It's so rare that I talk about myself on such an intimate level, so buckle up for this article. Before I get started, let me preface this by saying I don't want you to think there isn't a message in this article because there is a message. Typically, I do share a lot about my life, but I'm still learning how to share more of my private, intimate experiences as well. My hope is that you would see that I am human, and that I am a mere woman. My hope is also that you will see that despite how far I have come, God still surprises me too and He reminds me that I don't always know His every move.
I was recently sitting in an airport waiting to board my flight. I was preoccupied with ensuring that I had successfully downloaded all the movies and sermon podcasts that I wanted to watch as I prepared for my almost eight hour flight. To top this off, my flight departure was unexpectedly delayed, so the mood of all the travelers began to decline. After an almost two hour delay to board the flight, I was the first one to take my seat in the row. As I settled in, I waited to find out who would be my flight companions for this extremely long flight. One, two, three, four, ten people passed me by and my eyes ventured pass the many people finding their seats and landed on this man who wasn't paying me one bit of attention, but I heard an audible voice from the Lord say as clear as a bell, "He will sit next to you." If I can be frank with you, when I heard the voice I looked on both of my sides and the seats behind me, because I expected to see someone sitting next to me or behind me, because it was just that clear. I don't know about you, but I can count the number of times on one hand when I truly recognized that God was speaking audibly to me, and this was one of them. Now there was nothing earth shadowing about this man that stood out to me nor was I aware that my life was about to take an interesting turn.
As he got closer to my row, I wasn't looking at him on purpose because I thought if he actually sits in my row maybe God will use me today to be a blessing in his life? Maybe he's going through a challenge right now and needs to be encouraged? Maybe he doesn't know Jesus, and what a great opportunity to share the love of Christ especially since we will be sitting together during this long flight? I had all these notions going through my head and absolutely nothing else ever crossed my mind.
The God moment came that the voice I audibly heard was confirmed, and this man said to me, "Excuse me I think I'm here and actually I'm in the seat next to you." BOOM--trust me that was definitely a drop-the-mic moment. But SERIOUSLY when you finally realize what you actually heard audibly was indeed the voice of God, this does something to you.
The last person in our row eventually arrived, and we all settled in. There was nothing out of the ordinary happening as we took flight. I wasn't looking for an opportunity to say something to this man who was sitting next to me, because I had simply told God, "I trust you and know you know what You are doing, and I am ready to be a blessing to this man and to encourage him in any way I can."
As we increased in altitude, my headphones fell between the seat onto the floor, and this man and I simultaneously went to grab my headphones from the floor at the same time and the sides of our heads bumped each other. I know this sounds corny, but this is actually what happened. We both said ouch, proceeded to rub the sides of our heads, and giggled at the same time. As he turned to look at me and to give me my headphones, I kid you not, I don't know what happened to me but I was immediately speechless as I became aware that he was REALLY looking directly at me for the first time. We both just stared at each other for what seemed to be five minutes, but it wasn't. He cleared his throat and apologized for staring at me and said he wasn't a stalker, but he didn't know what came over him. I followed with an apology as well, and told him I too don't usually lose control of my surroundings, but I'm shocked at myself for feeling so out of control. At this point, I believe we both were so embarrassed that we pretended to do other things to keep from addressing the elephant in the room if you know what I mean. By this time, I'm talking to God and saying what is going on, because this is not what I expected was going to happen. I am telling God that I was prepared to be an encourager to this man today, but now I'm feeling weird about what just happened.
I guess now is a good time to interject that, like some of you, I have been single by choice for a long time. I have suppressed certain feelings for a long time. I have had other priorities that required my attention for a long time. I firmly don't believe in misleading guys and wasting their time, because I feel this is unfair to them. I have been use to helping and serving others for so long that I forgot God wants to send others to help and serve me too. What caught me by surprise is the way this man looked at me. I was simply not expecting to react this way. There has been only one other man in my entire life that shook my world when he looked at me. Even then it took some time to build up to that level of affection, and until this flight, this other person was the only man to hold this title in my life. However being on the flight with this new man was different, this was immediate, this was completely unexpected, and I felt I couldn't stop or control the gush of my emotions that were raw and real if I wanted too.
Well no matter how much I was talking to God about how surprised and weird I was feeling, I embraced this unexpected opportunity when this man took a second chance and looked at me again and said only one word to me which was "Hi." I responded with a simple, "Hey." Might I tell you the rest was history. We had a rough start getting the conversation going since I think we both were in awe about our earlier awkward moment. We talked for hours straight without stopping about life, family, dreams, hobbies, jobs, regrets, travels, and future goals. As the nightfall hit in the dark sky, we turned on the overhead lights and continued our conversation while everyone else slept. Time truly stood still as I forgot about watching my downloaded movies and sermon podcasts, but I chose to seize this moment.
