This is why I anticipate a meaningful time in Amsterdam. It wasn’t just the days leading up to it. It wasn’t just the way I got the tickets (see next paragraph.) It was that Amsterdam has always been a thin place for me, a place God speaks, as I recorded in this post so many years ago when I stopped in Amsterdam on my way to meet Shah.
I haven’t fully shared how I got these tickets. I’d been trying to visit Amsterdam since Shah died. I just didn’t have the time or energy to make it happen. I’d been looking at tickets, but nothing with a reasonable flight was less than $1000 times two. I’d almost bought tickets for $630, but before Zoya got to bed they were gone. I did get a chance to talk to the friend I am staying with about good dates to come. Then a few weeks later I was about to buy the $1000 tickets. I was sitting at the beautiful Chattahoochee Coffee Shop on the river in Atlanta and I had an hour left to work. I opened the computer to start working, but then I decide to shut it down and just spend an hour enjoying God’s presence. I started thinking about something another widow had said to me about God taking special care of widows. Immediately, an alert popped up on my phone that tickets were $450. When you have to buy two that is HUGE. I bought right away.
Right now, I am just being, enjoying life, enjoying nature, and enjoying Zoya.
BUT again at the start of my trip God came through and let me know he was at work.
The first night I was here I fell asleep really early because of jet lag and then was up from midnight until 4 am. I tried to fall asleep listening to my book with the sleep timer, but I wasn’t falling asleep, so I switched to last weeks sermon podcast. Zoya falls asleep to the sermons all the time, so I thought I’d try.
Let’s just say when my pastor mentioned Shah’s name on the podcast, I had to sit up and shake my head to make sure I was awake and not dreaming. It was as if I had spoken my thoughts out-loud and he was answering. It during part of the sermon about resurrection.
I didn’t hear the sermon live, because basically, exactly as it was being preached I was telling Zoya about the resurrection for the first time at what she calls “Daddy’s cemetery.” (I’ve delayed telling her about the resurrection, because she needed to have a little better idea about the permanence of death first. I didn’t want her expecting Shah to be resurrected today, even if it could happen.)
God listens and he speaks. He gives hope and a future.