I always love Lynn’s story of the Thanksgiving table-cloth, and this time it hit me even more: I seemed to hear God say ‘Get a mountain-sized table cloth ready!’ This is for us: Over time, I know our SUM community will have many thankful comments to share, many mountains that move, and many things to write. In some ways, this blog is our own communal giant tablecloth of thanks!
Anyway, I have one piece of thanks to add today, and it’s a cool story. I hope it will encourage any of you who hope to get to this year’s SUM Summit, because – get this – two weeks ago my husband and I sat together and booked my flight there -- A trip that will not cost me a penny. True story!!
Here’s how it happened:
When Lynn first started talking about the summit, a little thought bubbled up for me that hadn’t happened the previous time there was a conference. This thought was that I was to go, and that God would provide. With a big dose of optimism, then, I went onto our Facebook group and said:
“For the summit let's believe in miracles!”
It would take a miracle indeed. I live in New Zealand, a 12-hour flight away, and can only leave my children for a few days. That wasn’t the most difficult aspect though: How on earth would I explain to my husband that I want to fly twelve hours for this?! In his eyes it could be weird, and given the content, even slightly offensive.
A couple of hours after writing on the Facebook page, I found myself needing to do a bank transaction. This is something I do often, but that day I noticed something I’d previously ignored. At the very bottom of the screen there was a $$$ figure with the label “True Rewards”. My husband and I had been collecting these reward points ever since we got married almost 20 years ago but ignoring them. My jaw dropped as I realized that we had over a thousand dollars in points, I could spend them at a travel agent and I had a way to California!
This still left a hard part, though. I had to talk to my husband about it. I looked up tickets to L.A., and my heart sank. At US$1,300 the points would cover it but it was so much money for a 2-day trip. Shouldn’t I spend it on something we could enjoy together instead?
Time passed and Lynn announced the date. At this point, out of the blue my husband started mentioning these points for the first time in years, suggesting we buy a kettle with them! Wanting to shout “No!” at him, “Don’t spend those points!!!” I figured God was dropping me a hint to pluck up the courage and ask.
It took a few days, but I finally did it. My husband has a kind heart, but our faith difference is not an easy situation for us. Nevertheless, he looked straight back at me with an affectionate smile and said, “Sure.” Just like that.
Later, he surprised me again, “Come on then, let’s book it now,” he said. “Okay,” I squeaked, still feeling self-conscious. This was where one more surprise awaited: We went online to see that ticket prices had halved since I last checked, now being only $600. This meant that there would be points left over for transport and accommodation for me, and – better still -- enough points for my husband to get something nice for himself.
I know I’m to thank God for this, but I also feel gratitude for my husband's good heart. Today I have my thanksgiving going and am believing in more.
So, thank you, Gillian, for inspiring us with your story last week, and thank you, Alyssa, for sharing yours in last week’s comments. Both those stories help my faith in all this. These are three stories for our tablecloth of thanks representing three mountains that moved, and there will be more. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)
Let's keep believing! Share in the comments what you're hoping for, and let's pray for this summit.