Remember my earlier conversation I had with God about me feeling weird? Well this conversation dissipated as I became aware that the person God intended to bless on this flight was actually me. If I could tell you a few things that beamed from this man as we talked and talked, they would be: 1). There was strength in his eyes as he constantly looked at me. I felt as though his eyes could see the content of my soul. His eyes forged a connection to me, and it was crystal clear that I had his undivided attention. 2). Kindness poured from him. Everything he shared with me was reflective, thoughtful, and contained a desire to help others. 3). He made me laugh, A LOT, as he shared some of his travel adventures and blunders while visiting various places. 4). He was interested in my life. Anytime I spoke he never interrupted, never rushed me, actively listened, and he posed quality questions about what he heard me say. 5). Being around him made me forget things and people's names as he always looked me directly into my eyes. 6). He wasn't afraid to tell me how he felt as he blurted out to me that he was surprised as to how easy it was for him to open up and talk to me about anything which is not normal for him when he meets new people.
Well the elephant in the room about our earlier awkward moment eventually came up for discussion. The first thing he asked was, "Did you feel that too?" He said he just felt a strange magnetism to me which is why he couldn't stop staring at me. I told him the same, and that I hadn't planned on staring at him either, but I unexpectedly felt out of sorts. I told him how I appreciated him not making it more weirder than it already was, and that I had enjoyed every minute of our conversation. Wouldn't you know the captain came on the speaker to say we were almost an hour from preparing to land. We both looked at each other and laughed as we had been talking for many hours. To distract from our upcoming landing and to lighten things up, I asked him about his next travel plans and to my surprise he was going to be traveling to the same country I was planning to travel too. I told him that my good friend and I had just finalized our travel plans going to the same country during the same month he was going. Boy ole boy we were both in complete shock, so he gave me a few travel tips about what to bring, and we exchanged travel information.
The reality of our flight ending was starting to set in between the both of us as the other passengers were waking up and moving around the cabin. It felt that God had put everyone into a deep sleep for many hours just so we could talk uninterrupted. We landed, and I realized we didn't even know each other's names. He was scheduled to catch a connecting flight, so right before we exited the plane, I looked at him one last time and he looked at me too and I said, "I don't even know your name. My name is Tracy", and he proceeded to tell me his name. He repeated my name several times out loud, and said he would never forget it.
I will save some of the ending for myself, but let's just say I was on Cloud 9 for several days after this serendipitous encounter. The first person I wanted to tell about what happened on the plane ride was my daughter. After hearing me out, the first thing she asked me was, "Mom, was he a hot guy?" If you have kids, you will find a little humor in her question. You know I hadn't paid that much attention, because he had so many other amazing qualities that was not the first thing that attracted me to him. However, since my daughter posed the question, only then did I reflect back on his deep voice, attire, tallness, clean shaven, and amazing cologne. So I guess the answer to her question would have been yes. I thanked God for this unexpected surprise. I thanked God for reminding me that I am still alive and for stirring up those suppressed feelings within me. I am grateful to receive this blessing and the acceptance that I deserve things too. I know that God wants me to be in a position to receive good things from Him. I know that only God could bring two strangers together for an unforgettable plane ride. If I had to describe my encounter with this man, I would say it was the conversation of a lifetime.
I am a very conservative, street smart woman who is good at being responsible and in control. BUT God---yeah you've heard this phrase before too--BUT God--can surprise you at any age. Can I tell you that no matter what happens in the future, I will never ever forget this man and he has forever left an imprint on my heart. He helped me to experience things that I hadn't in quite some time. I rediscovered my attraction meter still works. I was reminded of the conversation quality when talking to a real man who is completely secure in his being. I was reminded that I like a fearless man who is able to express his feelings and emotions freely without thinking it makes him look weak.
Do you think my encounter could happen to you too? Have you been so caught up in meeting your obligations and duties that you may not even think it is possible for a man or woman to shake your world like this man shook my world on the plane ride? Trust me God can do the same for you. I didn't know just how much I needed a blessing. You too may be so use to doing, doing, doing, and in some cases doing so much for ministry that you forget the necessity of a human touch, bonding, and limitless conversation. I want you to know you deserve to not feel guilty about wanting to be wanted. Yes, it's possible for you to have such an encounter. Yes, God desires to bless you. Yes, God knows what He is doing. This plane ride gave me a renewed hope and a better outlook so much so that I wanted to share with you the following scripture which is, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11).