It was winter of 2010 and Europe was experiencing the worst snow storm they had seen in over 50 years. All over the country airports were shut down. My daughter Nicky was studying abroad in Spain for several semesters. When she finished in mid December she had planned on traveling for the next several weeks across Europe. She had several destinations and many stops to make. She had friends waiting for her in Germany, Italy and Paris. Her itinerary was very tight because it was only two weeks before Christmas and there was very little leeway on the flights. They were booked solid.
Her first stop coming out of Spain was Paris. The very day that she was scheduled to leave, a massive snow storm hit Europe. Sitting in the Madrid Airport she heard the announcement in spanish announcing that all flights going to France were canceled. As she looked out the terminal windows all she could see was a massive white out. The next announcement that came was that the rest of the scheduled flights were canceled.
By the time I received the phone call it was 4 pm our time. Nicky had been sitting at the airport for most of the day. She was frantic.
“Mom, I have to be in Paris by this evening or I will miss the train to meet the family that will be waiting for me. Please pray that God will do something. I just heard that there may not be any flights leaving for days and people are already starting to camp out all over the terminal!”
Hearing the urgency in my daughter’s voice I knew that she felt scared, alone and confused.
“Don’t worry Nicky. God is going to get you to Paris. Dad and I are going to pray. God will take care of this situation.”
After I hung up I felt confused myself. Here my daughter was stuck in a foreign country, alone, unable to get to her friends. I turned to Michael, and relayed the conversation to him. He grabbed my hand and prayed.“Lord, I know that you are bigger than a snow storm. Please make a way for Nicky to get to Paris by tonight.” amen
I felt so helpless. I paced around the fireplace. I paced in front of the Christmas tree. We turned on the news. All the coverage was of Europe showing blizzard like conditions, empty streets and planes sitting on the tarmac. Spain was at a standstill as were all the countries. It was hard to relax knowing that Nicky was upset, feeling alone and frantic. I knew that I should have faith. A bible verse that I love came to my mind “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
“Lord, I want to trust in you but I am having a difficult time. I believe, but Lord help my unbelief.”
The afternoon passed and still no word. My nerves were frayed and I was feeling frustrated at my lack of faith. Once again I prayed “Lord I need a “word” to hold onto, something that I can sink my faith into, to know that you really are going to work this situation out.” I sat quietly by the Christmas tree watching the fading sun sink into the grey clouds. Laying on our living room table was the Sunday paper with the movie section laid open. Something caught my eye. The words “Up in the Air” jumped out at me. That was it! God was using a movie title to reassure me that Nicky would surely be “Up in the Air!” by this evening. Immediately all my fears left. At that moment I knew for certain that she would be fine.The rest of the night I smiled to myself knowing God was taking care of my daughter. I was in bed when the phone rang, it was 11:30 pm.
“Mom! You won’t believe it! They only allowed one flight to leave the Madrid airport today and it was mine! I’m in Paris driving with my host family to their home! Can you believe it?
I smiled to myself. Yes, I finally knew that I could believe it and that Nicky would be just fine. I could indeed trust in the Lord with all my heart.