The day dawned bright and clear, albeit a bit chilly for a September day in Georgia. As a senior in high school, my daughter, Riley, has been considering her college options for several months now. This was her first opportunity to attend 'College Days' at Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, Indiana. She and I were headed to the Hartsfield Atlanta Airport to catch an early flight to Chicago. We had scheduled our trip several weeks prior and were looking forward to this adventure; although I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about taking this trip without my husband. I couldn't remember the last time that I'd taken a flight without him. Or rented a vehicle by myself. I was outside my comfort zone, and right where God wanted me to be.
Being forewarned about the morning traffic, we left in plenty of time to reach our destination. When we reached the airport, parking became a problem. As we exited the parking deck after an unsuccessful attempt to park, I took a wrong turn and ended up heading back toward the highway. I could feel my heart rate speed up as I realized my mistake. I pulled over as quickly as I could and realized we were at the airport park and ride lot. What an answer to prayer. Not only were shuttles waiting to ferry us to the airport, but our driver proved priceless as she insisted on lifting our 50-pound suitcases up into the luggage bin.
Our flight was wonderfully uneventful. No turbulence and plenty of time to catch up on some reading. Once we landed and collected our bags, it was off to the rental car lot to pick up our vehicle. Another small glitch. We had rented a car with GPS, but there were no GPS units available. God once again reminded us of His presence as we headed off to the hotel with the directions my husband had just happened to print out for us, "Just in case!"
After checking into our hotel, we quickly changed clothes and headed to the college to register. Unbeknownst to me, Riley had some of her own apprehensions. She was here by herself and really preferred to stay at the hotel with me instead of staying in a dorm where she didn't know anyone. Relief washed over her when she found out that she was welcome to stay with me at the hotel. Another answered prayer.
Once in line to register, a vivacious staff member signed Riley in and pulled together a packet of information for her, in addition to linking her up with some other prospective students who were familiar with the layout of the campus and could help her feel welcome. What a blessing!
Over the next couple of days, God assured us of His presence in so many ways. We were able to print out directions at the hotel that allowed us to find our way to First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana without GPS. My husband was able to research a few GPS units and we were able to purchase one at a local Best Buy. Having access to satellite maps and having a voice tell us when and where to turn was definitely comforting in the big city of Chicago. God certainly provided.
As I look back over those few days spent with Riley, I cherish the fun mommy-daughter times we shared. I am humbled and amazed at the countless fingerprints of God that showed up all over our trip. My husband bought me a bracelet several years ago. Its inscription sums up our four-day adventure perfectly, "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20; KJV) There was nothing quite like being out of my comfort zone, and in an unfamiliar place, to bring me to the realization that I needed God's help every step of the way. He was more than faithful to remind me of His continual presence. Are you looking for Him, today?