A God-Wink in Chicago

Hello from Wisconsin!!!

I hope everyone had a relaxing and wonderful Fourth of July Weekend! I sure did! Right now, Steven and I are up in Wisconsin with my family at our lake home! We’ve been boating, firework-ing, cooking and eating, imbibing in a few cocktails, and truly, just enjoying being together!

Well, gosh, do I have an incredibly story for you tonight, that happened on Friday as my special gentleman and I were flying to Wisconsin. Pop some popcorn, guys, sit back and relax because this is one heck of a doosey!

Maybe this is just me, but I think sometimes, when God’s hand it at work in our lives, we don’t always see it, because it can be disguised as an inconvenience, or a detour, or…in this case, something incredibly frustrating!

Indulge me for a moment, and allow me to start at the beginning.

So…Steven and I originally booked our tickets to fly into Wisconsin on Friday night, at 10:30pm, connecting through Chicago.

BUT, when some plans changed last week, we realized that we could change out flight (for free) and fly in earlier in the day on Friday. SO we changed out flight, and were scheduled to arrive early in the afternoon, in time for an afternoon of boating and the Friday Night Fish Fry.

Anywho – Friday morning, Steven picks me up in a Uber and we arrive at the airport with plenty of time – about two hours – to spare before our flight….anticipating a surge of holiday travelers, getting a quick Independence Day getaway.

Well. We get to our gate, only to find that our flight has been delayed two hours, meaning that we’re going to miss our connecting flight in Chicago.

OH NO.

But not to worry. We were on it. We logged onto the airline’s app and were able to change our connecting flight to this airline’s last flight out of the day, at 7pm.

So we had two hours to kill at the airport. We’d be arriving later than we’d hoped, but, grand scheme of things, all was good. We were going to be getting there. Just a little inconvenience. It’s okay.

So we have a nice lunch and a cocktail at the airport…afterall, we’re officially on vacation now.

Welllll, not soon after, our phones get pinged….our fight is delayed ANOTHER TWO HOURS!

Oh gosh. Our layover cushion in Chicago is now just an hour. We’re still okay, but we’ve got to get to the bottom of this.

So we rush back to our gate area, and of course, being Newark Airport, there was nobody around to help, and the gate agents who were there wouldn’t let me talk to them. “This isn’t your gate, wait until your agent arrives an hour before your departure.”

And then, *ping* we get another notification…the flight is delayed another hour an a half. “Passengers on flight 3584 to Chicago, we just got word, your plane is stuck on the ground in Dallas. We’ll let you know when it leaves, and then we’ll get you out after their three hour flight.

This is no good. One of the biggest travel days of the year. And we were for certain going to miss our connection now in Chicago. The flights tomorrow morning were all booked. No one around to field our questions. If we were going to get to Wisconsin, we were going to have to figure out how to do it ourself.

We looked at rental cars out of Chicago….not a single one. We looked at buses from Chicago to Wisconsin…booked.

Finally, we got on our phones and started looking if there were ANY other flight options that day, even other airlines.

And there was one other flight out of Newark that day to Chicago and then onto Wisconsin at 9:10pm. But it was on a different airline, and there was no way for us to book that flight without a gate agent.

So. I was a woman on a mission. I found a gate agent who was having lunch in the food court. I waited off to the side until she was finished, and then as SOON as she threw away her garbage, I said, “I’m so sorry to bother you, but we’ve been delayed six hours, we’ve missed our two connections in Chicago. *This* (showing her the flight on my phone) is the only flight to our destination today, could you please book us on this.”

She, of course, said she was busy and couldn’t.

Crushed, I went back to our seats, when I saw a little guy come out of the employee lounge. This was my last chance.

“Sir. Could you please help me?”

And sure enough, this wonderful man got on the computer system and booked those last minute tickets for us. We got THE LAST TWO seats on the flight. We were going to be okay.

The flight out ended up being delayed another 45 minutes on the tarmac. And we ended up having to run through the Chicago O’Hare airport to catch our 9:10 flight.

But it doesn’t end there.

So, we’re running to our gate in Chicago, and wouldn’t you know….the 7:10 flight to Wisconsin was ALSO delayed, and hadn’t left yet. And it just so happened to be 4 gates down from our flight.

So we run to the gate agent in Chicago…“Sir, any chance we can get on stand-by for this flight?”

