“I’m just going to read the reviews on our hotel one more time before we leave.”
Ten minutes later… “I can’t believe this! This can’t be right. I’m reading reviews online are they’re all saying our hotel has come under new management; the new management isn’t honoring prior reservations.”
My good friend LaurieBeth and I were just getting ready to leave for a week-long trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We had found a very inexpensive travel package and I was already nervous about the price of the hotel being too good to be true. Whenever I had a spare minute I was back online, obsessively checking hotel reviews just to make sure our chances of being murdered in the parking lot were minimal.
The newest reviews turned up just as LaurieBeth and I were getting ready to leave for the airport. Trying not to panic, I called the hotel, which confirmed the bad news: they had no record of our reservation. The fact that we had already paid didn’t make a difference- we could re-book, but we would have to pay all over again, at a far higher price.
LaurieBeth and I made the trip to the airport anyway. Something would work out, right? We spent the entire hour-long drive to the airport on the phone. Since LaurieBeth spends a lot of time on the phone for her job, I made her do the talking.
My parents dropped us off at the airport and drove away, promising to return if necessary. As soon as we were through security our phones were back out. I had booked our hotel/ flight package through an online booking site and we wanted them to help us out- either by getting us another hotel room or reimbursing us for the non-existent reservation.
Our efforts were not going well.
We decided to just go for it- fly to Las Vegas and find someplace to stay when we got there. We would get out money back. We would find a hotel room. Everything would be fine. Right?
Flying into the unknown
Landing at night and seeing the lights of Las Vegas is something I’ll never forget. I’m glad we booked a night flight. For that reason, at least. On the other hand, it was almost 10:00 when we landed, so the pressure was really on us to find a place to stay.
A google search led us to Excalibur- one of the cheapest hotels on The Strip. Fine. We’ll start there. What’s cooler than staying in a giant fake castle?
Next hurdle: it was Memorial Day weekend. The hotel management told us they were booked. Pretty much everything was going to be booked. At this point it was getting very late and my optimism was waning. We gave the check-in girl big sad Bambi eyes (LaurieBeth is way better at this than me) and duh duh duh dah! She found us a room. For eight times the normal price.
We took it.
Fear of the unknown
What if I hadn’t checked the reviews before we left? What if we had innocently showed up at our hotel, only to discover that there wasn’t anyone there to even let us in? What if we were stuck outside, late at night, in the streets of Las Vegas? (Our “budget hotel” wasn’t in a great area, let me tell you.)
That’s where so many of us are living our lives right now. What if we get sick, lose our jobs, drain our savings, have to do distance learning again next year? (Pleeease no!)
What if things never go back to normal?
Facing the unknown
Four years later, we laugh about the “Hotel Situation.” I would tell you now that it’s one of my favorite travel memories (this was just the start of a memorable trip, believe me). We can laugh because we know the end of the story.
It’s a lot harder to find the humor when you don’t know the punchline yet. I hate not knowing how things are going to turn out. I’m the person that skips to the end of the book and reads that first. If I could do that with my life, I would. I don’t like living with the “what ifs.”
Fearless in the unknown
It’s difficult not knowing what’s going to come next. Fear of the future is common. If you google top fears, almost all of them are future-related. Whether it’s health, finances, pollution, or global warming, people are afraid of the unknown.
As a single woman, there are many times when fear of the future creeps into my mind. I start to think about who will take care of me in my old age, or what retirement will look like. Those thoughts can keep me up at night and fill me with anxiety.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. –Proverbs 31:25
I don’t have to be afraid.
I don’t have to be filled with worry.
The woman who puts her trust in God will never be let down. Health, finances, and circumstances may fail us, but God never does.
We might not know what’s coming next, but we do not have to be women who live in fear. If we allow God to work in and through our lives, we can become women of strength and dignity- laughing at the days to come no matter what.
This week I’m thankful for the blessing of the unknown. It can be scary at times, but I’m so glad that God enables us to face it fearlessly. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!