A few weeks ago, my husband and I sat on our couch discussing the pending details of our upcoming honeymoon. When we got married, we had agreed to take our honeymoon when I got moved in. After, you know, the chaos of the summer and fall had passed and we were settled in for the long winter. We would go somewhere warm, escape the subzero temperatures and run for the crystal-clear oceans and sandy beaches.
Between starting new jobs and all the holidays, we had sort of forgotten about our upcoming honeymoon and sat piecing together all the details. Mom and dad were coming for Christmas, we would leave for our road trip the day dad flew home. Mom would stay and watch the pets. It was a flawless plan. As most are. As much as I like to consider myself to be a ‘fly by the seat of my pants, spontaneous type’ I do love me a good plan. Seeing how my husband is very much a “enjoy the journey” kind of guy, I had planned much of the trip myself, asking his opinion on certain destinations before finalizing the details.
All was set to be a good time. Christmas came and went.
And then a storm rolled in…the night before dad was to fly out.
With it was predicted snow, ice and subzero temperatures. Our house is about 45 minutes away from the airport on a good day -in weather like that it would take a few hours. We already were needing to be at the airport at 4am, which meant potentially getting up at 2am.
We opt, instead, to spend the night in town and skip out on the dark-o-thirty wake up call.
I now need to backup to explain something. The town in South Dakota that we fly out of has a small airport with two flights leaving every day. The town back in Alaska also has a small airport with limited flights. There are two connecting flights in between each airport. In order to make it to Alaska in one day, you have to take the first flight out of South Dakota and hope that all your connections meet up. In order for dad to make it home in one shot, he had to leave on that first flight. He had a four-hour layover that allowed for some wiggle room, but that was about it.
By the time we arrived at the airport, his flight was delayed an hour. While we waited, we got notice that his connecting flight, had been canceled. I attempted to call the airlines, but due to weather and holidays, they were backup and ‘experiencing longer wait times than normal’ -I was still on hold when his flight began to board. I should also mention that dad doesn’t have a cell phone so there was no way to send him on his way and tell him about the changes. We had to make a split-second decision and ultimately decided to send dad on his way and have him make the changes to his flight and HOPEFULLY get things straightened out in the airport.
It wasn’t a fool-proof plan by any means, but it was about all we had. We said our good-byes and went back to the hotel to catch a few more zz’s. At this point, Andrew and I were still planning to leave on our honeymoon later that day. When I woke up, I had a few alerts saying that dad’s flight had been delayed -twice more. And an email from him saying that they were suggesting he re-books. Que: panic.
All of my plans were starting to come unraveled.
On our way to the airport to pick dad up, we checked the weather only to discover that the weather was looking questionable for the next day as well…meaning that if we did postpone our honeymoon in order to get dad back to the airport, we would be facing the same situation: Delayed flights. The other problem was that the flights were both booked with two separate airlines. We finally decided that the best bet was to post-pone dad’s flight until the storm was over. It felt like the safest option…except that when we went to book tickets, everything was booked up. Solid…and since I was STILL on hold with the airlines, there was no way to discuss refunds or changes…it was another split-second decision, but we finally managed to get his tickets re-booked and changed -paying a pretty penny in the process.
But now the problem was what to do about our honeymoon? With a storm still brewing, we didn’t feel right about asking family to take dad to the airport at 2am. We also didn’t feel right about leaving dad outside in subzero temperatures for the day, especially with frostbite warnings. But the only other option was to cancel our honeymoon…while I understand that in the whole scheme of things, postponing a trip isn’t the end of the world, it was something I had been looking forward to for the past six months.
Our original plans included going to the coast of Texas, but when we attempted to reroute ourselves and make up for lost time, neither one of us felt right about going to the coast. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes you just don’t feel like you should go somewhere…and the fact that we were both getting this feeling, compelled us to cancel our trip. Which pretty much was the cherry on the top of my day. I’m pretty sure I spent 90% of the day crying and 10% yelling. It wasn’t a pretty day.
In the end, we decided to cancel our trip to the coast and station ourselves in Dallas. We left mom at our house to watch the animals (thanks mom!) and the rest of us went to the hotel for the night. Andrew and I left the next morning for our road trip and dad hung out in town for the day. A friend took him to the airport the next morning -where he experienced his own hiccups involving delays. He somehow managed to make it home in one day -no doubt due to all the prayers.
Andrew and I drove 16 hours to our first stop in Texas and spent the rest of the week relaxing in a tiny house just outside of Dallas. It might not have been the trip we had planned or dreamed of, and it certainly wasn’t without hiccups, but it has been one of those “Enjoy the journey” kind of trips that has brought me to my point: I need to learn to enjoy the journey more.
So often I get caught up in planning and preparing that I forget that the journey itself is part of the plan as well. Learning to let go, if just a little bit, lighten my grip on MY plans and learn that God has got much bigger plans for me, for my family, for our lives and learning to rest in this? Is part of my plan for the New Year. I don’t doubt that there won’t be hiccups, because letting go and leaning in is something that I have battled for years. But with a husband who whole-heartedly believes that we will “Figure it out” and enjoys the journey, a whole lot of praying and blowing of my dandelions (stress relief joke) and there just might be some light at the end of this journey.
I might not understand the road I am on sometimes, I might not enjoy the journey, but as long as I am following His will for me and trusting that He has this when I don’t? I think we will be ok.