Friday, August 5, 2011

The stranger on the plane...

When Leeland was just 7 weeks old, I had the opportunity to fly to Pennsylvania to visit Weston's family. Weston was flying one of his clients up there and I was flying commercially, with Leeland, to meet him. I was a little nervous about flying by myself, with a baby, but I had nothing to worry about. This is pretty much what Leeland did the whole time!

I love flying. And not just because my husband is a pilot. In general, I love flying commercially more than flying privately. I love airports. Going through security does not bother me. I love getting Starbucks and waiting at my gate. I love people watching. Observing and wondering. Making up little stories in my head about the people I see- who they are, what they are doing, where they are going, etc.

Except there's one little problem. I like staying inside my head. I don't want to actually talk to the people I'm observing. And the problem usually comes when it's time to get on the plane because I always seem to be stuck next to people that want to talk. And for some reason, I hate talking to the person sitting next to me on the plane. It's just awkward to me. Yeah, we may talk for a few minutes and have great conversation, but then there's the whole 2 hour flight after that when you have nothing to say. Awkward.

Right before my flight in October with little tiny baby Leeland, I got a little convicted. I caught myself praying that I would not be sitting next to people that would want to talk. But then I remembered stories that people told about how they were able to share Jesus with the person sitting next to them on the plane, and I knew I was being selfish. Instead of praying against these opportunities, I needed to be praying FOR them. It was one of the scariest things I've ever done, but I actually prayed for someone to talk to on my flight. Someone to share with.

I boarded early since I had a baby, got all settled and waited in anticipation as the rest of the passengers began to board. I assessed every person approaching my row, wondering if they would be sitting next to me. And then she arrived. She was pretty, clearly a young businesswoman. Probably not much older than me but she seemed to be in a different world than me. She was dressed so nice with her cute purse and work bag. I thought she could have nothing in common with me as I sat there in my jeans and t-shirt, cradling my 7 week old baby. I was just hoping that she didn't hate babies and that we would make it through the 2 hour flight.

After sitting there for about 5 minutes, she realized she was in the wrong seat. She was supposed to be in the middle seat across the aisle. But since she had already gotten all settled in, we decided that she could just ask the person that was supposed to be in that seat to trade. And they did.

As the flight got started, we began to talk. She asked lots of questions about Leeland and about my pregnancy, but that didn't seem out of the ordinary to me- once you get pregnant and have a baby, that's ALL anyone talks to you about. We talked about our husbands and realized that they were a lot alike, and we even got married the same year, just one week apart. I told her about my previous job at ETBU, and most people have no idea what it involves, but she actually had a friend that did that exact same job! It ended up that we had a lot in common.

Then I asked the question. I'm always nervous to ask about couples plans to have children because you just never know the situation. I know so many couples that want to have kids but can't so asking about it can be a sore topic. I had thought about it and avoided it but after talking for a while, decided it was ok. This is how the conversation went:
Me: "So, do ya'll want to have kids?"
Her: *hesitation* "Well...."
Me: *immediately regretting asking* "I'm sorry, is that an awkward question? You don't have to answer!"
Her: "No! It's not awkward at all! I'm actually pregnant right now, but we haven't told anyone yet. A lot of my business partners are on this plane so I didn't want any of them to hear."

And we talked for the whole rest of the flight. Like two little girls at a slumber party, sharing secrets about boys we have crushes on. Except we were two women in our twenties, on an airplane, sharing secrets about our families.

I never got her name. I didn't share "the plan of salvation" with her. But I think she was the answer to my prayer. She didn't sit in the wrong seat on accident. I think God put her there.

We were both a little sad to say goodbye. After leaving, I so wished I had gotten her name so I could look her up on facebook. But that one two hour flight was all we had. From sharing about our lives, I could tell she wasn't a Christian. But I hope that she could tell I was different. I hope that she could see The Light in me. And I hope that something resonated within her. I firmly believe that God had a purpose for bringing us together. And I know that He is working within her. Even if I'll never see the stranger on the plane again.

1 comment:

  1. I just got chills reading this story. WAY cool. God is good. Thanks for sharing.