I Found Out We Can Trust God in a Difficult Time!
After 16 hours of traveling, I’m finally in Jerusalem, lying in bed meditating on that little gem. I’d had a perfect opportunity to find out if I can trust God in a difficult time.
You know when you’re bone-weary and completely exhausted. You could sleep for a week if you could only nod off, but your mind won’t stop racing? Even after two sleeping pills, I haven’t slept and I am one tired camel.
I hope if I empty my head on the page, it’ll help. And boy, do I have a story for you.
How do I solve all the logistics?
For the past few months, I wish I could say I’ve been relaxed and excited about the upcoming changes, but I’ve been freaking out.
In Oregon, I packed my stuff, said good-bye to friends, and flew across the country with my dog just in time for my niece’s graduation and my Mom’s birthday. Meanwhile, I figured out rides to airports, flight details, and wondered if I required visas? I did need places to stay.
And I hoped to travel with a working phone that didn’t cost $10-a-day like Verizon charges. Instead, I preferred the $27-a-month charge in Israel. Would my phone function with an Israeli SIM card? No. I set up 3 others and a 4th went missing before I finally got one that would work.
At the same time, in order to learn the technology I’d need to know to share my journey online, I took classes and hired a personal coach. She taught me about search engine optimization, plug-ins, and memes. Oh man!
So my dreams have not been peaceful but more like the ones I used to have the night before the first day of school. Did you ever have those? You know, where you show up in pajamas by accident, vulnerable and exposed.
Specifically, I relived the memory of when I first came to Jerusalem. From what I remember, all I’d been told was to walk outside the airport, turn right, and look for Neshur, a sherut.
What the heck is a sherut? Now I know it’s a mini-van, but back then I didn’t.
Once I found the sign, I left my backpack by the door and got on with the crowd. An hour and a half later, after
I thought I’d never be seen again. Seriously, God, You brought me all the way over here for
But then, the sign of the school appeared and the adventure continued.
In the midst of all this, I got an email.
It was the beginning of June and I was in Boston. The house in Oregon was locked up. One flight was behind me, and so were a few of the travel details that had been taking up space in my head.
But Pete surprised me with his email. He used to come to my writer’s group when I was back East. We only both made the same meeting a couple of times a year.
Then two summers ago, he sold his house and stopped coming. In his email, Pete said:
I think you should call a friend of mine. Her name is Esther Luttrell—check out her website. She’s in the hospital in Topeka. The number is -, room -.
I won’t say anymore, but I hope you’ll call her right away.
With so much going on, I almost didn’t do it, but the urgency of that last line wouldn’t leave me alone. Peeking at her website, I learned only that, like Pete, she wrote novels. I assumed she must need prayer and that’s why he’d contacted me.
Mind you, Pete and I had never talked about prayer, but he knows I’m all about God. Why else would he have me call her?
“You don’t know me,” I said when Esther picked up the phone.
“I’ve been getting lots of these calls!” she said in a sweet voice.
I smiled as she continued, “I’m about to go to therapy.”
“I won’t take your time,” I said. “Can I pray for you before you go?”
She liked that idea. I said a short prayer and then we talked for 45 minutes. I don’t know what happened to her therapy appointment. After each part of our conversation, she’d say, “Where do we go from here?”
For me, it felt like the most spirit-led conversation I’d ever had.
I told her I’d finished a memoir and was going back to Israel, to reacquaint myself with the land before turning my Jerusalem journal from a previous stay into a book.
“Have you ever envisioned it as a movie?” she asked.
I told her about going to Soulfest, a Christian Music Festival in New Hampshire, last summer and meeting a publicist in the prayer tent who told me I needed to make a trailer. He said he could see the book as a movie, just as three other friends had said.
“Send me an overview,” Esther said. “Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.”
After the call, Pete wrote, “Esther has quite a life story, much of it Hollywood.”
I went back online and found other websites that listed books and movies and TV shows in which Esther had taken part. Click here to have a look.
And here’s the trailer of her most recent movie.
So all this is exciting. But one thing I’ve learned with God is that while divine appointments are always an adventure, they don’t always mean what I think. You know . . . that Esther decides to make my book into a movie.
That’d be cool, but sometimes God has another plan.
High from that experience, I tried to confirm my flight and this is what I found:
Reeling, it took me a minute to comprehend that this no-longer-in-existence airline had my money, but I didn’t have a flight that afternoon.
I called in the troops and gathered friends to fight with me in prayer.
