I woke one morning to a text, “are you free during the first week of July?” My partially closed eyes worked frantically with my fingers to open the calendar on my phone.
Almost as soon as I said yes, the man in the red jacket told me that he wanted to come back to California…to visit me. No other plans. No other reason to return. No reason other than me.
We began counting down the days, which we realized were far too many. And not long after that realization, the man in the red jacket told me that he’s coming a week sooner.
In the days since we first met, God has made himself so obvious to us and to those whose hearts have been open to seeing Him. And the new date of Michael’s arrival was no different. It took me a little while to see it. We had been so amazed by the way God opened the door for Michael to be able to visit sooner that I didn’t see God’s detailed love note in it.
I’m not good at math, but I pay attention to numbers. I believe in “angel numbers” (11:11, 3:33, etc) because I see them all the time, and I believe God drops little hints to each of us in different ways. When I see the number 3, I often think of God and the holy trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit); I hold it so dear that I pray whenever I come across 3:33.
The man in the red jacket moved his arrival date to June 21st. I was so excited! Yay!
It was couple weeks before I realized…June 21st was exactly 3 months before Ryan’s 3rd anniversary, and 33 months from the day of his accident.
And this realization was not long after it had been pointed out to me that our communication began on April 2nd…4/2…42 (Ryan’s station number).
As the days went on leading up to his arrival, God continued to announce His involvement in tiny details scattered throughout our story, and I continued to build confidence in the story He was writing.
The day finally arrived and I excitedly paced my house, changed my clothes a million times, and counted the minutes until it was time to head to the airport.
A “camp reunion” was going to take place as Katie and Rachelle drove me to the airport and patiently waited with me at the baggage claim.
I was giddy. My stomach was in knots. I couldn’t stand still, but I also couldn’t move. My cheeks were aching from the permanent smile on my face.
Katie was standing next to me, capturing every moment on her phone. Rachelle was standing across from me, ready to catch another angle on her phone. I was staring straight ahead, as though if I blinked, I’d miss him.
We stood there for a while and didn’t move. And then Rachelle said, “JENN. Look down at your feet…”
I glanced down. I stared at the ground. My eyes filled with tears. I pulled out my phone before making another move.
The shiniest penny I had ever seen.
If you’ve been following my story for the last 3 years, you know about these pennies from heaven…
I bent down to pick it up. My eyes were filled with tears, clouding my vision and making it difficult to read the year.
I wiped my tears and held that penny to my face. 2018. The year I wrote the list of my heart’s desires. The year I surrendered my heart to God. The year I put all my trust into His plan for me and my children.
I tucked that penny into my pocket and closed my eyes. I knew in that moment that not only was this completely orchestrated by God, but my husband was involved, too. And he was pleased.
Feeling the weight of that penny in my pocket removed the weight of wonder on my shoulders. I no longer wondered whether or not this was right. I no longer wondered whether or not Ryan would approve. I no longer wondered. I knew.
The only thing I wondered was how it would feel to finally embrace the man with the red jacket.
As people were descending down the escalator, Rachelle kept asking the passengers, “was your flight from Dublin?” She wanted to make sure we were in the right spot to welcome our friend from camp.
I studied the escalator as though I was going to be quizzed on how many people walked through those doors.
And then, I saw him.
Just like the first time I saw him at Hume, my heart was racing and my body was trembling. But this time, I wasn’t scared.
This time, I went straight to him.
This time, I knew why my heart reacted so strongly to him.
He is my heart’s desire. The one God had in mind for me when I surrendered to Him in 2018.
There, in the airport, was our first real interaction. Our first embrace. Our first look into each other’s eyes.
But to our souls, it felt like a reconnection.