Two years in a row my daughter Kayla has seen two of her very best friends move away from San Antonio. This has been a heart break for her and for me. I've watched her pull away, spend afternoons alone, wonder out loud if being close to people is a good idea because it hurts so much when they leave, and dream of spending time with her special friends again. She and I have had many conversations about how much better it is to have special people in our lives, and love them whether they are going to move away or not. It's been hard but it's a part of life.
Over the last few months I've tried to coach her through her loss and encouraged her to reach out. She has started inviting friends over again and says that she is feeling better. She understands that her special friends while living far away, can still have a special place in her heart. And it's not like they don't talk, they Skype and text and email all the time. But we all know that having someone to spend an afternoon with in person is hard to replace by electronics.
For Christmas we bought Kayla an airplane ticket to fly to see her favorite friend Libby who moved to St. Louis. Now, you might be thinking that Kayla is awfully young to travel by herself half way across the country. And to be honest I was really surprised when my 12 and a half year old, who is generally quiet and reserved begged us for an airplane ticket. That was all she wanted. And on Christmas morning when she opened her gift and tears of joy poured down her cheeks Grant and I knew that God had this covered. We were thrilled for her.
When it came time to hop on the plane this past Thursday she was so excited she could hardly sit still. She and Libby had talked, texted, emailed and Skyped for weeks only building the anticipation of their visit. Kayla grinned from ear to ear until it was time to line up for her seat assignment. Thankfully Southwest gives us Moms a pass to go through security so I was standing there with her when she started to break down. She kept saying, "Mom I'm so excited but I'm scared." In the midst of my trying to calm her, I hugged her and prayed over her quickly. Just as I am thinking that I'm going to start crying this lovely woman who is standing behind us steps forward, leans into Kayla and says, "Would you like a stand in Mom?" To which Kayla promptly bursts into tears. I introduce myself to this blonde, petite and very well dressed woman and she smiles kindly, probably sensing my impending melt down. Susan assures me that she has a daughter Kayla's age who attends the Christian School in Kansas City and then starts talking to Kayla as if they were long lost friends. Can you spell Relief??
The best part about this story is that Kayla and I on our way to the airport prayed that God would lift up someone kind and caring for her to sit next to on the airplane. When Susan stepped forward it was a clear sign that God heard our request. But it gets even better. It turns out that our Susan is Susan Crook, an award winning author and speaker. Her website is: www.susancrook.com. She took Kayla under her wing, gave Kayla her phone number and when Kayla became airsick on the plane, she rubbed her back, told her she handled it well and even threw away the vomit filled bag. What an angel!
For Kayla who called me once she landed this was God's way of showing up. She said, "Mom as soon as Susan stepped up I started crying because I knew God had heard my prayer. He remembered me."
Ahhh, such music to my ears. He did remember her, covered her and provided for her in a very obvious way. We are thankful and so blessed by our new friend Susan who it turns out had prayed that very morning for the person that God would have her sit by. I'm thankful that it got to be Kayla.
My 1963 Rambler, El Tanque
3 days ago