Friday, December 19, 2008

The worst day ever... that worked out perfectly

Th. Dec. 18

Ok. I'm writing this while sitting in the Denver, Colorado airport. I'm actually writing it as a draft in my email account, since the internet here won't allow me to access any blogging website.

Here's the story.

I left my apt with My Beloved Roommate this morning at 5AM in order to get on my 8:00 flight out of SLC. The drive was icy and scary but everything went well. I made it to Denver without incident and got on my second flight - the one from Denver to OKC - and after a little bit of a delay due to an unaccompanied minor, we took off. "Sweet," I thought. "I'm home free." And I promptly fell asleep.

Well, I was awakened to the Captian telling us that there was zero visibility in OKC due to fog, so we were being put on hold - meaning that we would circle above the airport for a while and see if the weather cleared up. I suddenly felt a little panicked - I was supposed to be going home, not playing games with the weather! I reassured myself that bad things don't happen to real people, just in movies, and that they would tell us any minute that we were preparing to land.

Wrong. After about an hour of circling the airport, we were told that we were going back to Denver, because there weren't any airports closer to OKC that were accepting planes to land. Great, just great. I still didn't know what was going to happen, however, so I went back to sleep (side note, I don't really love flying. I mean, I'll take it over driving any day, but I make myself sleep through my flights so I don't have to endure the trip).

So we got back to Denver and headed to customer service to check out our options (another side note, I made a friend from my same hometown on the plane, so now I had a buddy). After looking at everything possible, we were able to get a confirmed flight for... dum dum dum... 7pm, TOMORROW NIGHT. That's like 30 hours in this airport. Sheesh.

Fortunately, after assessing the situation and accepting that I was stuck here, things started looking up. My Dad recommended that I head to the USO office, a place for military personnel and their families. This place is sweet. All I had to do was show them my miliraty ID and fill out my Dad's info, and now we have access to this whole office - leather couches, big screen TVs, X-box and movies, food and drink, computers and internet... the whole shebang, all for free. God bless our soldiers.


Fri. Dec. 19

Well, after spending a little time in the USO office, we decided to head back to the customer service line and check again to see if we had any other options. After waiting forever and trying to explain the situation to the poor, clueless lady behind the counter, we were able to get confirmed for a flight to Dallas at 5:55am. Well, anything is better than 7pm. The only downside was that our luggage would still be coming to OKC the next night.

While she was trying to figure out how to print our boarding passes, I got a call from my friend (who was also heading back to OKC) telling me that if I RAN to the gate she was at, they had a seat for my friend and I. Well I grabbed our passes off the counter and booked it across the airport. I've never been so assertive in my life - weaving in and out of crowds, running up escalators and down the moving sidewalks. I left my friend (a basketball player for his college in Kansas) in the dust :) and made it to the gate, completely out of breath and concerned that I might have a heart attack. She smiled at me, looked at our passes, and told me that I was able to board the plane.

Well I had to hold back tears as I got on the plane, realizing that I was going HOME 24 hours earlier than I was expecting. The flight was just fine, and when we got to the airport, there was my luggage!!!! What started out as a terrible situation had worked out perfectly.


Now, sitting at home, I've realized a lot of things.

First off, I'm extremely blessed. There's no way things just happen to work out that perfectly. Finding a friend so I wasn't alone in a strange airport, the USO office, making it home WITH my luggage... Heavenly Father was watching out for us that day.

Second thought, this can be a great analogy. And I love analogies.

Sometimes, in life, we think we have reached the point where we are guaranteed to make it and don't have to put forth anymore effort - that we don't have to worry about it anymore. We get complacent and assume that things are taken care of for us. Then, something major happens that sets us back... like way back. And we feel hopeless, frustrated, and incapable of making progress to get back to where we thought we were. However, if we are willing to humble ourselves and ask for help, the Lord will give us comfort, strength, and blessings... often in the form of people that help us. If we work at it, exploring our options and accepting the help given to us, we can not only regain the ground that we lost, but things can turn out better than we ever expected.

AKA, we can't do everything on our own, and we can't always control our situation. The Lord is in control.

Third, we are loved. We are blessed. We are created with the potential to have joy and happiness. No matter what our situation is, good can come from it.

Last thought, there are a LOT of good people out there. People who want to bring about the happiness of others. It is so easy to assume the worst about people and their motives, but what if we tried, instead, to assume the best? I mean, we're going to get burned occasionally, but overall, there is a lot of good out there and I have been blessed via other people quite often in my life. Which makes me want to help others more... I want to be the one that turns someone's miserable situation around.

Life is beautiful :)

1 comment:

  1. "The drive was icy and scary" ... haha oh yes oh yes! I'm just glad we're both alive. :)