I had worked Christmas Eve night, one of my most favorite times of the year, and yet again was unable to attend a Christmas Eve service. Even so, I was starting to look forward to going home to MO after work, and having Christmas with my dad's side of the family later Christmas Day. I was so happy and encouraged.
And then my flight got into Chicago on time, but I was stuck on the plane, on the runway because another plane was at our gate, getting de-iced, and I missed my flight. When the flight attendant told me this news, I had been awake for 20 hours and my mixture of emotions (the expectant excitement of family and Christmas, intermingled with the sadness of a former patient my age that had died the night before) turned to despair, and I began to WEEP in my seat on the plane---big puddle tears rolling down as I blubbered away, making my already present sinus congestion exponentiate until I couldn't breathe, and had to stop crying, or die.
I WANTED to be a jerk and a bitch to those around me. I wanted to yell and cuss everyone out because I had spent the extra money so I could get home early, and was now spending that precious time in a sea of strangers in an airport.
But everyone was helpful/considerate/accomodating/polite, and while my emotions raged to take control, my head worked overtime to assess the overall situation---I teeter-tottered for awhile on choosing how to react, and there was a REAL fight to NOT let myself roll around in the bitterness and despair, although at the time, that's all I wanted.
and then I remembered that I had been reading in John Eldredge's 'Walking with God' about having joy in life, and how many of us just get by and accept that, and how joy can be snatched away by Satan.
So I sat down and said,'God, what am I supposed to be learning from this? What's going on? And why?'
(Just FYI, if you ask a question, you better be ready for an answer)
That afternoon, in O'Hare, I learned about my expectations of things, and to be open, and emotions, and there in one of the busiest airports, I had some quiet time.