Last weekend, we flew to Phoenix for a hockey tournament for Hockey Boy. With my husband on crutches with a broken toe full of pins and such, I was left to do all the packing, loading, unloading, carrying and herding of the boys. Thankfully, the boys are now all great travelers and able to do a lot of the bag rolling, backpack carrying through the airport.
As we were landing in Phoenix, I reminded the boys to double check that they had everything. Check in the seat pockets and around your feet to make sure you have it all I must have said a few times.
It was not until we were unloading at the rental car complex that I realized I had left my laptop on the plane. I know how could I forget it after reminding the kids over and over to double check their stuff. Trust me they reminded me of that.
Suddenly the floor dropped out from under me.
Not because of the laptop. It can be replaced. It does have a password. It is just a thing.
Except my life over the last year has been full of little things, little stresses, adding up over time. Like a Jenga game, with piece after piece being removed until it all comes crashing down.
As I listened to the recorded message from the US Airways letting me know I would need to return to the lost baggage counter to report the item, while I stood by waiting for my husband to finish renting the car, while we drove back to the airport in our crazy big, boat of a car, I considered the many things that had brought me to this point of feeling like my world was collapsing, over a laptop.
The year of stress as my husband's small company fights to survive, never knowing how many paychecks are left. But he still has a job.
The writing process, the rejection letters, the internet full of people who have better things to say, never knowing where my place will be. But I do get to stay home with the kids.
The drama that comes with interacting with people, never knowing when someone is going to put their junk at your doorstop or step on your toes unintentionally. But I have people.
The broken toe right before Christmas. My husband undergoing surgery and not able to put any weight on it for weeks on end. But he is alive.
See all those buts. Nothing really bad has happened this year.
But all those stressors add up, weigh me down. And those are just some of them, the ones I will write down here.
So when I left my laptop on that plane, it felt like too much.
As we drove to the airport, I prayed for a win. I just need one win today, God. Just one.
But I have been a Christian long enough to know that God doesn't necessarily give us the win we want. He is not the lost and found department, well He is but not of my keys and my laptop. He gives us the best thing for us. And my laptop didn't feel like it was something I really needed, not really. Except I did. I desperately needed my laptop. Not for its sake but for mine.
I needed a win.
And amazingly enough. I got my win. My laptop had been found on the plane and was waiting at the gate ready to be reunited with me.
It could have so easily stayed hidden deep beneath the seat in front of my mine. It was in a black sleeve. Easy to miss. Obviously. I missed it.
It could have so easily been found after take off causing me a day or two of worry and changing of passwords.
It could have never been found, at least by the right people.
But it was.
I got my win that day.
And it made all the difference.