This past week I enjoyed the beach and the warm sun of Florida with my husband and kids celebrating a long awaited spring break. We played in the sand, ate ice cream, and enjoyed not having a care in the world. Everything was perfect...until we began our journey home.

We were on the plane buckled up and ready for take-off. But instead of the standard taxi & liftoff, we sat, and sat, and sat. Unknown to us, a lady seated behind us, had fallen earlier and hit her head rather hard & was showing some adverse symptoms because of it. The decision was made to return to the terminal to allow paramedics to board the plane & check on her.

During the wait there was plenty of grumbling and tenseness throughout the cabin with people realizing that their expected plans were in the process of changing. My husband & I too wondered. We talked and verbalized the fact that it was out of our control. We prayed for the lady, and confirmed to ourselves that worrying or complaining about our current situation wasn’t going to change a thing. After two and a half hours of waiting and refueling, we were finally off.

We landed in Newark 30 minutes after our connecting flight back to Indiana had left. UGH. We met with a customer service agent who told us our only option was to split up to get home. My youngest and I would fly out later that evening and my husband and older two daughters would get to spend the night at the airport to catch a plane early the next morning. Are you kidding me? We have been super patient hoping for the best, and now we can’t even travel home together? Why was this happening!? Have you even heard my prayers?My youngest is sobbing from exhaustion and not understanding why we can’t stay together.

I’m still praying to myself to keep calm and to show Grace; not to take out any frustrations on the people behind the counter who had no fault in our current state. This is a teachable moment. I need to lead by example in showing the girls how to react in adverse situations. We held it together and rolled with the punches.

So the new plan is in motion. My youngest and I board our flight leaving the rest to find a “comfortable” corner to catch a few hours of sleep. We land in Indy well after midnight. We can’t wait to get to our beds. We are beat. Not expecting or desiring another surprise.

We get to the baggage claim, to see a very unexpected sight. A friend, known for a long battle with drug abuse is standing there, in the Indy airport...alone & clearly losing the battle at the moment. Standing there without a wallet, phone, luggage or ride to any place of help or safety. It’s definitely easy to say that I have no idea how someone can get themselves into such a situation.

There are four police officers around him doing their job, trying to figure out how best to address him in his current state. It is then, when he recognizes me. He asks me for help. He definitely needs my help. I now realize why we missed our first plane to Indy.

We should’ve been home in bed, but now I am looking my friend in need directly into eyes that have no hope. I really wanted to say, “sorry, you are on your own! I am worn out, I have zero patience left, it’s so late!” As bad as I may have wanted to, I didn’t. I showed compassion and grace. I rolled up my sleeves and did what I needed to do to get him the help he needed.

This is in no way a self congratulating pat on my back. I’m telling you this story because I think it’s important to know that sometimes God inconveniences us so he can use us for His will. Had we not been delayed and missed our flight, I would not have been at the Indy airport at 12:30 a.m. to be able to show compassion and grace to a friend.

It’s easy to get caught up in the frustrations of life. Everyone likes things to go smoothly. We think we know what’s best for us in life & get frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that God’s plans for us don’t always line up with our own. That gives you a choice. You can complain and let a changed plan affect you adversely, or you can roll with the change and see where it leads.

Every now and then God gives you a glimpse of the bigger picture; why a plan might have changed. It’s up to you to keep your poise, roll with the change and keep your eyes open to where the change may be able to see a need and to be able to show God’s love. I encourage you to think and pray the next time you feel inconvenienced or something doesn’t go your way.

Is God trying to get your attention? What are you missing? Maybe it’s a blessing that God doesn’t want you to miss. Maybe it’s a need that he wants you to help with.

God’s timing is impeccable! Don’t miss it!