The situation reminded me of every time I’ve gone on the mission field. I’ve always encountered resistance and major opposition. But I knew God had lined this trip up. And I wasn’t going to quit now.
Back and forth I went, texting friends, calling a travel agent, and googling flights.
Don’t forget: You can trust God in a difficult time!
I got to go to Paris. Well, for an hour.
On Delta, I had all the amenities, including the ability to text during the flight. One friend said, “Are you in first class?”
It felt like it. God knows how to upgrade to non-stop movies, warm face towels, and fresh Parisian bread with brie.
Then, on the flight to Tel Aviv, I met a woman who needed to set in place the same things I did when we landed. She was super organized, had researched all the phone companies and everything. We rode the sherut into Jerusalem together.
See how I did all that worrying for nothing?
At the campus, I arrived just in time for dinner. For my flight on Wow Air, I’d considered bringing a pizza because there was so little food en route. With my reroute, I didn’t miss a meal.
But this dinner came with a little excitement.
Hungry and tired, I caught up with friends. As I shared these stories at the table, I forgot to chew. One of them had to do the Heimlich maneuver on me!
Maybe you need this reminder, too?
You can trust God in a difficult time!
No kidding, even though I didn’t have trip insurance, pay by credit card, or file my claim with Wow Air in the allotted timeframe, God’s already given me back the cost of my original plane fare (minus a hundred dollar cancellation fee on the return ticket I had).
When you purchase tickets last minute, they’re usually super expensive. The cost I paid for this trip, including that fee, is the same price I’ve paid to come to Israel in the past!
Where has God been in your circumstances lately?
It may not seem this obvious.
I can’t tell you how many times I notice the God details because I’m writing the story to share. If I weren’t, I hate to think what I’d miss.
And if there’s someone you know that needs this reminder, you can send them a copy by using the share buttons below, F for Facebook; P for Pinterest; Tweet for Twitter; Email or by printing it out.
Bless you, guys!
Related Post: God, Give Me Peace, Ple-e-ease!
Yup, He is in the details for sure. I felt Him providing so many “little” things, open doors, etc this past week. I just keep looking up & smiling 🙂 Thanks for sharing, xo
I bet God loves when we get that it’s Him! Wouldn’t you, if you were Him? 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing. I love to hear what God is doing in and through you. Speaking of Israel our pastor mentioned that he wants to take a group from church. No plans yet, but we will see what God does.
I love how God is in the details. He blessed us today with a free bottle of weed killer. Weeds upon weeds have popped up and God provided what we needed. The clerk at the store randomly offered us a free bottle of weed killer. I think someone had returned it because it didn’t have a nozzle, but we have a sprayer. Thank you God for your provision.
Hugs! Love you and praying for you – for restful sleep.
Ha! Ha! Yes, God is in the details. I love those things He does like that, how He shows us that He’s there. He knows all those little things on our minds and He cares.
Thank you for your prayers!
“On the glorious splendor of His majesty and on His wonderful works I will meditate.”
You already have so many victorious, God-is Present stories. It’s like a walk through a soul-stirring wonderland to read them.
“We love you, Lord. Thank you for going before Elizabeth and for being her rear guard. You are great and greatly to be praised.”
meant to tag Psalm 145:5 to the quoted verse
Thank you, Carol! I know that’s true, but you know those days when you need a reminder? Today has been that kind of day.
Instead of crabbing about it, I’m going to get some sleep.
Yep, I hear you blowing like the wind IN THE SPIRIT! The anointing is on you because you are faithful to go when the Spirit moves you. ❤️D.
As usual, it has been wild! At the moment, I’m in the middle of like 12 stories. There was a possibility for me to come back in the fall, but I’m glad I’ll be stateside with more space to process it all before . . . coming back next summer?
Go, girl, go! And be safe.
Thank you, Pete, for introducing me to Esther and for all of your enCOURAGEment! 🙂 The wild ride continues . . .
Oh Liz. I love you so much. I can live a lifetime of adventure through you. We may not see each other much, but I can still feel the love you gave me years and years ago when I needed it. You truly are a godsend. Continue your adventures to places I will never go so I can, through you. 💖
Thank so much for coming with me ☺
Before I started sharing publicly, the whole idea of doing that scared me. But now I’m so grateful for the community, the added perspective and observations, the support. xoxo
Whew & W O W !
I cannot wait to see what comes next ~
I know, right? That’s my new reframe whenever it looks like things are going wonky: “Well, God, I can’t wait to see what You’re gonna do with that!”