Redeye: The First Test and Second Thoughts
by, 12-08-2008 at 03:14 AM (1511 Views)
“…All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.” – Joshua 1:16
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
The first scripture was our mission. The second one was part of my testimony. Little did I know that it would reverberate almost audibly in my spirit its undying truth all throughout my trip…and so soon.
We got through LAX and customs easily enough so that I barely remember it. We all checked in two bags and one carry on, one suitcase for us, one suitcase with gifts and tools to aid our trip. Josh was a little irked at having to check the guitar, but it wasn’t his, so he wasn’t too upset. He was more anxious about this being his first flight, and I was excited to be sitting next to him. As I mentioned in the last entry, we had been getting pretty close during the summer.
July 29th and we were off at last. A long time it had been since first hearing about the trip in February. But the forty day fast and spiritual boot camp couldn’t prepare me for what I was about to experience. Abigail had to sit in the front of the plane, seeing as she was a minor (I still don’t understand). Katie sat with her daughter Amy across the aisle from me. And I sat next to Josh. Gina was sitting with Alicia if I remember correctly. My only disappointment was that there was an older gentleman sitting at the window seat so Josh couldn’t have it. But it was dark anyway.
We had a red eye flight and it was very late. We ended up getting to Georgia sometime at like six in the morning. We talked for a little while before Amy asked him to sit next to her. I had an aisle seat on one row, and he went to sit on the aisle seat on the next row, so he could talk to both of us. The conversation quickly became one for two people, and I noticed something about myself I didn’t like. Yes, I’ve gotten jealous before, but only in a very minor way. But something about the way they were talking had me itching to jump out of the plane. I didn’t like her; I didn’t like her because there was so much TO like about her and I was afraid Josh would notice it as well.
The plane grew quiet as passengers fell asleep. Pastor Katie had taken something to let her sleep. I closed my eyes because try as I might, I hadn’t been able to be a part of the conversation going on next to me. But I couldn’t sleep if I had wanted to. On the quiet plane Amy was laughing and kept Josh’s attention…the whole red eye flight. Non-stop conversation and non-stop aggravation on my part. Never in my life had I been so entirely jealous. I soon realized that the thoughts going through my head were not my own. I knew myself and who I was in Christ, and even in my unsaved days, jealousy was not an attribute included in my personality.
I turned my head away even with my eyes closed towards the gentleman sleeping. I opened them from the ache at keeping them closed. Thoughts of jealousy quickly turned into a wretched tug of war on my heart of how there was no reason that I should be going on this trip. After all, between Amy, Gina and Abigail, they had everything they needed to minister to the people in Guatemala. There was nothing I could contribute to the team and I wasn’t good at anything. Tears flooded my eyes and I suppressed a sob. Knowing way ahead of time that Josh was going on this trip and that he and I were getting close, I had spent a long time praying prior to the trip about keeping God’s will ahead of me first and foremost. There was enough drama back home, and both of us understood that God’s will comes first. So I had managed to put aside any ties I had with Josh on a personal level in favor of keeping level headed about my task for God. So amidst this great desire to tell Katie when we got to Georgia that I wanted to turn around and go home or just strangling Amy, I realized that what was going on in my spirit was something bigger than me. I calmed down a little and told God what He already knew…that my heart was being attacked on a level that I couldn’t handle. His grace needed to cover me now or else I wouldn’t be able to do what He’d asked of me…what a waste considering I had battled so much to get to that point. I prayed and prayed and prayed.
God of course, is always listening to the cries of His children. No it wasn’t immediate, but He calmed me down. He even reminded me of my heart and why I wanted to go on this trip in the first place…I had printed out my blog entry “A Calling?” and had placed it in my Bible. In a moment where I had convinced myself I had no worth on this trip, I opened my Bible on the plane under the dark little overhead light of the row in front of me, found it, and read it. A tear fell and I thanked Him. I scribbled on the back side of it, “for when I hit the wall,” a situation we were told might occur.
God also helped me direct my testimony. Under that same light as they were talking next to me, I turned my spirit away from the previous issue. God gave me Romans 8:28 and I perfected my testimony to a small speech about three minutes long. My focus was coming back.
We got off the plane in Georgia and I was perhaps the only one who had TRIED to get some sleep and hadn’t succeeded. We walked through the airport to our next gate. Among terrible attempts at breakfast and Bible study, we awaited the next four hours in the chairs. Never before have I slept on a cold airport floor before with an inflatable pillow, huddled in my Guatemala team sweatshirt, but we were after all, now in the missions field. Cold, cranky and hungry I was a little more personable than I should have been considering the first part of the plane trip; I made it a point to take a walk with Abigail and Alicia to help circulation. But I was still a little cool with Josh as he tried to talk to me. But I made my efforts to get over it. He had asked me once what was wrong, and whenever he does ask me, it is pointless to hide it and say “nothing,” because he usually knows when I am lying in that answer. So I told him I’d tell him later. He was a little reluctant to let it go, and on one occasion as we were walking along the terminal in the group, he nudged me and asked, “When are you gonna tell me what’s wrong?”
Truthfully, I was ashamed at having been so jealous. I’d never been that way before. Even throughout the trip I had to convince myself that it was not me who had felt that, but rather it was an attack since it was so unusual. And, I was also ashamed of thoughts I’d placed on Josh…he was not tied to me, and who’s to say it wasn’t God’s will for him and Amy to get to know each other? I know it sounds naïve and love struck to say the least, but I know his heart and who he is, and yes, it WAS wrong of me to think so badly of him. If you do think I am naïve, please keep it to yourself…I’m young I know.
So my focus was back; despite any feelings Josh and I had for each other prior to leaving for Guatemala, the drama that had encircled us back home would have to stay there. Issues regarding the both of us had led someone to say that the trip would be like a romance movie, or something along that sort. So from early on I had realized the potential distractions on this trip, and early on I had begun praying about it. As we were awaiting the flight to Guatemala City, I realized yet another task I had before me: to love Amy. Though the battle on the plane was over, there were still two weeks ahead of us being together and surely more battles would come to surface in this war. And as I mentioned in my last entry, God really put us together.
So next came the flight to Georgia to Guatemala City and the village of La Gomera. Another story and yet another test…