A few days ago I posted a write-up entitled “HE found ME in Terminal ‘C’… Again.” I thought it was about time I share with y’all a story from May 2017, the first time I ever found myself in the Minneapolis Airport and the FIRST incredible experience I had in Terminal ‘C’
To set the stage. Scott and I had met the previous month while on a trip to Uganda, Africa with an organization, Love Does. During the trip, on Saturday, April 15th, the night before Easter Sunday, I gave my heart fully to the Lord.
By the end of the trip, which only lasted about 10 days, Scott and I knew there was something going on between him and me. We returned to our homes - he to Crystal City, Manitoba, Canada, and myself to Austin, Texas and we talked every night and by the end of the month, we decided to date…to become boyfriend and girlfriend…1200 miles apart. We planned a trip for me to visit Canada and meet his friends and family at the end of May. I was so excited.
Looking back on that first trip, I laugh at how eager (and crazy) I was to agree to hop on a plane, and fly 1200 miles to a place I didn’t even know existed a month prior, only to be picked up by a boy I had known for a month, to drive 2 hours to a tiny, little town, to stay with his parents for 4 nights and meet his family and friends. The conversation between me and the guy in customs was pretty hilarious.
Customs Officer: “Welcome to Canada, the reason for your visit?”
Me: “Oh I am visiting my boyfriend!”
Customs Officer: “How long have you known him?”
Me: “A month.”
Customs Officer: “How did you meet?”
Me: “We met in Uganda, Africa”
Customs Officer: “What were you doing in Africa?”
Me: “We were on a mission trip.”
Customs Officer: “Where does he live?”
Me: “Umm, in this little, small town, Crystal City.”
Customs Officer: “Ok, do you know where that is?”
Me: “Umm yeah, I think it’s like 2ish hours from here.”
Customs Officer: “Once you are there, where are you staying?”
Me: “At his parent's house.”
Customs Officer: “Do you know anyone else here?”
Me: “No, this is my first time in Canada.”
Customs Officer: “Do you have any way of getting out of Crystal City, should you need to?”
Me: “Umm, I am sure I could call a taxi.”
Customs Officer: “There are no taxis out that way.
Me: “Ok, well I am sure I will be fine.”
He stamped my passport and gave me one of those ‘you sound crazy, but good luck with that’ smiles.
Like I said, looking back on all of it, WHAT WAS I THINKING? I understand now why my parents were super worried but at the time, I was completely blinded by it. I just knew, with everything in me, that this was right and everything was going to work out.
Now fast forward through the trip. IT WAS AWESOME and fun and emotional and exhausting and a whirlwind and perfect. I got to meet not only his whole family but when you live in a town of 300, you meet the whole town! He preached at church on Sunday, and as I sat there with his mother, I got to listen to him talk about our trip. He told the congregation how as he sat on the plane, headed to Africa, he felt this overwhelming feeling that ‘his life was going to change forever.” And he proceeded to tell them about ME.
It is one thing to have someone tell you they like you to your face, but to sit there and hear it being told to 150+ people as part of a church sermon about how God had a plan for us… it was a feeling, a love, an honor, I’d never felt before.
One night, as we were sitting around with the whole family, playing with his perfect nieces and nephews I got so overwhelmed and had to go outside. I could not think of a time that I had EVER been as happy as I was right then. Surrounded by these beautiful, kind, welcoming, loving people I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I knew at that moment that I not only loved Scott but that I loved his mom and dad and his sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews and everything their family was.
Here I was this broken, hurt, lonely girl, with a less than perfect past, being welcomed with open arms and accepted. Scott came outside to comfort me thinking something was wrong; that I was sad or mad but what I was feeling was the exact opposite. I knew I had found the thing I had spent my life praying for, dreaming about, and starting to believe I would never find because I believed the lie that I was not worth it. I did not deserve it.
The next day after telling his family goodbye, we drove the 2 hours to the airport and said goodbye for a second time. (the first being in the Amsterdam airport)
I completed the first leg of the flight without crying (shockingly) but I had a long layover in Minneapolis and the emotions started to get the best of me. I was hungry so I found a restaurant in Terminal ‘C’, called ‘Rock Bottom.’ (it has since been closed)
As I sat and waited for my food, all my insecurities, doubt, fear, loneliness, and anxieties hit me like a ton of bricks. As I played out the whole situation in my head, in all honesty, I got pretty angry with God. I started to doubt all HE was doing. And my angry conversation with Him went a little like this…
"WHY in the world would God let me meet this incredible man and then have him be from a zillions miles away in CANADA?”
“HOW would any of this ever work out? It is not like I am going to pick up my life and move up there?”
“All the odds are stacked against us!”
“There was no way a guy like Scott was ever going to love a girl like me!”
“God this is torture. Why would You put him into my life? How would this ever work?”
“Once his perfect family finds out all the things I’ve done, there is no way they’ll love me!”
“I need to cut this off now before my heart gets broken.”
