The Bahamas have been decimated by Hurricane Dorian hovering over the islands for 36 hours. Florida, the Carolinas and Georgia braced for impact, destruction, flooding, high winds.
Meanwhile, Don and I sat in sunny California wondering whether or not we should cancel our plans for an East Coast trip. Airports and theme parks were closing, while some friends we planned to visit were evacuating their homes.
Don was confident the worst of the storm would be over before we headed to Florida, and we decided to continue with our plans. Our flight left San Jose at 6:20 am Wednesday, had a short layover in Atlanta, and continued on to land in Orlando at 4:26, three and a half hours after the airport reopened.
From Atlanta to Orlando Don and I each had a center seat, so were not together. Short flight, no problem. A young black woman took the window seat beside me. She kept hiding her face in a blanket she carried. I introduced myself and Camilla told me this was her first flight ever–and she was absolutely terrified.
It was my privilege to pray with her and remind her of God’s promises to be with us; that fear is not from him but from the enemy who wants to destroy our confidence in God; and to hold her hand as she gripped mine for at least half of the flight. When we landed she thanked me profusely. I asked if flying was better, the same as, or worse than she expected.
“It wasn’t quite as bad as I expected,” she admitted. You go girl!
We checked in at our Disney hotel, where the registrar upgraded us from an interior room, no view, to a room with a view and balcony! What a blessing!
And on the shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel we learned there’s a Momcon conference here this weekend. MOPS is an international Christian organization bringing together and supporting mothers of preschoolers.
Tonight Don said “Do you realize 95% of the people in this hotel are women?”
I chuckled. “Yup, that’s because of the MOPS conference – look, another batch just walked into the snack area here.” We’ve enjoyed warm interactions in halls and elevators. What a delight to be surrounded by Christian women seeking to be wise and godly moms, and to feel the love and instant connection when we also identify ourselves as Christ-followers!
Thursday morning Don and I slept in, then headed over to one of the theme parks. Wednesday 8000 steps – Thursday, 10,000 – Friday 13000+! New records for me! And one night we got the giggles, paying for those 10,000 steps with severe leg cramps.
We bought and shared a sandwich, enjoyed cookies, and sat on our balcony for a very relaxed dinner overlooking the resort and the Swan, where we stayed on our honeymoon (a sister hotel directly across from today’s Dolphin). While sitting there, we called my brother and sister-in-law in Kansas, Arnold and Carol, and had a delightful conversation while we watched fireworks over at Epcot. It’s been a great day!
We’re still watching Dorian to see if the storm will impact our travels up the east coast next week. But how we’re anticipating spending time with dear friends and family during this time.
I’m amazed at the opportunities God puts in our paths if we’re open and listening and watching. I’m eager to see what the next week brings.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”John 13:35 NIV