I wonder when August 19th will pass without me noticing. Some of you can probably relate to an anniversary of something you don’t celebrate. Two years ago, after searching over a year for a diagnosis for our daughter, we received a phone call with her test results that turned our life upside down. Honestly, some days I still feel rather out of sorts. But, for any of you that might be going through some rug pulling out from under you stuff right now, I want to share something with you on our anniversary.
You will laugh again. And if you continue to trust God through this, you’ll find joy in Him again too.
Oh, two years ago I was certain I would never laugh again without it being saturated in sadness. That it would never quite reach my heart again.
I was also very unsure that I would ever find joy in my relationship with Christ again. For sure, there was a long period where I sought Him solely for comfort and peace I could find nowhere else. But would I ever rejoice in His presence again? Ever bask in His love for me? I just couldn’t see it.
In case you can’t see it either, here’s a story of healing, laughter and joy.
Last fall I traveled out of state for a meeting with the pharmaceutical company that makes the medication for two of our children. Because of my past, I had a thing about flying. Lots of things actually, but mostly panic attacks and a whole lot of anxiety. It wasn’t until I had made it to the gate on this trip that I realized I had made it sans attack. There’s a blog post somewhere about it. So, naturally, I was praising a healing God and feeling pretty good about this whole trip by the time wheels were up.
By the time wheels were down though, I had already forgotten Who I was traveling with and that I could totally do this thing. I looked at the time on my phone and was already calculating how much time I had to make it through the terminal, to baggage claim, procure a cab, check into the hotel and make it to the first meeting in time.
As I was exiting the plane, I happened to hear the flight crew talking about a certain president, major pop star and local baseball game all in this city over the next couple days. I became less and less sure about my timeframe.
Why did this airline decide they needed MY particular carry on to be checked at the gate?! Nevermind. I’ll hustle. Keeping in mind I’m only five feet tall, my “hustle” isn’t as fast as I’d like. By the time I make it to the baggage claim I’m sweating and out of breath and that’s only partially because I’m terribly out of shape. Anxiety has returned.
No worries! My bag is one of the first on the carousel. Hallelujah! Now, to find a cab. I happen to see a sign as I’m frantically reorganizing my paperwork that says something about this airport only permitting licensed taxis in designated areas for our safety, blah, blah, blah as I head for the closest exit. I look left, then right, not a taxi in sight. Darn. Where is this “designated area”? I head back in and down the line of baggage claims further, looking for a sign. I see nothing.
Okay, I’ll try the next door and then I’ll just ask someone. As soon as I step out the doors a suspiciously well groomed man asks me if I’m looking for a cab. All of a sudden, I feel like I should not tell him that is exactly what I’m doing. It must be written on my face though because he then tells me he happens to have a cab, just there across the loading area, in that nice creepy parking ramp and if I’d just follow him he’s got great rates. Hmmm… what was that sign about my safety??
After politely and quickly refusing I actually do hustle back inside this time. I am dangerously close to a panic attack when I finally see a sign for the taxi pick up line. I make a dash for the line and put as much distance between me and the potential serial killer as I can. Although once in line, I see he has (suspiciously) disappeared.
I am safely deposited into a “licensed” cab, give the gentlemen that isn’t so keen on hygiene the hotel name and try to take deep, calming breaths. I say “try” because I am suddenly being whipped around by a cab driver that must be practicing for the Indy 500. Every time he comes to a sudden, neck breaking, stop, I need to brace my foot against the seat in front of me and every time he goes, my empty stomach gets splattered all over my backbone. I am anxious and sweaty and now turning shades of green. He must be color blind because in an effort to avoid traffic he starts cutting off the exits, looping around and coming back on the freeway. The fourth time, my water bottle breaks free of my death grip and is being slammed all over the minivan and my purse takes a nose dive. I catch most of the contents mid air. I don’t dare close my eyes, but this is when I start praying. That I don’t throw up. That I can start to breathe normally again. That I would survive to the hotel….
And the driver stops the cab. In the middle of the freeway, in rush hour traffic and reaches back and throws open the back door. I am absolutely stunned and my poor brain can’t figure out what in the world he’s doing except maybe throwing me out?
Then he points. And asks me if I want to take a picture.
Of the brilliant rainbow.
Fumbling for my camera on the floor, crying and belly laughing like a lunatic I squeal, “Yes!”. And I remember that I serve a God that brings healing. Who also has an amazing sense of humor that has me belly laughing and rejoicing in His presence again.
Oh, and I made it on time, breathing, without throwing up.