There are so many tales to tell from the past few days, I hope I recall all of them.
I am currently on a plane, thousands of feet in the the air, flying to Miami. Cozied up in seat 12F, drinking a Coca-Cola, with God's Word open, just amazed.
If you would've asked me the past few days and weeks if I was nervous, I would've said no. And that was the truth. I haven't been nervous or stressed for the most part, just excited. I have a peace from God. That peace has multiplied and is now beyond overwhelming.
If you know me, or have read previous blogs, you know I hate to fly. I hate airports, security, luggage issues, planes, dealing with tons of peopleetc. So I started praying for the path to be made smooth before me. And yesterday I started asking for every airport person I come in contact with to be gracious and kind towards me. I have been begging God for His favor.
Wow. Where to begin......
Yesterday morning I was a mess. I was crying and the most stressed I have been in months. I had lies of doubt being whispered in my ear. My bags were over weight, and still not packed. My to do list was only getting longer as the hours grew shorter. My house and car were beyond messy. I was starting to feel sick again. I was battling.
I went to a friend's house to pray, and just be in the Word together. This group of women have been my spiritual soul sisters the past few weeks. I love them all dearly. We gathered in the living room, and they all laid hands on me, and started praying. The very second they touched me, and started praying, I had the most incredible feeling. It was like a whoosh from the tip of my head, to the bottom of my toes of peace. It wasn't just a feeling, it was real. My entire body and spirit was resting in His peace. These women believe in who our God is, and in His power. When we pray in the power of Jesus' name, I truly believe hell shakes.
One thing I was freaking out about was how much my bags weigh. For American Airlines, I can pay $60, and have two 50lb checked bags, but not an ounce more. For Copa Airlines, for free, I can have two 50 lb checked bags. And for Aero Sur, I can only have 44 lbs total, or I am paying over weight baggage fees. (please be praying for God's favor there)
Last night, one of my bags was 50 something and the other was close to 70 lbs. My roommate (who has been a rockstar at helping me pack) and I went thru everything, and took stuff out. No more peanut butter, extra bath towel, mouthwash, deck of cards, extra jeans, books, etc. It was a hard night of decisions. I had bought a little hand weigher for luggage because my scale is jacked up. We weighed and rearranged, weighed and took stuff out, weighed and rearranged until almost two in the morning.
When I got to the airport this morning, I put my first bag on the scale, and it was 51.5 lbs. I was told to put the second bag on the other scale. It weighed 48.5 lbs. I put on thing from the first bag to the second, and reweighed them. They both came out to 50.0 exactly. Not an ounce over. God's favor right there. He was going before and making the path smooth.
I had the most cheerful, smiley airport workers I have ever met or seen. The scary looking security guard and I laughed together. Wherever my feet will go, He has already gone before. Security was not an issue, and I found my gate right away.
When I got onto the plane, I actually fell asleep before the plane took off. (that has NEVER happened, normally I am sick to my stomach and so nervous) Praise be to my God for being so real. The plane is completely full, and somehow I ended up with the only empty seat next to me. So I get to relax and spread out a bit.
The sunshine out the window of the plane is warm and comforting. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do. What peace. It goes beyond any explanation or understanding. I cannot describe it. I can only say it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a very real God.
I walked onto the plane today, and I had a rushing feeling of my dreams are here, they are reality. I'm doing it. This is real life. Wow.
I land in Miami tonight, and will be staying the night in a hotel. Tomorrow morning I fly Miami to Panama City, and then Panama City to Santa Cruz, Bolivia tomorrow night. Thursday morning I fly Santa Cruz to Cochabamba, Bolivia, and there I will be for six weeks!
Thank you all for every bit of encouragement. It was such a blessing today. I will have some internet access, so please email me! firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up by email to have this blog delivered into your inbox. It is completely private. I am not sure how much I will be on Facebook while I am there, but I will pop in occasionally.
Excerpts from an email from one of my closest friends. Made me smile. "... I am beyond excited for you! As long as I have known you (and that has been a long time!) this has been your dream. I always thought you were a little crazy when we were young, but now I totally get it!!! ~ Be safe. Watch out around you when in public. Don't take candy from strangers. Don't get in a creepy van with no windows. ~ If a man is making advances on you, he probably just wants a green card so tell him "NO!" ~ I do not believe that you will meet your man in Bolivia or that this is one more thing to check off your list before you can get married. ~ Eat breakfast ~ Brush your teeth twice a day. ~ Wear shoes... most of the time at least! ~ Remember the sunscreen, even if it rains all day. The sun can still burn you through clouds. ~ Wear bug spray ~ Look out for small animals. ~ Don't kidnap any brown babies!" So grateful for a friend who gets me better than most. Laughing at her advice, and loving knowing I have an incredible woman praying for me. Any more advice any of you would like to leave, do so in the comments. Ha ha, might make me smile.
I had another great friend write me encouraging cards for each week I am gone, and a few extra in case I need them. Pretty excited to read them. What a thoughtful friend.
Thank you for believing in me, and what God is doing in me and through me. I love sharing this journey with you all. You are the reason I'm here now. Thank you. Please continue praying.
Things to be praying for:
-holy spirit to guide
-satan to be muted and bound and have no power in any of this
-rest and health
I have a little gnome away from home. (check the pictures) Currently he is unnamed. I am doing a little contest. You can leave a name suggestion in the comments section, and I will choose a winner. Whoever wins will get a little prize from Bolivia. Check out more mini contests to follow in the weeks to come!
Love you all. Planning on blogging a few more before I leave the country in the morning.