A few weeks ago, I released Part 1 of this story. Today, I will be concluding it.
I am finding that as I look back and recount the events from the past five months, I am slowly healing. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that the same God who called me there, has now called me here. He is teaching me to be fully present in the now.
Diet Cokes and Leg Room
This half of the story begins with me and my family boarding the plane that would take us to the United States.
From the very moment we boarded the flight, it was clear that God had gone before us every step of the way.
It is true that quite often we do what we can to make sure we get seats close to each other because, well, being together just makes the whole flight easier. But we weren't expecting the plane to be quite as empty as it was!
My dad, sister, and I got three seats in the center isle right next to each other.
There was enough leg room for an army, and then some.
As we settled into our seats, we tucked our carry-on luggage underneath the seats in front of us and took our shoes off and found room under the seats for those as well.
The photo above was taken as I looked across the isle to the left at my mom who had all three seats to herself. And yes, you did hear me right. She had three seats to herself, and that ended up working out perfectly because it helped protect her from overexposing herself to the then new-to-Senegal coronavirus.
I was able to capture this picture of her with her legs stretched out later on as seen below.
Later in the day, around 2 in the afternoon, lunch was served.
If you're anything like me, airplane food can be a scary thing. I mean, you never can tell if what you're eating is what the box actually says you're eating...
But lunch was delicious!
We had the option of either chicken or beef with rice. I chose chicken and was so pleasantly surprised to find myself being served homemade Poulet Yassa... on an airplane.
As a side, we were served a small cup of coleslaw and a dinner roll with salted(!!) butter. I didn't eat the coleslaw, but my mom was able to enjoy the extra. ;)
Oh my goodness, I really do think dessert was the best part of the flight. We were served this delicious chocolate/ mocha tiramisu and it was just so good!
But let's back track to right before I began eating my Yassa...
A flight attendant came up to me and she said "You will enjoy these, I think." with a smile on her face as she proceeded to hand me not one, but two, ice cold Coke Zeros.
As I sipped on my Coke and enjoyed my meal, I felt so blessed.
You see, these were little things. Things that meant the world to me. And God knew that.
Just like the way He knows each and every one of us so intimately that it's mind blowing.
God knew that the extra leg room would make us smile when we stretched out feet out mid-flight.
God knew that the coleslaw would make my mom happy, just like He knew she would appreciate the extra space to social distance on the flight.
God knew that we all loved salted butter.
God knew that the Coke Zeros and the tiramisu would literally make my day...
And He didn't have to do any of it. But He chose to anyway.
My point is this: God didn't have to give up His only son to save us from the depths of our sin... But he did so anyway.
Folks, I know that I don't say this nearly often enough but we are so, so loved by our Heavenly Father.
Not only am I profoundly grateful that He went before my family on our repatriation flight, but I am also profoundly grateful that God sent His only son to save us.
You've been so, so good to me You've been so, so good to me Oh to think where I would be If not for You If not for You
As far as heights reach from the depths As far as east is from the west So far Your grace has carried me
Until I see You face to face Until at last I've won my race Remind me You're not finished yet
Songwriters: Benjamin Hastings / Chris Davenport
Remembrance lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group