by Dawn Smiling

I recently had the longest plane ride home. A two and half hour flight took 5 hours! Usually, a flight from Tampa, Florida to New York City is not a long flight when you fly non-stop.  When my mom became ill, I couldn’t concentrate on what flight to book.  I simply booked the first flight I could find.  It was not until hours before the flight that I realized I did not have a direct flight.  In fact, I had to switch planes.  This flight made no sense to me, but everything to God.  This was my first flight since my divorce.  Wow.  I dreaded this flight.  Yes, I wanted to see my mom, but I had to pack myself, get myself to the airport, have my bags checked, and find my way through the airport.  I usually just followed the person who carried the luggage- which was my ex husband.  I took what I thought was a lonely ride home…but I thank God for His grace.  God will give you enough grace to get where He wants you to be.  He never said it would be a comfortable ride through life, but He promised to be there. God really showed up for me.

As I entered the hospital room I braced myself for the worse.  It was a bitter cold night in New York.  I was freezing under all those layers of clothes.  But when I walked into the hospital room, I saw my mom look at me with a beautiful smile on her face.  I knew at that moment that Christmas came early for me.  I ran to her bed and kissed her.  I saw the Lord on her face.  She looked different in many ways! God had preserved her for me. 

The flight back to Florida was just as long as the flight to New York.  Again, I didn’t choose the right ticket, but I had a wonderful time with God.  We talked on the plane, and I saw my strength in the Lord.  God is too wise to make a mistake.  Everything happens for a reason.  It is up to us to trust that God will reveal His purpose at the appointed time.  I grew up in so many ways during this flight.  I grew up in my connection to my heavenly Father.  He has encouraged me to stretch and explore without fear. 

Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year.  The beautiful gift of Jesus is one we are so blessed to have.  Who knew that a child would be born with so much responsibility, and so willing to fulfill it?  Jesus did it for us.  We get to experience Him every day and introduce Him to our family and friends. 

I find it amazing that a store merchant will offer gift receipts incase the customer wants to return a gift that they don’t like.  I am so happy that Jesus did not come with a gift receipt.  We cannot return Him, and one size fits all.  You don’t have to wait until Christmas Day to experience Jesus.  You can experience Him right now!!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the greatest gift of all, Jesus!!

God Bless You!


Dawn Smiling enjoys volunteering at Grace Family Church as a prayer counselor, part of the soul care ministry, and as a table leader for Beautiful Monday Nights.

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