Sunday, 21 September 2008

Slow buses, Stansted, and Sweden!

So, I’m in Sweden-- though it took a bit longer than expected!

Things didn’t go down quite as planned and I ended up spending Thursday night alone on the hard, cold floor of the dreaded Stansted airport. I’m forever guarding against these instances by booking all the legs of my journeys with hours of leeway in between, but yesterday the inevitable happened and my connecting bus out of London was stuck in traffic for hours. By the time I arrived at the dreaded Stansted airport (I call it dreaded because things so rarely go smoothly for me there!) my gate was already closed…

Fighting the rising wave of panic, I called upon the compassion of the Ryanair airline personnel and asked what I must do. It’s always amazing to me how little the customer service actually cares about one’s plight! I suppose they deal with it all the time and it’s easy to forget that these are real people with real lives and real agendas and real fears and families and plans.

I took my place in a queue right next to 3 cursing Irish men in a similar dilemma to mine and before the tears of panic could come, God quickly brought to mind the verse in Jeremiah that I am trying so hard to embrace with my heart—the one that proclaims that He will never stop doing good to us. As if it is impossible for Him not to do us good. And so it was quickly planted in my fluttering heart that there may be a Kingdom reason behind even this, and the thought calmed my heart. It infuses a long night at the airport with purpose.

To top off the whole experience, my mobile phone battery was very low. I quickly used it to ring Mike in Sweden and say I wouldn’t be coming in that night after all and could he pick me up at the Gothenburg City airport in the morning instead. Then I texted a few friends here and told them of my situation and asked for prayer. They all burst into action by praying for me and soon my spirit was settled and I felt at great peace that God has it all under control, even the extra ₤50 that it took to change the ticket to the next day—₤50 that I don’t actually have extra of. He reminds me that He is Jehovah-Jirah and my place is only to glow with the radiance of one who trusts that her God has her completely covered!

The whole thing just seemed so utterly unnecessary and inconvenient to the earthly eye, but He reminded me through it in a very real way that His ways are higher than mine and I am asked to trust whatever the circumstances. I’m thankful He only had to use a relatively easy circumstance like this to remind me of that truth this time :)

And so, Stansted seems to be my most frequented of London hotels. The beds are nonexistent and the service is rubbish, but at least it’s not the streets! And it’s better than Birmingham train station… I know that from experience :) And I had my lovely 'Swedish' family to look forward to (actually, few of my friends here are actually Swedish as the church plant is international!)

So, I am safe and sound in Sweden, after a hitch or two. Mike greeted me with a “Welcome home” and Misha and Jesse have been my constant companions since I arrived. I’ve just been back to the beloved little Secondhand shop church for the first time-- and it seems the whole service was God speaking just to me--, and took a walk through the mountainous countryside around the Van Weiden’s home yesterday. Very soon I will update you on everything that’s going on-- so stay tuned!

His (and yours!) in Europe,

p.s. So, I looked back on how I asked you to pray about flying through Stansted and I wanted to let you know that I had NO problem with the weight of my baggagge this time :) Haha.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely Leah,
I was so shocked to hear about your problematic flight, but am happy to read that you survived it and more than that, that God has been giving his peace to you (a real mis. experience I guess...sleeping at the airports floor!) Am happy to hear you arrived safely after all in Sweden! Am thinking about you, thanks for our good time last week. You are precious! Mim

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