The long wait…

Have you ever been in that situation when you want something to take place but it keeps on delaying? When you really have to see results, but nothing seems to be forthcoming? When you yearn for a person to say something but they seem never to notice that need? When all you have expected seems to be swayed aside? Well, my life has had lots of such waits that I cannot help it but elucidate them further. The waits am talking about are those times when you have to stay in anticipation for something that doesn’t happen any sooner. These waits prompt me to consider them lengthy! I come from a school of thought where things ought to be done one at a time; and either procedurally or sequentially. Thus, when one happening takes longer than expected, it definitely becomes long!! In this post, I shall highlight some of the moments I have had in the past four months that have stood out as being my long waits…

Firstly, my last days in Kenya before traveling abroad proved very long! I placed my application for the visa in June, and as they always state, the process was to take at most one month. To my amazement, the specified timeline ended and there was no word yet! This proved very wierd, especially given that the consulate in question was for Norway! All along I had been told that the Norwegian systems must and should duly work; and in the shortest time possible. The first blow is that the visa application had not yet been approved even when it was just a week away from our (Joyline and I) flight date. Then, we learnt that we had to keep working with the agents, who were to take care of everything. The Norwegian embassy had subcontracted their visa section to an independent Kenyan agency. This was to expedite the process, but ironically, it was proving otherwise, at least for us. Matters became even more frustrating when we had to keep calling the embassy; over and over again. Apparently, the calls could only go through on Tuesdays and within a specific time window of 1300 and 1500hrs. We actually never gave up…

2It became strange when some of our Kenyan friends began asking when we were to travel! Our farewell party had been planned only to get cancelled at the last juncture… Looking back at this; I thank God because it gave us time to ensure that we had packed everything; and that we had fully paid tribute to all out loved ones. I particularly became aware of the true taste of anxiety. Varied thoughts kept cropping my mind but, amidst them, Paul’s words to the Philippians remained profound that “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God“. And surely, we prayed for this matter and gave thanks for everything. I even remember at some point being very open-minded on the tragic inferno that struck the JKIA airport hence delaying all international departures. We got to the point of saying, that may be God was reassuring us that He was still in control of everything!

Secondly, when we (Joyline and I) travelled to Copenhagen mid-October for the NOSA conference, we had a funny encounter. Stepping out into a new city and having three hours at our disposal was quite something! Believe me when I tell you that three hours can prove to be like days, especially when you’re extremely tired and yet in a new city. This city wasn’t like what we had gotten used to. It had some interesting architecture and a wonderfully built mall. We had many ideas on how to spend the time but had no strength to realize the ideas. The only alternative was to go window-shopping in field’s, a large mall in Copenhagen, that was nearby. Courtesy of our fatigue we couldn’t walk a lot. So we sat down, at the risk of falling asleep on the colorful “stone-seats”. And then we began waiting for time to start moving… The wait was indeed a wait! In this waiting, I actually realized how much structures are essential. They actually ensure that we have things well lined up for progressive endowments.

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Elegantly-looking “stone-seat”

Thirdly, I reminisce my journey back to Trondheim from Copenhagen. I had packed everything so well and for no particular reason put even my backpack in my suitcase. And for some strange reason, I put every document, every amount I had on me and every card I had in the very suitcase. All the books were also intactly placed in that lovely blue luggage carrier.

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Ready for the flight with well packed suitcase

On getting to the Copenhagen airport, checking in wasn’t a problem at all. With my suitcase checked in, I was free; literally free including my hands. And so as expected, we proceeded in. This was around 1900hrs and our flight was at 2225hrs. As you may have noted, we had over three whooping hours to walk around this not-so-vast airport! Within an hour, I had already gone to every shop I had wanted to get into and was back to the waiting bay… Some of the poeple we had left at the conference venue found us and even left before us. We (Karla, Joyline and I) sat there very tired and just waiting to know which gate we were to board from.

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Joyline, very tired, waiting for the flight

Saying goodbye to the new friends we had met at NOSA sounded very awkward; especially given that we either came together or they had found us there! But finally, at around 2100hrs, we saw the gate and waited from there… Our flight took around one hour. While at Trondheim’s Værnes airport, the unexpected happened! My very well-packed suitcase was nowhere to be seen. At first I thought that I was dreaming; and so I keenly checked and even waited until there were no more luggages coming up. This was a heart-rending reality. I was now abruptly rendered helpless: with no money on me, no bus card, without my favorite Bible, and without my necessary documents. I was encouraged by the two ladies with me to go report the loss at the claims counter. Throughout this time, I couldn’t help but think of how it was going to be… And given some of the similar but cruel experiences I had had back in Kenya, I guess my worry was justified. The guy at the counter asssured me that they would do their best to recover the suitcase and drop it to my place within 12 hours. Despite this, I was still absent-minded!! As a result of all the happenings, we missed the bus we had earlier on already booked. On a different front, I saw God in availing another bus; which was the very last one. After talking with the driver, he discounted our new payment as a family. What surprised me most is the fact that he was willing to take us wherever we wanted to go. He duly kept his word; and freely chatted with me. He even reassured me that it would be well…

The wait for the suitcase ensued. On waking up the following day, my mind was still engaged with my very recent loss… But life had to go on. With 24 hours down the line and no word from the airport, I honestly panicked. But within me, was this small voice saying “Relax, it shall be well!” When Tuesday came, I purposed to forget about the loss, and reassured myself that the suitcase would eventually come and that’s all that mattered. So, I chose not to be so pre-occupied by the loss. Consequently, I went on with the day’s business… And at about 11am, the most resounding phonecall came through. “Hello, I have your suitcase. Are you at your address?” To this, I responded with an unclear explanation. I sighed for relief after my longest 35-hour wait!! I willingly yielded to the temptation to head directly to my place to see what had come through… On receiving it and verifying that everything was intact, I truly confirmed that this is indeed Norway. One’s luggage remains one’s luggage! I felt like screaming for joy, the Kenyan way but couldn’t. So, I ended up giving glory to God in prayer. He is truly Pre-eminent in creating some people the way He did. I agree with John the revelator when he writes “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

All the above three episodes remain significantly memorable to me. I treasure what the Lord has been doing in His own way; to surmount me with His love and beauty.

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