So we are learning over and over again that even though we think things are not working out the way we think they should, God always has BETTER plans. We have done our best to plan out as many aspects of this trip as possible prior to leaving the US, but some things have not gone according to plan. And we are finding that in most cases, when they haven’t, God has a better plan in mind.
We were scheduled to depart from the Charlotte airport on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. So, we got up that morning, headed for the airport, and as we were on our way Jeff Freshour, who is traveling with us with his family, called me and said, “Jason, our flight to Dallas is being delayed an hour.” (We found out later the reason was because the airline crew who was supposed to fly us to Dallas was already over their legal flight hours and a different crew had to be brought it.) Well, this is a problem since our layover in Dallas was only scheduled to be and hour and 10 minutes. So, we went ahead on to the airport since we were almost there and see if there was anything we could do from there. Our only option at that point was to totally re-route our ENTIRE flight plan and leave the next day at 3:30. So, I was able to go to the airline counter at CLT and request new tickets for the new flight plan. It took a long while. But they got it working for us and we were good to go for the next day. However, securing the tickets for the Freshour family was not such an easy task. Jeff spent ALL DAY on the phone with the airlines trying to work it out and secure tickets on the new plan. WOW! that was a HUGE mess!
But, after all of the frustration and seemingly a disappointing situation about not being able to go when we expected turned out to be a real gift from God!
Amy and I did everything we possibly could to get packed up the weeks prior to our departure with the help of a lot of our friends and family. And the last week and especially the last day was crunch time. We had to plan out every single hour of our day the week before we left and we truly didn’t have a minute to spare. So, we really didn’t get to spend as much quality time with my family as we would have liked leading up to our last day with them. We had hoped that we would be packed and ready to leave by Thursday so we could relax with them on Friday and leave on Saturday. But Friday turned into a very full busy packing and last minute details kind of a day. So, with this new flight plan, we had everything packed up, loaded in the truck ready to go and we got to spend all day Saturday and all morning Sunday with my family before leaving on Sunday.
My dad, Jayden, and I went to see one of dad’s houses he is working on, (http://www.newdreamhomesolutions.com – if you are interested in investing ~ shameless plug), we went to a legit barber shop out in the middle of nowhere Salisbury and all 3 of us got much-need really good haircuts (Jayden and I were supposed to go earlier in the week and didn’t have time), had lunch at Hap’s Grill and Ice Cream at Spanky’s in Downtown Salisbury. The girls went for pedicures. Aubrey loves her toenail polish. Later, we all met up for dinner and went to the Gem Theater to see Planes. The next morning, we got up, went to iHop for breakfast, and made our way to the airport.
It was truly such a gift to have that extra day and half to spend leisurely with the family and really enjoy each other’s company before rushing out of the country. I really thank God for it even today.
Here’s the other thing that I felt the Lord had in His plans all along. As we previously posted in an earlier blog post, there has been some concern about US embassies that were closing in multiple Arab countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East as of last Sun due to some terrorist threats. One of those countries was a country that we were supposed to fly through. And although nothing has happened to our knowledge from these terrorist threats and we were only going to be passing through the airport in Dubai, we had an even greater peace about flying through London instead of an Arab country with no US Embassy. It was really a bonus.
The flights we ended up taking may not have been as comfortable as what we would have had on our original flight plan. But the extra day and half spent with family was well worth it. But the flights we did take are another story….