After 54 hours of traveling, I have finally made it back to Minnesota. How did it take so long? Let me tell you....
I arrived at the Tel Aviv airport at 2:00pm on Wednesday (6:00am MN time). I had to get there early because my ticket was changed. I was supposed to fly out Thursday morning, but that flight was cancelled, so I was rebooked to fly out the night before and stay in a hotel at my connection in Jordan.
Flight takes off around 6:00pm.
Landed in Amman, Jordan a little over an hour later. There I have a 16 hour layover.
Flight is scheduled to leave Thursday morning at 10:45am (2:45am MN time). We board and sit.
We sit on the tarmac for three hours due to mechanical problems. Always an exciting thing to learn when you're on a plane. The girls next to me start freaking out; I just laugh.
We take off around 1:30pm.
About 13 hours later we land in Chicago. It's around 6:00pm there. I have a connecting flight to Minneapolis at 7:22pm.... Not gonna make it.
I get to the Delta desk at 7:06pm, they rebook me for a flight leaving at 11:45pm.
I grab some Starbucks, sit down at the gate, and watch the news.
A Thunderstorm roles in.
We reach 11:45... no one is flying in or out. Half our crew is sitting in planes on the tarmac who can't taxi in due to the weather and even if they were here we couldn't fly out until the lightning stops.
For the next 3 hours we are told our flight is continually delayed.
At 3am, the weather clears, the planes come in, we are ready to board. Problem! Our pilots were on planes that have been waiting to come in and they have exceeded the amount of time they can fly.... Looks like we're not leaving tonight.
We get hotel vouchers and more food vouchers. I head to the hotel crash for a couple hours then come back to catch a 10:35am flight.
That flight is delayed to 11am.
I find Starbucks again. At this point I have 3 food vouchers that total $20. I order the largest coffee they have (I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before and needed a boost!), a scone, a muffin, a banana, and still have a $6 voucher. So I turn to the lady behind me. "Here you go! Enjoy free coffee on Delta!" She was so happy... I forgot how easy it is to make Americans happy if you give them free coffee.
Flight leaves at 11am.
Landed in Minneapolis a little after noon.
What an adventure! That is definitely the short version of it... It was great to finally be back... home... Or at least, what I am expected to call home. But I've always been told that "Home is where the heart is." If that's true, my poor heart is spread all across the globe! Part of my heart will always be here in Minnesota, because that's where my family and a lot of my friends are. But part of my heart is also at my university in Indiana, and Greystones, Ireland, and Jerusalem, Israel.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize that is not even true. My real home is an eternal one that I have never seen but look forward to every day. There my heart is perfectly secure, resting in the hands of my Savior. Here on earth, I have the privilege of loving, serving, and knowing people and places, but they are just a glimpse of the splendor that awaits me.
Soon I will get to go home, but for now I wait, with great expectation and excitement. But as I wait I choose to follow wherever the Lord leads- from the rolling green hills of Ireland, to the Old City of Jerusalem, to the Land of ten thousand lakes, to the corn fields of Indiana or wherever else He might send me. Wherever He leads I will go.
Will you join me in following Him?