My trip home from STEP was a huge reminder of God’s provision. Since we all need that reminder now and then, I thought I would share it with you all. 🙂
The day started off fairly like I planned. After teary goodbyes, two sisters dropped me off in the Longview bus station around 11-ish on their way home, and I got all checked in and stuff no problem. I sat around and waited for my 1:35 bus. And waited. And waited. Another bus came and went, and I thought for sure mine was right behind it. But no. The lady behind the counter told me my bus was running 40 minutes late. So I waited for another 40 minutes. A lady who was waiting for the same bus called someone she knew who was riding the bus and asked where they were. They were at least 20 minutes away still. So we waited some more.
I was getting concerned at this point, because I had an hour and a half layover between when I was supposed to get in to Dallas and when I was supposed to leave Dallas on the next bus. Even I can do the math to see that my layover was disappearing muy rapidamente. First lesson in not freaking out and worrying. I spent a lot of time trying to focus on God in the Longview bus station rather than on how late my bus was being, but I was sure antsy by the time it got there at 3 – a whole hour and a half late. The lady behind the counter had commented on how slow the bus driver was, and I thought to myself that she had better pick up her pace for the rest of the trip. It felt like forever before they finally loaded my stuff because someone who was getting off couldn’t find one of her bags.
Finally we got underway. The bus was pretty full, and I ended up having to sit way in the back. A middle-aged-ish guy wearing a camo vest got on at our next stop and sat next to me. For the next while he decided to tell me all about how he was going home and was going to grill all this food over the weekend and he was looking forward to partying and getting drunk and all that. That was *ahum* interesting. He had a gps program on his phone and was tracking the route the bus took, and he periodically updated me on where we were. So we were going along, and I was thinking this bus better hurry, and watching the road signs for any hint of Dallas, when we hit road construction. The bus slowed to a crawl and then to a stop. There was a huge amount of traffic, all trying to condense into a couple lanes to get through construction. We inched forward and stopped again, and so forth for what felt like an eternity. By 6:20, when my next bus was supposed to leave, we were still a ways out from Dallas. I started texting my dad back and forth trying to figure out what to do. He and Mom were looking online looking at alternate buses but we couldn’t make any plans until I got to Dallas.
During the Longview-to-Dallas stretch I had to fight frustration with the driver and anxiety about my next bus. But God loves me the best, and so He didn’t leave me to my human instincts. He reminded me about how I need to bless people I’m frustrated with. So I started praying for the bus driver and blessing her, and God gave me peace about the whole situation. When the anxiety and frustration tried to creep in again, I went back to blessing the driver.
We finally reached Dallas and wound up in the station at about 7:45. There were quite a few passengers who had missed their buses by this time, so we ended up in a long line to the front desk. I texted my dad that I was there and awaiting assistance, then just stood in line waiting. I was feeling frustrated again at this point (especially after a security guard yelled at us for lining up in the wrong place). While we waited, though, God poked me again. At some point in the last week or so He had given me the thought that whenever someone asked how I was and I didn’t feel like answering anything positive, I should just answer “I am so blessed to be here!” and then count the little blessings until I felt positive. So standing in that line in Dallas He reminded me of that. Whups. So I told myself I was blessed to be there, and blessed that we’d made it when we did, and that God was doing what was best. I’m going to have to make that a habitual response, because goodness that makes a huge difference in attitude!
By the time I got to the desk it was close to 8:15. I told the lady behind the desk where I was going and gave her my ticket for the bus that left without me. She typed on her computer for like half a second and exclaimed, “There’s a bus to Wichita leaving right now! Come with me!” She grabbed new tickets and whisked me out the door to the bus, pretty much shoving the tickets in my hand as she told me to get on. So I got on the bus and after a few minutes thought to actually look at the ticket and find out what my new schedule was. I sat there and squinted at it in the dim light. I was going to have a second transfer in Oklahoma City, and there would be a 40-minute layover between buses.
At 8:30 the bus driver finally got on and we pulled out. He apologized for leaving a half hour late (insert me calculating thirty minutes out of my layover) and explained that he’d had to get the A/C serviced. (The servicing must have been a success because it was plenty cool in there.) The funny thing is that if his bus hadn’t been getting serviced I would have missed it too! I would have been standing in line when it pulled out at 8, and would have probably had to wait a couple hours at least for a new bus. God provided a late bus just for me, and reminded me that ‘He loves me the best’. 😀
So we traveled along towards Oklahoma City. The thought that if things went well and this bus was prompt I would only have 10 minutes until my next bus left kind of tried to nag in the back of my brain, but for most of the trip I didn’t feel much worried because God had already provided this bus, and He could provide another one in Oklahoma. We were supposed to get into the station at 11:40, and leave for Wichita at 12:20. Well, at 11:40 the bus driver told me we were 45 minutes out from Oklahoma City, but that he’d get me there in time for my bus. Come 12:20 we had just reached Oklahoma City and were weaving through the streets about five minutes out from the station. As soon as we pulled in, the driver specifically pointed out the bus to Wichita to us all, and when I got off he said, “I told you I’d get you here in time!” They whisked our stuff on board and we left the station immediately (which is why I wonder if he’d specifically told them to wait for us), about ten minutes late. So God kept my third bus late for me too! I told you He loves me the best. 😀
The bus to Wichita made its way without incident, and get this – I got in at the exact time that I would have if I had not missed the 6:20 bus out of Dallas. My dad came and picked me up from the bus station at 3:45 in the morning, which was very sweet of him since that meant he got up at 1:30 am for me.
So, yeah. That’s my story of playing musical buses, and how God provided exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask or imagine yet again. We serve such an awesome God! Don’t you ever forget that, you hear?
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19