“Well, it’s full, but you can try.”

Sounds good.

So we get our standby tickets, and sit down in the waiting area to see if we’re going to make the flight.

And all of a sudden, I heard this sweet little voice behind me, “Is your name Caralyn?”

I turn around to find this beautiful young woman, smiling at me.

My mind instantly went to the worst case scenario…Oh gosh, did I drop my ID?!

“Hi, yes….???”

“Hi, I just wanted to tell you that your book changed my life.”

When I tell you that I got choked up and almost started crying.

“Oh my gosh thank you so much!”

We gave each other a huge hug, and had a wonderful conversation right there in the gate area. She got to meet my special gentleman, and it turns out, she was on that same flight to Wisconsin.

But gosh, meeting her absolutely made my day. It was so affirming, and I felt like my heart was bursting out of my chest.

But it turned out that she had also had quite the day, getting there, complete with her own slew of cancellations and delays.

And we got to talking, and we both came to the conclusion, that we both went through all the detours and roundabouts that day, for the very purpose that our paths would cross that evening at the tiny gate while waiting on stand-by.

That God allowed those crazy things to happen, so that we’d be at that very place at that very time, able to connect with one another.

Yes, Steven and I ended up getting on that stand by flight and we arrived in at the lake home at 11pm, where we proceeded to have a huge snack because we were HUUUUUNGRY!

But this episode just reminded me that God is always working, even in ways that are a little bit mixed up, a little bit disruptive, a little bit helter skelter. But at the end of the day, He’s always got our best interest at heart.

So there you go! That was my story of how God winked at me in Chicago!

To my new friend! Thank you for introducing yourself! It was a joy to meet you and I will be keeping you and your ministry in my prayers!

And if YOU would like to order my book, you can click here!

Have a wonderful Monday! We’re off to go on the boat!

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

43 thoughts on “A God-Wink in Chicago

  1. Love your stories! And yes, just when things seem to be out of control (we were running through the airport three weeks ago, similar scenario), God shows us He’s totally in charge. I’m so happy that both you and your reader were able to meet…God wanted to show you how valuable your work has been. Blessings!

    1. aw thank you so much!!! you’re so right, God will always prevail and show us that He’s been in control all along! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  2. Wow Caralyn, what a story!! I’m glad that you guys made it to the lake in spite of the crazy flight cancellations. Honestly, I’ve been through O’Hare many times and have also had to run to catch a flight. I don’t like that airport and try to avoid it. Have a wonderful time!

    1. Hey John! Isn’t it a wild story of how it happened!? Yeah O’Hare is a time warp! Time gets lost there!! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. that is SO SO true Mark!! and boy, did we have a will! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  3. I always plan my trips for work with specific destinations and activities each day. sometimes everything I planned blows up. I’ve learned to roll with it, because almost every time the screw up opened things up for something better. One time it even got me to a friend in Nashville who had just been diagnosed with cancer. I don’t always roll with those punches, but I’ve learned to do it more often!

    Have a great time in Wisconsin and safe travels back!

    1. Hey Jeff!! Yeah, same here. We ended up missing the big fireworks show on our lake and this huge 200-person party our neighbors were throwing. and my amazing parents missed all of the festivities too because they wanted to drive the 30 minutes to pick us up. But you’re right – God is always in control and has our back! oh my gosh, wow – that sounds like it was a really meaningful outcome. I’m glad you were able to visit with your friend! thank you! i hope you and your girls had a wonderfully relaxing weekend! Hugs and love xox

      1. I’m glad you’re having such a restorative vacation with all you love! And how nice that you still have the lake house even though your folks moved out of your childhood home! Be well!

    1. Thank you so much Ryan! 🙂 You’re right about that – God is so good! I can’t believe that both of our days led us to that point! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. arangels are at work! how great! i love that! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  4. Beautiful post tonight. Thanks for sharing Caralyn! What a great reminder that God is always working even in ways that don’t make sense and seem chaotic- just like you said. I hope you had a lovely Fourth of July with your loved ones. -Laura

    1. hi Laura! thank you so much!!! you’re so right – God orchestrated that meeting – just like He is working every minute of every day in our lives, even when it seems like a detour or chaoitic! aw, thanks i hope you had a wonderful weekend too! Hugs and love xox

  5. I totally get it! I just finished a book entitled When God Winks at You, How God Speaks Directly to You Thorugh the Power of Coincidence by Squire Rushnell. Your experience is exactly what he describes in the book. We just have to notice those opportunities in our busy lives!
    Enjoy Wisconsin, a state special to my heart! And safe travels!

