Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bug Spray

So there it was, the day I was leaving for Africa. How often in your life can you say that? "Today, I'm getting on a plane, and flying to Africa." I'm fairly certain I said Africa at least 348 times that week, because I could. {And judging by the amount of times I've used it so far, I'm still going.}

Something in me would light up every time I said it. Light up from praising our amazing God who by no means needed to send me on this trip, but for whatever reason, He was doing just that. That's just so like Him, isn't it? He gets a kick out of writing these fantastic testimonies and life stories for us, because He loves us that much. 

I woke up to a beautiful Santa Barbara day, got my bags together, got one last Starbucks to meet with a friend, and hit the road. That 3 hour drive from Santa Barbara to San Diego was full of "pinch me" moments. Screaming worship lyrics, busting out dance moves, doing as much praising as one can do while driving along the gorgeous 101. 

Being able to spend time with my family both immediately before and after the trip was a real blessing. I'm so thankful that they were able to drop me off at the airport. This was a journey for all of us, really. It was scary for them watching their first born go off on a trip across the world with people they didn't know. It was scary as heck, but they loved me through it. And I'm thankful for that. 

I walked into that airport with all the joy and excitement in the world. Probably dropped another 5 "Africa" bombs between check in and security. Somewhere between taking off my shoes and my watch, it occurred to me that I should check for large liquids in my carry on.  Which would have been a great and responsible realization, if I hadn't juuust sent my checked bag away for the plane. First pocket: clear. Second pocket: clear. Third pocket: a giant bottle of bug spray. So over the 3.4 ounce limit. 

This time, it wasn't exactly an "Africa" bomb that fell from my lips. {mah bad}

I had to think quick. The thought of running to catch my luggage definitely crossed my mind, but I knew it was gone. I threw the bug spray away, lugged my bag back onto the security check, and walked through the magnetic tester. 

I had made it through my entire prayer night without crying {shocking}, but the bug spray did it. The tears welled up from the moment I was cleared to proceed with my carry on. I found my gate, grabbed a seat, and let the tears flow. Crying is totally acceptable in an airport, right?

It wasn't really about the bug spray. Well, okay, maybe it was a little about the bug spray. {Mosquitos love me}. But it was more than that, too. It was fear. And it was heavy. 

So I did the 2 things that I do best. I texted friends {please pray for supernatural bug spray!}, and I got out my journal and wrote. 

{January 8, 2013 // 7:55pm}

God, truth be told, I am terrified of not being prepared. I am afraid of letting you down because of my procrastination, or forgetfulness. But as I sit here, awkwardly crying at the airport, I'm reminded that Your grace is sufficient for me. And your strength is made perfect in my weakness. 

2 Corinthians 12:9

Cover me, God. I know you are big enough to. Cover me, and don't let the bugs bite me. 

I'm thankful for the bug spray incident. Because in a crucial moment, it reminded me that I can't possibly mess up His plan with grace as big as His. 

{And spoiler alert: I didn't get malaria.}


Heather Leigh @ Like a Morning cup of coffee said...

Oh girl!! I am so so excited for you :) That is such a blessing to be able to go there :)

Caitlin said...

I cannot wait to read more!!!!!!

Kerrie Williams said...

I'm so glad you didn't get malaria ;) The way you're telling this story makes me feel like I was there which I am LOVING. Can't wait to hear more :)

Hilda said...

You're a great storyteller! And so glad you didn't get malaria. Thanks to God. :)

Leah said...

i agree with the ladies above. i'm loving how your telling this story. and i love how God was traveling in every little step with you, even in the airport. <3

Alessandra Ferguson said...

Why am I crying?!?! Haha. I am just so thrilled for you having this experience. I can only imagine how terrifying and exciting it was all at the same time!