Hello my friends. I have been away for the summer, plus I have been working on finishing and publishing my new book, Green Skies and Holy Whispers, which I will talk about in my next Blog. I have been traveling all summer throughout New England, Missouri, Texas and finally back again to St. Charles, Missouri for my youngest granddaughter’s fourth birthday. It all began in May and I returned, thank God, on Tuesday, August 10th. It was a great trip, but I was tired of traveling for nearly three months. I really missed MY OWN BED!
On the last day of my grand summer tour, our family had one last event. We planned to meet at the St. Louis Aquarium, which we were all excited about. There was one problem though, that cast a huge shadow on the excursion, at least for me. My entire day was filled with anxiety, which really wasn’t fair to me or anyone around me, so I decided to put on a Mona Lisa smile and tried to be as up beat as I could. The worry and stress of the upcoming flight home weighed heavily on my day, until something amazing happened.
First, let me explain why I was so upset. Days before, we all went to the Baseball Cardinal game downtown. Food and drinks are especially expensive and we had seven adults and seven children (ages 4-12) in our party. Keeping everyone happy and fed was going to be a challenge and quite expensive. So, especially with my youngest granddaughter in mind, I decided to improvise with bottles of water, fruit and Cheez-Its, which I carefully packed in my purse.
Problem was, to do this, I needed to remove my wallet and other items to make room for the feast I wanted to pack. Thinking ahead and always trying to be prepared in case of an accident, I removed my driver’s license and medical cards from my wallet, placed them in a zip lock bag (in case the water bottles leaked) and then put the baggie inside my purse with all the goodies. All was well. I was prepared. It didn’t matter. We still spent a fortune on hotdogs, nachos and other drinks. What did I really expect with all those mouths to feed. Oh well. I tried.
When we returned home from the game, I removed all the left over paraphernalia from my purse and returned my zip locked items to my wallet which was then returned to my purse, or so I thought.
On my last day in St Charles, the family had made plans to go to the St. Louis Aquarium and to The Old Spaghetti Factory, which sounded amazing. I decided to pack in the morning in case we returned late. My flight on Southwest was scheduled for that evening. I was ready. I was prepared just like I was for the ball game. Wrong!!!
The last step in my packing routine was to place my driver’s license, ticket and extra money for tips all in the front of my carry on bag for easy access. Wrong again. When I opened my wallet to get my license it wasn’t there. Where was it? Didn’t I put it back in my purse when we returned from the game? Apparently I had not and the baggie was nowhere to be found.
I dumped out my purse not once, but three times over a ten minute span, while a litany of NOs spilled out of my mouth. Clothes went flying, rooms were torn through, but no baggie with my license and medical cards were to be found. I panicked. Anxiety set in. No. Anxiety rooted itself firmly into my brain. I replayed every moment of our return from the game. I was sure I had put the cards back in my purse. This apparently was not the case. Where could they be? I couldn’t fly without an ID! Should I cancel my flight? How long would it take to get a new license made and sent to St. Louis? How much longer would my SUMMER VACATION end up being because I couldn’t fly home? Thank God I wasn’t staying at a hotel.
MY OWN BED was looking further and further away. Thus my last adventure to the Aquarium was filled with hidden anxiety and Panic. We left messages with the Cardinal ball park’s lost and found. I contacted my son in Florida and asked if he would go to my condo and take a picture of my passport and send it to me as a last resort. I could only hope that the TSAs at the airport would let me through security with a photo copy of my identification.
Now let me tell you the amazing part of this story. When we were headed home from our days adventure, I was seated across from my 4 year old granddaughter, Evie. We laughed, played and sang most of the way home, until she looked like she was getting tired. She had not taken her afternoon nap. Watching her struggle to keep her eyes open, I decided to close my eyes as well. I didn’t go to sleep, though. I prayed. I found myself begging God to please reveal where my license was, while the Christian radio station played How Great is Our GOD. I listened for a moment to the words of the song and then I simply gave my anxiety and fear over to the One who knew where my license was. I knew He had this whole thing under control.
I felt peace wash over me as I sat there, basking in the words of the song, when Evie poked me in the arm. “Why do you have your eyes closed, Grandma? Are you trying to sleep?”
I told her no and that I was praying to Jesus, asking if He would help me find my license. She looked puzzled. With her eyebrows crunched and her lips pouted, she looked down her nose at me and said,” I’ll ask Him too.”
She closed her little eyes and began to whisper. I couldn’t hear her, but she looked intense with her eyebrows still crunched. Suddenly, her eyes popped open and she whispered with excitement, ” I did it! I asked Him too!”
I smiled, thanked her and suggested that maybe she should tell Jesus thank you for a great day at the Aquarium. She sat staring at me for a moment, and then simply said OK. She closed her eyes again and began to whisper. Then she said with great exuberance, “I did it!”
I then told her that if she closed her eyes again and sat quietly, she might hear Jesus answer back. She looked puzzled for a moment and then closed her eyes. I was suddenly filled with a sense of ‘de ja vu’. This was the same conversation I had with my grandmother soooo many years ago when I was Evie’s age. I closed my eyes as well and basked in the memory of grandma kneeling by the bedside telling me to be still and listen for Jesus to whisper back. I was enjoying the moment when Evie poked me in the arm again.
“I did it!” she exclaimed.
I smiled and asked, “Did you hear Him?”
She smiled back and shook her head yes.
“What did He say?” I asked.
She smiled. “He said –YOU’RE WELCOME.”
Tears poured down my cheeks as I smiled and said, “That’s awesome!”
I suggested we both close our eyes and see if He would say anything else. It wasn’t long before she was fast asleep. I thanked God for such a marvelous witness she had given to me; such simple faith. Did she really hear Him? I believe so.
When we arrived home, I ran into the house with the intention of tearing into my purse and suitcase again. I unzipped my purse and I gasped. There in the pocket were my license and medical cards starring back at me. How? How could this be? I know that I took everything out of my purse, not once, but three times.
I called out to Evie as I waved the cards in the air. “Look. Look, I found it! I found it!” “Jesus answered our prayer!” She just grinned from the top of the stairs and then went into her room to change her clothes. I finished packing and later asked her why she wasn’t excited when I showed her the license. She looked at me very seriously and said as a matter of fact as she then smiled at me, ” I already knew.”
I stood there speechless as she ran off to play. WOW! How great was that?! She already knew! I cried and just stared at the license in my hand. God’s plan was for me to go home and He made sure that I had everything I needed. He had worked everything out for my good even though I couldn’t see it. He was in control the entire time. I thanked Him over and over. “Thank You Jesus. Thank You Jesus.” and as I sobbed, I heard Him whisper, “YOU’RE WELCOME.” How AWESOME is that?!
I hope that Evie’s simple story of faith has blessed you and reminded you that we are all to have that kind of child-like faith when we find ourselves in stressful situations or when we pray and if we are still and listen carefully, you may just hear Jesus whisper back, “YOU’RE WELCOME.”