Last week I spent four days watching my youngest grandson in Lubbock while my daughter, Sarah, led worship at a conference about an hour away. I enjoyed my time with James as we cuddled and played, and laughed together through the day. I even enjoyed a 2:00 a.m. time of worship as I sang a variety of hymns to him as we rocked and swayed during a fretful night. Sarah is still nursing him, and that night he REALLY missed his mamma! Though I couldn't help him in that way, I snuggled him tightly and sang him songs about Jesus and God's grace and love. What started out as something to soothe James, turned into a true time of worship for me. James eventually quieted and fell asleep, but I couldn't help singing just a little bit longer -- partly to make sure he was really sleeping soundly, and partly because the words to the songs I was singing were ministering to me. Jesus not only loved James, He loved me. And I was reminded about that through the songs I sang.
In my mind I know God loves me and is with me, but sometimes I also need confirmation from people around me -- that they notice me, love me, and that I really matter. A funny thing happened on my way home that made me ponder that! Feeling a little sad after kissing Sarah and James goodbye (and shedding a few tears), I entered the airport, went through security without any problem, and began my hour wait for my flight to leave. I had planned to pass the time and cheer myself up by treating myself to a Chai Latte at Starbucks (something I seldom do) and then settle in to wait for my flight. The Starbucks was even right across from my gate!! BUT IT WAS CLOSED! Really? It was just 6:00 p.m., but it was Sunday --- so I settled in my seat and thought it was a good time to finish up my "homework" for the "Breathe" Bible Study I was doing. (Even if I didn't have my chai.)
Shortly after I had settled in, I got a text notification that my flight was going to be delayed. I called my husband to let him know he didn't have to rush to the airport. No answer. So I left him a message. Usually he's good about returning my call. He didn't. So, about 45 minutes later I called again. I knew he would be about to leave for the airport if he didn't get my message. Still no answer. I didn't leave a second message, but about 10 minutes later I sent him a text that ended with "text me back if you are alive!" (It had been icy and snowing there and in my mind I had already had him lying in a ditch on the side of the road -- Yeah, my mind goes there that fast!) Still no response.
I thought I'd check Facebook while I waited -- my phone wouldn't load it. That silly little circle just kept, well, circling! So much for seeing what's going on in the lives of others, or posting my "woes" to the world!
Sarah lives about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Lubbock and I figured by now she would be about 15 minutes from home. I decided to pass some time by calling her and seeing how her trip home was going. No answer -- sent to voicemail. So I left a message and began to wonder if she too was in a ditch on the side of the road.
I waited a few minutes and thought I'd call my daughter, Rachel, to see how things were going for her. You guessed it -- No answer -- another voicemail left and this time I added something to the effect, "I can't reach your Dad, or Sarah, and now you. I'm beginning to think I'm not really here. I may be in a bad dream. Oh well. Talk to you later."
Ok -- one last person to try - my son, Daniel. I dialed his number and after ringing a few times I heard, "Sorry I missed your call. If you want, leave a message and I will try to get back to you!" Once again, I left a "dejected" message -- "You were my last hope. My whole family is gone. No one is answering their phone. I'm beginning to think I don't even exist. Talk to you later......Maybe....." with my voice trailing off.
I hung up and began to wonder if something might be wrong with my phone. I couldn't reach anyone, Facebook, wasn't working. Yeah, it must be my phone (or maybe I really didn't exist!)
I made one more call to my mother-in-law, whose house I had just left about 2 hours ago. The phone rang and rang and just as I was about to hang up, SHE ANSWERED!! I know she probably thought I was crazy, but I told her I just needed to know I was really alive and shared with her my inability to reach my family members. I was thankful I was finally able to talk to someone.
I hung up and they announced it was about time to board. As I was getting my stuff together, my phone rang. It was Rachel. While I was talking to her I heard I was getting another call, so I cut her short, thinking it may be Stephen. It was Sarah. She explained her situation, and I told her I was finally about to board. As soon as I hung up, Stephen called. He apologized and said his phone was on silent but he assured me he'd be at the airport waiting for me. As I was in line to board the plane my phone rang once more. It was Daniel. So, before I boarded the plane I heard from every member of my family, and was relived to know all was well, and that I really did exist!
When I consider those couple of hours I was frantically trying to reach my loved ones, I was kind of like my little grandson, James, on his fretful night. I needed someone to calm me, hold me, and assure me that everything was going to be all right. I should have just settled into the arms of Jesus and let Him sing sweetly to my heart. I think He often holds me, just a little bit longer, to make sure I am truly resting in Him, and I'm so glad He sings sweet songs of love over me.
"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing"
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)