Yesterday, I loaded the kids for piano and checked to make sure my wallet was in it's usual spot in the van. It wasn't. I looked in all the logical spots in the house, praying calmly for guidance as I did. I wan't led anywhere, but I did have an image float through my head - me handing my wallet to a very fussy Carina to satisfy her in the parking lot of Target the day before, after a very long shopping trip. No matter how much I tried to retrace my steps from that point on, this was the last appearance my wallet made in my memory.
Anxiety choked me up. We were leaving in less than 24 hours to fly across the country. I was already snapping with stress from packing for five for two weeks, and now the thought of trying to worm my way onto a plane without any forms of ID had me panicking. Knowing that I had cash in my wallet made me almost completely hopeless of finding it if I did indeed lose it at Target. I desperately called Chad, hoping that he had seen it somewhere, and of course he hadn't.
I prayed and prayed. I felt like I should just get the kids to piano on time, calm myself, and then go from there. As I drove, I suddenly realized that although my mind was in panic mode, my heart didn't believe it. I knew that everyone was going to be okay. And just as suddenly, I looked at the clock and realized that I had a few minutes to spare, so I figured I could drive around the Target parking lot and see if it was there. While I did that, I realized I had enough time to run in real quick to ask about it. So I did.
And guess what? A man had just turned it in that morning. I burst into tears as the cashier handed it to me with a smile. I choked out, "I am flying tomorrow and I was so afraid I lost it" and she told me that if she ever saw the man again, she would tell him how grateful I was.
I went back to my car and prayed my gratitude over and over again. For a Heavenly Father who never loses patience with my weaknesses, and who is always always willing to help. For the stranger who turned in my wallet and will probably never know what a positive outcome his kindness and honesty brought to my life.
We took our trip today. Flying with four kids is never going to be fun, and it started out rough. When I went to check in, there was no record of my flight being changed so that I could fly to California with Carina (to be at my grandma's memorial this weekend) while everyone else flew on to Spokane (for a previously planned vacation and Chad's cousin's wedding). It was a gross mistake, and we still don't know what happened, but the lady helping us kindly fixed it. It took way too long and had us running late, but one of the airport guards led us through a special line and we had no problem getting on our flight. The boys were very well behaved, Carina was busy but relatively happy, and none of it was as bad as it could have been.
So I am in California now. Chad and the boys are in Spokane. I already miss them and I am exhausted. I keep thinking though, about that man who turned my wallet in, the lady who calmly fixed my ticket this morning, the fun pilot, and the kind man who sat next to me and Carina on the second flight, and I am just grateful. To them and to my Heavenly Father,