  6. SQUEEEEEE!! I just love this! I’ve had some God-winks, too, and doesn’t it just make you feel like a super special daughter? Thanks for the encouraging story. You’re right… God is always working things out, even when He doesn’t give us a glimpse like this.

  7. Caralyn, your story illustrates this Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” So good that you had a divine connection in the midst of frustrating delays and that you made it to the lake home. Enjoy!!! xoxo

  8. Have fun and it is always amazing at how God’s plans always prevails and determines our steps. Lovely story and beautiful pictures 🙂
    Thank you xoxo

  9. That is such a beautiful story. I had a rough day yesterday and waited till this morning to read your blog. That was for sure 100% God and his perfect timing! I hope you have an amazing time in Wisconsin!!

  10. Carolyn, the unspoken testimony here is so powerful. Unlike the people in the world, you didn’t blow up at delays, changed plans, exhausting layovers. You weren’t demanding or obstinate. When tested, you pass with patience and perseverance. Very encouraging to others!
    Thank you for sharing this story and the rewarding encounter at the end.
    May the Lord continue to order your steps and go before you – and Steven – always. ❤

  11. It is great that you made the most of it. We have so little control over air travel. Beth and I had a similar story on our first Amtrak adventure. Eventually we canceled our return seats, rented a car and enjoyed that leg. The train would’ve been from Omaha to Chicago then to Milwaukee. We kept checking on the train as we drove. We got to the Milwaukee depot by car faster than the train got to Chicago Union Station. Memorable and fortuitous!

  12. Just a couple notes, Caralyn, on the God-wink. My bride and I have only flown through O’Hare in Chicago ON TIME once! That’s over 25 years of flying annually or more. We finally gave up and started using Delta instead of United and just decided to forget all the “miles earned.”
    Flying had become a pain even before 2020, but when going overseas, there simply is no alternative, but think about the possibility of driving between WI and NYC next time?
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

  13. I truly believe God had all that mess planned before time began. Your meeting that woman whose life was affected by your book was no accident. Any inconvenience you experienced was trivial in comparison and I love that you recognize it. Your trust in God is inspiring.

  14. What a great story! I love how God orchestrates those special moments for us. I used to be so frustrated when those situations happened, but I’m learning, through a few stories of my own, that with God nothing is wasted – he’s always in control and always has something good in store for us. Thanks so much for sharing. This was a great reminder!

  15. I just love God-moments like that. They sure help to remember in the times when it feels like prayers aren’t heard. It’s so much bigger than us…. Have fun on your vacation 🙂

  16. Airport stories are the craziest, Caralyn! But God was definitely in all that. And I think He led me to your post today to remind me of why we blog and write–to encourage others and point them to Him. God bless you. 💙

  17. Great story Caralyn. As mentioned above, your recognition of God’s work in our lives through the Holy Spirit is inspiring. I live a few miles north of O’Hare and I hate it. It’s just too busy and loud, etc. However, the good part about living so close is we can easily jump on a plane and fly anywhere in the world quite easily. Ironically, my family went up to the Wisconsin Dells for an annual summer trip this weekend also. Beautiful weather and wonderful family memories.

    Thanks & Godbless,
    Reid

  18. Sounds like your very only planes trains and automobiles, but more planes planes and more planes. Great end to a hectic journey. Most be so fulfilling that your words has help someone, and when you take a step back, imagine all the people that you have helped through your blog and other work, many of which may never say, or maybe havent got the words to express. Enjoy your time with family. 🙂

  19. 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗
    Winking with you, Caralyn!!!
    😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

    1. hahha aw, thank you Dawn! I love a good wink from the Big Guy Upstairs! 🙂 hope you had a marvelous holiday weekend too! Hugs and love xox

  20. You know it’s going to be good when you’re told to pop some popcorn 😆

    I love moments like this. The little God moments that remind us that God’s always got a plan. I had a similar delay-and-wait game (over the course of weeks) that ended in a God moment.
    It makes me think of Proverbs 16:9.

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