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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

He Lifts Me Up

Last week I had thought about how God lifts me up in so many ways. I am amazed at all God has had going on the last ten days! Just in our part of the state He had a 24/7 job! And He is in all 50 states and all the world taking care of everything. He knows each one of us by name and how many hairs on our head! Sometimes I am just overwhelmed at the thought of this because I know I, not my family, am a 24/7 job! I am so thankful He does not get annoyed when I continuously call Him.

Due to a category 4 possibly 5 heading to my hometown of Wilmington I was stranded in Portland, Oregon with my daughter. We usually have a great time and play but this was not that kind of visit. Also, she had grad school and work so I was on my own. I knew that so I got there Monday night and was to return home Thursday. I had to be in Portland on Wednesday so there was no way I could come home before the storm.

My brother who lives about 2 hours away had my mom and my uncle stay with him. Mom always stays with us but because of the category they thought that was best in case we had to evacuate suddenly. Mom and I talked daily and shared tears wanting us to all be home and safe and together again.

I felt like I was in the way in Portland due to Sarah's busy schedule. My mind was running constantly but when I would get alone and talk to Him I was filled with peace. Several days I dropped Sarah off at work and God helped me to see Him in the beautiful mountains (Mount Hood) and beautiful rivers. I sat and soaked it all in and put everything in perspective. Everyday I would ask God why I was stranded there when Mike was to have surgery Tuesday (today) and I needed to be home. I never saw a sign on that but I would just say, "you know this is so hard but I trust you." Proverbs 3: 5, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding."

My flight was for Monday but that was looking doubtful for me to get home. I could not get any storm updates except an occasional blurb on the local news. Because of my location, I could only find maps on the internet. I was so restless but He would calm me down and give me peace when I looked to Him. Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Saturday morning I got a call from home that Mom had fallen and broken her wrist, hand and had a brain bleed. They took her to the hospital to check her arm she mentioned having a head ache just as the doctor walked in. He suggested a ct scan and that is when everything went south. I was told they would airlift her to UNC hospital because they had a neurosurgeon waiting for her. They were concerned with the brain swelling. This was not good.

I got on my knees and told God I was going to trust Him to take care of Mom, not let her be in pain, to get my brother to her and to get me to Mom! I asked for divine intervention for getting a flight. As of right then RDU was closed! I asked Him to get me someone compassionate and wanting to help. I got up and called the airlines. The nicest lady answered (shocker, right?) and was so helpful. I was crying and she was so compassionate! She said the airlines were opening in RDU at noon that day. She could get me on a flight!

In the meantime we were told the winds were too strong for mom to be airlifted. We were so scared. UNC came and got her. I got to the airport and had to see an agent. As soon as she said how are you I lost it. She was so compassionate and she took care of my seats. She mentioned putting a note that this was a family emergency. She had someone walk me to my gate and I was thankful because I could hardly think.

On the flight I was coming out of the restroom when one of the male flight attendants asked if I was ok. I nodded but my eyes were swollen and wet. He said, you look like you need a hug. I don't know about you but when someone does that - it is all over. I fell apart. He and his coworker both started crying and hugging and kissing me. They offered me to sit back there with them. They offered me a drink. They offered me points! Then they started looking at my connection and realized due to weather we were delayed. It was going to be tight for me to connect in Dallas. He spoke with the captain who called ahead and asked them to try to hold the flight for me! Then he wanted me closer to the front of the plane so he asked someone to switch with me. A little while later he brought this huge bag full of snacks for the hospital. Even several bottles of wine! I could hardly carry it!

When things calmed down I was looking out the window and thinking. I love to look at the beautiful clouds! I thought about how God lifts me up. He literally lifted me up over the flooded roads and downed trees to get me to my momma. He knew I would need to be stranded to be able to get to her. And this is just one of thousands of stories. Psalm 30: 1, "I will lift You up, O Lord, for You have lifted me up."

Then he told me what his mom means to him. He told me I had strong faith and he wants to. We had the best talk and he might be reading this blog! While he felt God was using me to help him - God was using him to help me keep leaning on my faith. Every time he walked down the aisle he would stop and hug me! I know people wondered what was going on! The gentleman beside me at my new seat was 26 and he said he agreed that I had strong faith. I had just been there a few minutes. He was talking about his moms strong faith. I laughed and told him I knew my girls get tired of hearing it. He said he does too but he knows it is what he needs. We had a great talk about faith. God was working away! The gentleman told me God is all over this for you. He even sent you two angels and laughed pointing to my giant goodie bag! When I got off the plane my new friend was hugging and kissing me bye.

My cousin picked me up from the airport at 1:30am. Mom and I had a tearful reunion and visited and laughed til 3:30am. I thank God that He lifted me up in so many ways. I can count so many little miracles in this blog and this was just for me.

God has used this hurricane in so many ways for good. Neighbors have helped neighbors. People are opening their homes to others. Our church fed hundreds last night from a shelter and the linemen. They are doing it again tonight. People are calling people they haven't heard from in years. Ecclesiastes 4: 9, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up."

We appreciate blue skies and sunshine more! Putting on sunglasses was a thrill today. The everyday things like food, power and gas are no longer taken for least for a little while. This is why we have to go through trials. It makes us grow and it makes us stronger. And He will bring good from this. Romans 8: 28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

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Paula Joseph Ellison
Paula Joseph Ellison

What an amazing experience; God is good!

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