I was in no position to just spontaneously purchase a flight ticket to Europe. There were too many factors to include: work, money, my weekly responsibilities.
Oh, yeah. Did I mention money? Geometrically green paper that looked like $$$?
I wish I could be the kind of 24-year-old who closes her eyes, spins a globe, and blindly picks a country in insouciance. But if I’m being honest, I don’t even go grocery shopping without counting every dollar.
Figuring out financial obligation, supernatural provision, and the responsibility to tithe to the Church have been prevailing truths over the past two years. But it all came to a climax a few months ago as I cried out to God for a plane ticket to Europe.
Nothing about my circumstance promised a getaway to the other side of the globe.
But I needed to see Kathleen Rose.
When we were 8 years old, I distinctly remember the two of us sitting on her backyard picnic table in Vermont. We had papers in front of us as we brainstormed the places we wanted to visit one day. And for two elementary friends, backpacking through 30 countries one day was a realistic dream.
But 17 years later, getting the money for a plane ticket to Europe seemed nothing short of buying cheap miracle powder at the drugstore.
Kathleen Rose was going to graduate from Law School from the University of Birmingham on July 15th, and I had no way of getting there. Whatever savings I had had responsibilities. And despite the many summers she worked toward this degree in England, we couldn’t guarantee the opportunity would ever come again.
So I cried the night I told her that I couldn’t come. Big, fat, dopey tears of disappointment. I knew this heartache didn’t qualify for medical attention, and I probably sounded ridiculous to any passerby. But the heartache in this plan unfilled had nothing to do with the fanfare of “Europe.” This felt like a long-lasting childhood dream just flickered out.
Disappointed in God
“It’s okay, Rah!” Kathleen Rose promised, her mouth in a line of sad understanding. “It’s a long way to go for just a couple of days. And it’s a lot of money. Sometimes, these things don’t work out.”
I felt sorry for myself. I felt sorry for Kathleen Rose. But more than anything else, I felt disappointed with God. Because it didn’t feel like He was just saying no. It felt like He was letting me down.
That night, bitterness pricked my relationship with God like a splinter. After all, I’d submitted my life to God. I’d tithed my every paycheck. I’d started a new career, moved towns, and downgraded to an apartment because it was His will.
But this? This was harder to accept. I’d believed the Scripture, “Ask and you shall receive,” and nothing yet supernatural was happening to my bank account. How could He get my hopes up for years only to shoot me in the foot with a limited travel budget?
I cried to God and went to bed, feeling like a pauper more than a princess. But that very week, I read a blog post that dumped fresh hope on me like a bucket of confetti.
A Miracle at the Airport
This woman had eagerly desired this home for sale in the neighborhood of her choice. Dream size. Dream floor plan. The only catch? It was several thousands of dollars over her budget.
A friend encouraged her to keep praying. “Remember, ‘whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in heaven”’ (Matt 16:19, NIV). “Go, take this oil, anoint the house, and tell the Lord you want it. Declare that this is your home.”
So the woman did. Feeling sheepish and a little foolish, she took the holy oil and walked the perimeter of the home just as she was encouraged to do. And you do you know what happened? Shortly after, the price came down to her exact budget.
Bold enough to believe that this was available to me, I drove to the GSP airport. I kid you not, I took olive oil, parked in one of the parking garages, and anointed the perimeter of the spot.
“This is the airport I want, God. I want to be picked up from this airport. And I want to go see Kathleen Rose graduate from Law School in England,” I said in my car, overlooking the departure terminal. “Please, God. I’m asking You to please, please take me there.”
Two days later, I had the money for Europe.
Prepare for Takeoff
The logistics of how the money reached my savings account are likely the least important details of this story. Paperwork from a family member. An unexpected bonus. A hidden treasure found underneath the floorboards. Any of them make a great story, and all of them show off His extravagant gift-giving nature.
How bold I was on that second-floor parking garage, though? How in awe I felt sending my flight information to Kathleen Rose? The fact that other traveling opportunities have popped up in perfect timing while I’m abroad?
I don’t know why it felt like something broke when I drove to the airport with a Tupperware of olive oil. It’s like I had no option but to raise the stakes and dump all my poker chips in, all the while knowing I may walk away with less than I came with.
But maybe that’s something He really loves. When nothing is left to human hands and He gets all the glory. When people ask you how you did it and you know the only answer is “God.”
In a few weeks, I leave for Dublin, Ireland from the Orlando International Airport at 5:20 p.m. My organization skills are going to be flawless because I have several plane tickets to keep track of.
And God bought every single one.
Featured Image by W