On the day we were supposed to fly home from Rome, the airline had an unexpected emergency. This delayed our flight for over two hours, causing many people to miss connections.
We were stuck.
As soon as the airline announced the change, our leader began making phone calls to figure out how to get the nine of us home.
I’ll be honest, my first response was fear. “What if . . .” niggled in my mind, stirring up uncertainty, and churning in my spirit.
I thought about the changes to our schedule, how to walk through the unexpected delay with Edmund and the other students. I watched Ed, who doesn’t deal well with changes to “The Plan.”
There are certain expectations when one travels in a group. The adults watch over the students. They’re a covering, making sure all the details are taken care of.
Students have the opportunity to grapple with the changes without the stress of determining the next steps. The adults in our group worked out the details.
When a trip is extended unexpectedly, our perspectives must shift. Whether or not we like it, when reality shifts, we can either flex with it or fight against it.
Except when airlines are involved. Then we either get mad or flow with the changes. Or both.
Our group flowed.
But I was ready to be home.
Have I mentioned that I don’t like uncertainty? Not knowing the way forward?
In the midst of those hours of waiting to learn the next steps of our journey, God gave me verses that kept my thoughts, my spirit, grounded.
It was in the stress of the uncertainty where my spirit feared. Waiting for answers . . .
. . . waiting for the new flights to be determined,
. . . being out of control of every circumstance forced me to live what I say I believe.
I knew we wouldn’t be stuck in Munich forever, but stuck we were for a little while.
We waited for luggage that never dropped onto the carousel. I watched over the teens while two other adults in our group talked with airline representatives to figure out how nine tired people would cross the ocean toward home.
This new plan included a one night stay in Munich.
God used these verses to settle my spirit. The Lord reminded me that I believed in Him, and that our group would see His goodness. We would not be stranded forever in Munich. He strengthened my heart and kept me from becoming fearful of the unknowns in our situation.
And, let’s face it. Being stuck in a foreign city is rarely a permanent state of being. When the unexpected happens, things eventually get back on track.
It was probably the longing to be home that had me anxious to get out of the stuck place.
When we’re stuck in unexpected circumstances, sometimes, God has blessings for us. Other times, He has learning for us. And sometimes, we just need to trust in the not knowing.
We always, always have choices in stuck times . . . choices in how we respond to the situation. When my plans go awry, fear tries to set in. In these times I need to turn to God instead of giving into the unsettled feelings uncertainty brings.
When I choose to trust the Lord, He offers peace. And, in these circumstances, He gave me a calm spirit that enabled me to keep our students from becoming anxious.
When we face circumstances beyond our control, God offers a beautiful opportunity to grow in trusting Him. He always holds His kids in the palm of His hands. He never drops us or forgets about us. Everything He allows into our lives is intended to draw us closer to Him.
What about you? How have you handled “stuck” seasons? How do you stay steady when life feels stuck?