Sunday, May 29, 2011

Loosening my Grip

Leaving town when you have four children is a big deal.

Especially when you are leaving said children behind.

Because of this, Mark and I haven't taken many "just the two of us" trips in our almost 17 years of marriage.  

But after weeks of planning, we headed to the airport last Friday morning for a four day weekend in Boston.  It was my brother's graduation from Boston University and I wanted to be there.

I won't go into the layers of family history that made this event even more important to me than it would be to any devoted sister, but it WAS a big deal and I VERY MUCH wanted to be there.  

I knew we would be cutting it close when I booked our tickets.  We had an arrival time in Boston of 2:30 and the ceremony would begin at 5:30.  We would make it - as long as there were no major delays. It would be close.  But we would make it.

We arrived at the airport in Tulsa in the midst of a massive thunderstorm.  As we checked in, Mark noticed our bags were only checked to Dallas and pointed out the mistake to the attendant.  

"Ummmm, ma'am?  Our bags are only checked to Dallas and we're going to Boston."

"No, you're not."  She replied.  "You're going to Boston tomorrow."  

We laughed nervously and rechecked our tickets.  

"No, we're going to Boston today,"  Mark insisted.

The flight attendant checked her information and informed us calmly that our flight to Boston had been cancelled for today.  

My heart sank.  As she began working to try to find a flight that would get us where we wanted to go at some point in the next 24 hours, I felt a surge of disappointment well up within me.  

At that same moment, a still, small VOICE spoke to me...

"I want you to hold everything loosely today."

Calming me, even in the midst of my sadness, I knew at that moment that He saw me and understood me.  

He also knew I wasn't going to make it to the ceremony.

Throughout the day, a long day with one travel delay after another, I wrestled with disappointment, frustration and sadness, but was consistently calmed by following the Father's instruction to hold my plans loosely.

Interesting lesson to be learning in my early forties.

I was the kid that did calendar countdowns for events I was anticipating.  In fact, I often worked myself up before a special event so much that I would become sick (literally) and end up missing the whole thing.  I spent MANY moments lying on my bed in despair as my mom delivered the news that I was too sick to do whatever it was I was looking forward to doing.

I have always held my hopes and plans closely - TIGHTLY.

There is a sense of security that comes for me when I make my plans because - I gotta tell ya - I make a GOOD plan.  I feel in control when the plan is MY plan and, even after all these years, it's easy for me to believe that if I make the plan it is less likely to fail.

Yeah, I'm broken.  I'm a broken person.

I love how the Father recognized this broken place in me last weekend and literally COACHED me through the letting go ALL DAY LONG.

I trust that He will continue to do this as I learn to loosen my grip on my "best laid plans."

And learn to surrender to Him - as the Great Planner.

And the best part?

Even though we missed the ceremony, we celebrated with my brother, his wife and his little girl in a big way the next day.  It was a wonderful day.  Perfect, really.

And I didn't plan it.