God Makes the Best Seating Arrangements

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I had been on my first trip without husband or kids to a blogging conference in Nashville. The weekend had been a whirlwind. Things had broken down at home; the meal plans I had left had failed for my family; and my plane was arriving in the middle of the Superbowl!

In a word, it was a disaster. Or to spin it more optimistically, it did not go down as the best “Mom’s away” weekend in history. 

Reeling from a jam-packed weekend and knowing I was going home to a very tired husband, I dragged myself onto the last plane home. I knew that I had some priorities to get in place. I knew I had to reconcile my everyday life with the writing projects I wanted to tackle. I was mulling this all over as a woman settled herself into the seat next to me.

The flight from Phoenix to San Diego is pretty short, about an hour. And yet in that hour, this stranger, a mom of four grown children and grandmother of many, listened to my life story, encouraged me, prayed for me, and gave me advice — just like the women described in Titus 2.

Cathy and I have since met for dinner, shot emails back and forth, connected on facebook, and even attended a blogging conference together! While Southwest allows you to seat yourself, Cathy and I both know that God actually assigns the seating arrangements.

She was, and is, an answered prayer. Her words of counsel have echoed in my mind as my teenage son does and says the exact things that she has predicted. I take her cautions seriously — and I am always rewarded.

And I’m just so amazed that “a chance meeting” has resulted in not only a rich, rich friendship, but also confirmation once again of God’s mysterious ways and His love to meet our needs when we least expect it.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

How has God surprised you lately?

Edited to add: Here’s Cathy’s account of our “divine appointment.”

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  1. Hello Jessica! Great to find your blog through Cathy Horning’s. She’s a great friend. We’ll have to all three get together sometime! I’m a San Diego mom too. 🙂

  2. Wow, what a special gift God gave you. I think you are a spoiled child. Haha just teasing. But seriously, so awesome to see how God answers prayers in ways we aren’t even expecting! This post encourages me to keep asking and looking for answers as I raise my 3 teens!

  3. I have tears in my eyes from reading this post. 12 years ago, I met a woman that I referred to at the time as “my angel” on a short flight from Dallas to Phoenix. I was inspired, motivated and touched by the time spent chatting and later praying with her.

    We still keep in touch at Christmastime and I consider her a true Titus 2 woman.

  4. Jessica, thanks for sharing your story. It is wonderful how God’s divine plans work for us. It amazes me day after day, the people and circumstances God puts in my life, and the ways they enrich me. PERFECTION is the only way to describe him.

  5. I was praying for a verse to use in some cards for sick people recovering from cancer treatments in our church and Phil 4:19 is the one! Thanks so much for your Blog-I read it alot and it encourages me so! I am praying for someone with that kind of wisdom to please enter my life-What a blessing!

  6. Found this SO encouraging as I am leaving my family for the first time in FOREVER to go on a business trip and added bonus of a blogging conference in October to Atlanta.

    What a blessing to meet, and of course with God in control we should not be amazed or surprised, but frequently we are!