleep for three hours and then at 5 a.m. He woke me up abruptly – I mean wide awake. As I laid there wondering what to do (wake my aunt or let her sleep) I remembered my sister’s schedule. I told you previously that she and I talk on the phone every week. She calls me on her drive into work at 6 a.m. California time, 9 a.m. EST. She chooses to drive in that early to avoid the heavy traffic.
So, I started talking to my Father: “Okay, God, I’m thinking You woke me up at 5 a.m. for a reason. If we get up now and start out, we should miss the heavy commuter traffic…but I don’t want to be the one to wake up my aunt. She needs her sleep, she’s the one driving, and I’m not waking her up. So…if You want us to leave now, You have to wake her up because I’m not going to.”
As I was still lying there, about five minutes later, her phone made a noise. I thought someone was calling her but instead it was the alarm that she had deleted three hours before. However, now that she was awake, I didn’t mind asking her if she was ready to start out. She also felt rested and was ready to go. Later she commented to me in the car how it was strange that an alarm she had cancelled went off. I was able to share with her my earlier conversation with God. I truly believe God heard my prayer and chose to wake her up in such a way that I would know without any doubt it was Him. We drove through light traffic and by 8 a.m. were in the hotel in Sacramento sharing a pot of coffee (the excitement was wearing off) as we waited to greet my parents.
Another blessing in the whole experience was that originally we would have had maybe three hours to “catch up” after having not seen each other for two years. God instead gave us a whole night to talk, catch up, and share our hearts. I’ve always been close to my aunt, but this adventure put our relationship on a new level. I’m so grateful that God gave me this experience for all the reasons above as well as many more I’m still discovering. While I will probably always, to some extent, be the type of personality that plays things safe, God keeps reinforcing the invitation He gave me beginning in January of this year – to Embrace the Adventure with Him. Life is definitely much more exciting and filled with unexpected and abundant blessings when He’s involved in all the details.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015