There I sat, feeling so alone, broken, and raw at a restaurant conveniently named ‘Rock Bottom’ doubting everything that I had experienced the last four days. As the waiter sat the food down on my table and I did my best to hide my emotions, I heard a voice, that was as clear as day saying, “Go look up that church in Austin Scott told you about.”
Right after I got home from Africa, Scott was in Toronto visiting one of his best friends, Ryan. Scott told me one night that if I was looking for different churches to try in Austin that his friend, Ryan, mentioned one called Gateway. Ryan had read a book, ‘Soul Revolution,’ written by the head pastor John Burke and the church sounded like a good one.
So I opened my computer and started googling. I didn’t remember the name of the church but knew it was in Austin. God must have been in charge of my Google search that day because fifth down on the screen was a link for Gateway Church. I don’t know why but that one felt right, I clicked on it and was taken to the home screen where they were advertising the new series they’d started the day before on Sunday called, “Oh, The Places You Go.”
I instantly got a chill over my entire body, plugged in my headphones, and clicked play.
“A life with God is meant to be an adventure. When He says follow Me, He is not leading us into a comfy, convenient life. He is leading us to take risks, He is leading us to an adventure. And it is the adventure of your life if you are willing to follow Him. Life gets more exciting than you will ever imagine. This adventure is for ALL OF US. Jesus said ‘Follow Me’ and the implication is that you are going to go. You are going to leave what is comfortable and follow Him to new places. He wants to lead us into a life that opens up the adventure of a lifetime, in a relationship with Him and it will be better than you can ever imagine!”
Those were the first few sentences of that sermon. I knew, without a doubt, that God was speaking these words directly to me. He was answering all the questions and doubts I had just thrown at Him.
God heard me and found me in Terminal C. How else can you explain the way everything played out?
Scott had told me about this church a month previous but looking into it didn’t cross my mind until right then, right after I had doubted and questioned and got real with God. The sermon that was preached 24 hours before directly answered the questions I had. I’ve heard the expression that “coincidences are God’s form of humor.” And in this case, I have to agree. God saved me when I was at rock bottom in my life and now He found me again at ‘Rock Bottom’ restaurant and saved me from my doubt and sadness.
GOD IS GOOD folks. When we allow ourselves to be honest, vulnerable, real, broken, and OPEN to Him, HE shows up. He provides. He answers. He comforts. He loves. He encourages. He does more than we will ever be able to fully comprehend! We may ask for a ‘table for one but He will still show up, sit down and be there with us IF we want him.
I sat there awestruck, with happy tears and a smile on my face, as I watched the rest of that sermon. I never even touched my food. It felt, as though someone was literally lifting weights off my back, my fear, worry, doubt, and anxiety disappear. I paid my bill and walked to my gate filled with joy, peace, and excitement for the adventure I was about to go on.
I had no clue if I would ever see Scott again or how our story would play out. We had 1200 miles between us and lived very different lives. I didn’t have direct answers to any of the questions I was angrily asking God an hour before but He provided something better than an answer, He gave me peace. He showed me that going on an adventure with Him was NOT about knowing what would happen, where I’d end up, or how it would work. Going on an adventure with Him meant walking by faith. Putting all my chips in HIS basket and believing that whatever He had planned for me was the BEST PLAN EVER!
When I got back to Austin, that following weekend, I attended my first Sunday at Gateway Church Central. As I walked into Brazos Hall, where they were meeting at the time, I was welcomed by a ‘Come As You Are’ sign and a woman named Jennifer Carson.
Gateway became the church I called home for over a year until Scott and I got married and moved to Canada. Jennifer is now a dear friend and mentor. She hosted our first SHE WEARS WORTH party in Austin this past Monday.
There is no perfect way or right way to invite God into your life. Whether you are having the best day, you are confused about this whole faith thing, or you are at ‘Rock Bottom,” just call out to him, in joy, in desperation, in anger, in excitement, or sadness and HE will show up.
He found ME in Terminal ‘C’ when I was at Rock Bottom, He CAN AND WILL be there for you too. I pray you to allow Him to meet you wherever you are at!
On our way back home, yesterday, Monday the 11th, Scott and I flew through the Minneapolis airport. We went and stood in front of where the ‘Rock Bottom’ restaurant was and I, stood in amazement at what all the Big Guy had done. He knew that day, as I sat there broken, how our story would play out. I am forever thankful that He challenged me to trust Him and go on the BEST adventure ever. Who knows what else He has in store for Scott and me and SHE WEARS WORTH, but I do know one thing, God has a plan for it all, and He is up there, just thinking, “Oh, The Places You'll Go!”
Below is the link to the first “Oh, The Places You Go” sermon. It is the first of a 9 part series. I encourage you to give it a listen. I have probably heard it 10 times since, and each time I am challenged, excited, and eager to be on this adventure.
Gateway Austin: https://www.gatewaychurch.com/
Soul Revolution: https://www.soulrevolution.net/