Friends, this blog was written during a four-hour delay in the booming airport of Central Illinois. I was sitting at the only eating establishment in the airport that was a combination of a coffee shop, sandwich joint, and bar. That morning, after a restful two-hours of sleep (recruitment visits am I right?), I arrived at the airport, boarded my plane, only to then be asked to de-board the plane, because there was a part that was missing that would not be arriving for a few hours.
The moment that announcement was over, I knew I had a tough choice to make: Would I take the easy way out and just complain and be upset that this delay was happening, or would I be grateful for the silver linings that could be found in this situation instead? Simply put: Would I choose joy?
It wasn’t easy deciding to be thankful in this situation. All I wanted to do was complain and be upset! I had a TCU opening football game to get to that night people, my selfish desires were not wanting me to be grateful for this delay. But instead, I kept thinking of my friends who inspire me daily to be a light where I am in the midst of whatever circumstance I find myself in. My best friend sent me an article this morning that led me to remember that I can boast in my weaknesses because Christ is my strength. It showed me that my afflictions are good, because in them I become more dependent on God. I can trust him in every situation.
God knows what we need! I saw that not only that day with my flight change, but throughout my visit to Illinois State.
Coming into this visit, I was stressed and tired with my busy travel month of August and my recent move into a new apartment. To my pleasant surprise though, my three days in Normal, IL were more restful and rejuvenating than I could have imagined they’d ever be!
Since the women didn’t start recruiting until 6 pm every night because they were still in class, my friend Katie and I were able to explore the town of Normal. I was able to sleep more than I normally do on a visit, and we had some freedom to walk around and explore on our own. I always love when I have the opportunity to learn what the locals like to do.
Three big highlights for me (eating wise, duh) were:
1) Coffee Hound, where I have had one of the greatest vanilla lattes of my life. Hipster atmosphere, open space, plenty of seating. My kind of place.
2) Emack & Bolio’s, where I found a little piece of Austin, TX in Normal. Reminded me so much of Amy’s Ice Cream with its murals, bright colors, and exotic ice cream flavors.
3) Merry Anne’s Diner, where you can get two eggs, two sausage, and two pancakes for $5.00 before 11 am. It was the cutest little shop open 24/7.
Although this visit was shorter, I took away lessons from it that I did not expect. Namely, that God’s timing is perfect even when I don’t want to believe that. Having a grateful attitude and praying through the temptation to want to be frustrated and angry at my circumstances led me to find joy. I am grateful for this lesson learned. Honestly, sometimes it’s funny how in control of my life I think I am.