What feels like a very long time ago, I was in a unique situation. It was an opportunity for me to be used by God as a means to bring peace and comfort to a whole family without me even realizing it. My husband and I were traveling to visit my grandparents in Florida. We were leaving from our small Richmond airport. We always look around for people we may know or recognize even when in larger airports, because you never know who else is on the go. I did not recognize anyone around our terminal, but recognized a very familiar sound. I turned to my husband and said, “That’s J!”. He was surprised that I could recognize a child by the sounds and his voice in this busy airport.
I spotted them in the terminal seating area and went over to introduce myself. I taught at this boy’s small private school for kids with autism in another classroom. The whole family was traveling to Florida for an experimental trial and then of course Disney. They were nervous and so was J. I could tell by the sounds he was making that he was teetering on the edge of a meltdown in the middle of the airport. I feared what a small space of the airplane would feel like for him. I told the family that if they needed any help while on the plane to come find me and I gave them my seat/row number. We all boarded the plane, J and his family were close to the front on the plane, while my husband and I were towards the back. Not long after taking off, the seatbelt light clicked off and almost immediately J’s sister was at my row. Out of breath, she quickly said, “Were you serious about helping us?” I kindly said “Yes” and left my husband to see how I could be of any support to this family. When I got to J’s row, his mom was sitting next to him trying to calm him down. The look of panic was replaced with relief when she saw me standing there willing to help. She simply said “I just don’t know what to do.” I told her it was totally fine and she could sit with my husband if she wanted to during the flight. She passed over the reins of her intricate boy and bag of goldfish and breathed a timid breath as she walked back to my old seat.
I am so proud of this family’s bravery to ask for help. There are so many times I am hesitant to ask for help because I don’t want my own weakness exposed, especially when it comes to my parenting. 2 Corinthians 12:19 says exactly this- "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. “
I HONOR THIS FAMILY'S ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE THEIR NEEDS AND THEIR LIMITS WHILE STILL STEPPING OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE TO TRAVEL AND STRETCH THEMSELVES.
Psalm 16:5-6 says, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup, you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” God has given us limits for our good and we must recognize and honor them. This family trusted God would provide and they trusted me, a complete stranger. This trust allowed them to widen the circle of care not only for their son, but for their whole family. They kept their eyes open to what God’s provision would look like and acted when they needed. The family stuck together and supported each other in this challenging circumstance. Rather than blaming or feeling guilty, they celebrated the fact they could receive help.
Now as a mother, traveling feels as exhausting as it must have for this family…it feels scary too. Will I be able to provide for the needs of my family when we step away from our systems, structure, predictability and comforts of our home? The answer is unfortunately “no”, I will not be able to provide and protect as I typically do, but God will. Not only that, leaving the comfort zone and relying on God brings growth, family unity and adventure.
SO, PLAN FOR GOD TO STEP IN WHERE YOU KNOW YOU WILL NOT BE ENOUGH AND BE READY WHEN HE BRINGS UNLIKELY ANSWERS TO YOUR NEEDS.