Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lesson Learned

I have a story to tell. I've told it to a few people and it just makes me feel crazy every time I tell it. Did this really happen to me? Yes. This is our honeymoon story.

We jumped in the blue convertible to begin our happily ever after. After helping with the wedding of some dear friends in Texas last weekend, I realize that the bride and groom have the best end of the deal. They take off! While everyone else is left in the aftermath. So worth it though! So as Mr. and Mrs. we pulled away from our wedding reception with everyone cheering and laughing and being overall happy for us. We were married! Goodbye to the real world and off to paradise in Riviera Maya, Mexico!

That same day we stood at the Delta counter in the brand new international terminal to fix what we thought was an easy problem. Christian had booked my ticket with my newly married name. That is not the name on my passport or my ID. Oops. Easy fix right?

Our little mistake turned into a horrific one when the guy across the counter named George broke the news to me that I had an expired passport. What? Really? I want my daddy! I thought. Wait, I have a husband! I rebutted to myself. Even this moment was good because it was my first chance as a married woman to be a help, encouragement and joy to my new husband. I was crying on the inside, but only Christ in me allowed me the ability to hold it all  together. I was devastated. I didn't even want to think about what this would mean for the beginning of our life together. I know just a week-long honeymoon is a silly thing to worry so deeply about, but I somehow knew all along just how important it was for us to have a good start.

God helped me to hold my head up high, ask good questions, get things sorted out and love Christian through the whole emotionally intense moment. Love is definitely a choice. I am so very glad that I made the choice that evening not to allow disappointment to spoil what was supposed to be good. It was our first day to be married and all.

That's Christian checking us in...so happy/That's me with the expired passport...before we knew it was expired/Who knew that the passport office could be so romantic...only on your honeymoon!
By the time that evening came we knew the International terminal so well that we had met four of the Park 'N Go shuttle drivers (I didn't have my phone and Christian left his in the car). Back and forth and back and forth we went. We paid the extra it took to change our flight to Tuesday morning with the hope that Fun Jet would help us change our reservation and the state would help us expedite my passport (If you have flight itinerary in hand as proof of leaving the country, the passport agency can hand you your new passport same day.)

We were rejoicing when we finally left the airport and were able to sit and figure out where we would stay for the next couple of days. I didn't have a desire to go to our new home. I didn't call my parents (I know! I can't believe it myself.). Don't forget that this is the same day as our morning wedding! I had been up since 5:30 am! While everyone following the wedding was praying for us as we supposedly traveled through a tropical storm headed near Mexico, they didn't know that their prayers were being answered in an entirely different way. In our hotel room later that night Christian went out to get us something to eat. I wandered around the room finding a pile of papers that he had pulled out of his pockets. A little card stuck out to me. It was a business card from the church we married in. On it, scrawled in my kid brother's handwriting was, "Take care of my sister." That was the first time I let a tear fall thinking of just how much I am cared for. First by my heavenly father, then my daddy, my brothers and finally the extraordinary man that I married. I didn't have anything to worry about.
Finally in paradise...and what ended up being the best honeymoon ever!

What was basically a worst-case scenario to occur on a honeymoon became something needed for us. As always, the Lord is behind the scenes making even the most shocking moments into beautiful ones. He works all things to the good of those who serve him. Christian and I learned to lean not on our own understanding of things, but to trust with all our hearts that Jesus would take care of things and make our paths straight. We learned to depend on each other and love each other through a crazy time. We learned that your honeymoon destination (especially when its tropical and there is a free upgrade to a beach-front suite involved) tastes so much sweeter after a few extra days stuck stateside. I learned to double-check my passport before leaving on a trip. On the plus-side, my new passport has my married name on it and it doesn't expire for the next ten years. Score! Lots of lessons learned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love it! Made me cry to read about Landon's note. And it reminded me of my honeymoon: only my suitcase with all my pretty things inside went missing for 4 days, coconut fell on our rental car and dented it, 30 minute drive (we estimated by looking at the map) took 4 hours winding through dense jungle and crocodile infested rivers (NOT exaggerating!). But by the end, I loved Kevin more than the day we got married and knew for sure God had given me "the right one"!

Sometimes the 'imperfect' experiences are the best!!

Your Aunt