Can I Do Both? Puuuulllleeeeessseee?

I have loved you with an everlasting love—
        out of faithfulness I have drawn you close. Jeremiah 31:3 (VOICE)

I was scheduled to go out of town to a training conference for my church. The conference had been scheduled for a year and I was so excited to be able to attend. Something else had been scheduled for a long time, the birth of my second grandson! My daughter was due 2 1/2 weeks after my conference.

In the months leading up to the conference I was praying. A lot. I was praying the baby wouldn’t come early and that I could do both the conference and be there for the birth (I was there for my first grandson’s birth.) At one point during my prayers I felt convicted that I was not doing to be there. I felt convicted that the baby was going to be born while I was away. Honestly, I started crying. This is not what my heart wanted. After some more time in prayer though, I submitted and told God that I knew he knew best and I would follow his lead.

The day I was to leave for the conference came. My daughter started having contractions. And I thought “Well, it’s early and the last delivery was quick so maybe I can be there and get on the plane this evening.” I packed my bag and waited. And prayed.

The day continued with the contractions getting closer and closer together. At about 3 (my plane was leaving at 5:45), I texted my daughter that I was going to stay and take a flight out in the morning. She called me and said “Mom, right after you sent me that text all my contractions stopped. I think you are supposed to go.”

Oh my. Now, my heart was truly torn. As I prayed about it some more (lots of praying this day), I felt very convicted that God had told me his plan before and nothing I did was going to change that. I felt that I needed to obey what I heard and go to the conference and leave it in his hands. So, I said to God that I was going to leave but that if her water broke before I got on the plane, I would like to stay and fly out in the morning. I texted my daughter and told her I was going to go.

We got to the airport in the middle of a snow storm. Our plane was delayed 45 minutes so we decided to get dinner. As I sat there, my heart heavy but at peace, I started to enjoy the idea of being able to go to the conference and accept where I was. We decided to head to the gate because the boarding process had started. We were about to leave the restaurant and my phone rang. My husband said “Her water broke.” I looked at my Pastor (and traveling companion) and she said “Go!” I walked her to the gate and they said “Get on the plane! We are getting ready to leave.”

On the way to catch a cab to the hospital, I changed my flight to the next day. In the cab I cried again, thanking God that I could both be there for the birth of my grandson and serve him by also going to the conference.

In the big scheme of what is happening in our world and in people’s lives, this event is inconsequential. But, it was not inconsequential to me. In this moment God showed up in my life by allowing me to have the desires of my heart - both to serve him and be there for my family.

God doesn’t reach us through someone else’s encounters. Sure, we may be amazed at what God does in someone else’s life but he really shows us who he is and how much he loves us is in ours. Look for him in your life. He is alive and well and talking to you through your circumstances, your friends and through his Word. He loves you.