Rockefeller Center, NYC
I'm not sure when I became interested in visiting New York City. I never really thought I would get to see it, though. There were a couple of reasons:
1. The expense of a trip. Sometimes you can get a good deal on flights, but then there is the question of hotels in Manhattan - they aren't cheap. Plus, in my dreams, I attended a Broadway show. Another cost. Then there are taxis, subways, museum, food, etc. So, it didn't seem like a likely event in my little corner of the world.
2. Our daughter and our son both have some medical issues. Our oldest daughter has CP and in a wheelchair. She is unable to bathe, eat, or get in or out of bed on her own.
Our youngest son has a g-tube and requires a special formula and meds 2x a day.
Those two things in themselves seemed an insurmountable obstacle to me. It makes it very difficult to just pick up and go somewhere. If you have children, you can arrange child care, but special needs kids really have special needs.
For our 25th anniversary, my husband really wanted to take me to NYC. Our church, with so much kindness, gifted us with money to help with all the expenses. I was so touched by their generosity.
Even after plane tickets were purchased and hotel reservations made, I was very skeptical that I was really going. Our two kids in particular weighed on my mind. My husband said to me, "You really aren't sure we are going, are you?" I really wasn't. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night with a panicked feeling. Or I would think things like, "Maybe I just have this built up in my mind. Maybe I won't even like it there. Maybe it will be awful. Is it even safe?" My kids laughed at that last one. It's a typical thing only I would ask.
There was so much uncertainty. Would my mother-in-law really be able to come and stay with the kids? Would there really be someone that could come and put our daughter to bed each night? Would the bath aide cancel in the morning and Elisa wouldn't even get a bath? Would the home nurse come when she was supposed to? (At that time, we had some home health care workers that weren't reliable).
But you know what? All the details fell into place and one morning, we arrived at the airport for our early flight to Chicago (only 45 minutes by air from where we live) and then on to New York!
I'll never forget flying into LaGuardia airport. As we walked through, I kept telling myself, "You are here. You are actually here!"
I wanted to throw my arms around our taxi driver and tell him how glad I was to see him. I wanted to grab perfect strangers and tell them how happy I was to meet them. I didn't do either, but it was in my heart. I could feel happiness radiating off of myself as we put our suitcases in the trunk and climbed into the back seat.
We drove into the city and I was the typical tourist, craning my neck to see all of the skyscrapers. We pulled up to our hotel in midtown Manhattan and checked in. We literally plopped down our suitcases, changed into comfortable shoes, left the room to explore, and didn't come back into the room until dark.
I had been a little concerned that my husband would only want to do a little sight seeing. But I didn't need to worry. He was game for wherever I wanted to go.
We were within walking distance of Rockefeller Center and went there first. I watched the people ice skating beneath the statue of Promotheus, and felt like I was having an out of body experience. We walked on to Grand Central Station after that. I've lost track of everywhere we walked to on that first day. I don't think I had ever walked that much in one day in my life! But it seemed there was something spectacular to see on every street corner.
A couple of days later, on a bright, sunshine filled October afternoon, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge towards the One World Trade Center. It was such a beautiful day. The Brooklyn Bridge is simply majestic. It has been standing there over the East River for 146 years! As I walked, I prayed that God would be with the people of this great city. As I did, I could feel God's heart for New York, too, and for every person that called that city home.
It's strange, I know, to have such a love for a place that isn't my home. Of course, I'm only a guest there when I visit. It is a romanticized time for me. I don't live there, work there, or have to pay rent there. I'm just on vacation. I get to enjoy all the wonderful things the city has to offer in a very compact time.
But I wanted to share this for you. Whatever dream you have in your heart, no matter how far fetched it may seem, God can work out all the details. He is very kind and wants to give you the desires of your heart. I always think of that verse, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33). I think as we try and live our lives for God, He will add those things that mean a lot to us.
Last year, we took our daughter to NYC for her first visit. It was so amazing and wonderful to see all the sights through her eyes. That entire trip still has a dreamlike quality.
My husband just recently said, "It feels like we should be taking a trip to New York." We both said he probably felt that way because of the time of year. We visited New York in the fall these last two times. But hopefully, we will get to return again next year. At least, I am hopeful that we can.
What dreams do you have right now? What places do you imagine going to? God is interested in making those dreams come true!
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