Unexpected Gifts

I expected my nerves would keep me from sleep last night. Instead, the wind was what robbed me of any significant amount of quality rest. Perhaps it was a little of both…
Brad and I woke the girls up at 3:30 this morning so that they could go with us to the airport. The airline agent that helped us check in seemed quite alarmed that I was traveling alone and wanted to check six large suitcases. Each passenger is allowed only two checked bags; additional checked bags incur a cost of $200 each. My stomach was in knots at the thought of the $800 that was about to leave the adoption account. I mentioned to the agent that most of my baggage was full of clothes, shoes, food and toys that will eventually be donated to the orphanage. At that moment we were met with such grace; over $500 in baggage charges were waived and I took my first deep breath of the day.
Saying goodbye to my husband and our daughters was even harder than I’d imagined. We prayed and cried together for a few minutes before I turned and walked away for what I pray will only be a short time, but also fear could be our longest amount of time apart ever.
I was met in the security line with the sympathetic gazes of strangers who saw my tears; I’m fairly certain that at least a few of them were tempted to hug me. I probably would have let them if they’d tried.
Even before my tears had dried I began to feel a very real sense of peace and of strength; not the false sense that results from the motivational pep talks I speak to myself sometimes, but the peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit. I feel strong, not because I am but because He is – His power is perfected in my weakness.
My flight to D.C. was….loud. The poor girl who sat next to me must have the worst cold ever; she sniffled and snorted and snotted no less than four THOUSAND times in the course of our two and a half hour flight. I thought about offering her a tissue but I worried that she’d be offended.
Instead, I shoved my earbuds in my ears and cranked up some of my favorite praise music. Sadly, I couldn’t hear the music over the sound of the jet engine roaring loudly behind me. RIGHT. BEHIND. ME. Yep – last row.
Still, I see the grace gifted to me, even on that loud stinking flight: the plane landed safely and on time, with a short layover before my flight to Brussels.
Now, I’m hanging out at the airport, sipping a hot latte, writing, reading and people watching.
God is good.


2 thoughts on “Unexpected Gifts

  1. Dear Shellie,
    I have been following your family’s long journey from afar. I grew up at V7 (still attend) and across the street from Brad. I am constantly holding you and yours up in prayer through this hard time! More people than you know are praying for Jecoah to come home soon! God bless you!
    Becky (Greene) Callahan

    • Thank you, Becky! Brad and I bought and lived in the house he grew up in on Teeter Totter and I remember him mentioning your name. We are so grateful to know that you’re praying for our family!

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