When Everything That Can Go Wrong Does

mad woman

Ever have one of those days when everything possible went wrong? Sure you have. We all have. It's how we respond that separates the weenies from the warriors.

Take my friend Lana for example. Her story will make your eyebrows stand at attention.

Lana's daybreak flight from Denver to Philly was late. By the time she reached Philly, air traffic control had too many planes in the air so circling the airport repeatedly created even more of delay.

Upon deboarding, she found that she had exactly ten minutes to make her connecting flight at a terminal completely at the other end of the airport. Can you say Usain Bolt in heels? 

But alas, she arrived panting and sweating only to find that her flight had been cancelled. The only other connecting flight to her speaking engagement in Baltimore would arrive too late for the event.

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Lana called the event planner for advice and was talked into renting a car and driving the nearly three hour trek. So she went to baggage claim to retrieve her luggage and was told no problem - the bags would arrive within 30 minutes.

Three hours later her bags arrived and by then the Philly car rental services were fresh out of cars. Every one. How could that happen?

So she spent the next two hours on hold with the airlines trying to get a flight - any flight - including a return flight because hers was automatically canceled along with her original flight.

Finally something went right, or at least it seemed that way at the moment. She was able to get a new boarding pass and needed to recheck the behemoth bags she'd been lugging around into the Philly TSA. But as she stepped into an elevator to head back to security, the elevator got stuck between floors. After much panic and not a little screaming, the elevator gasped for life and chugged slowly to the nearest floor, where Lana rapidly exited. She reported to a TSA agent what had happened. Despite Lana's reluctance, the agent insisted that Lana get back on the elevator to ride along with her to prove it was a fluke and would never happen again.

It happened again.

When the agent tried to pry the elevator door open, she only succeeded in jamming it, which prevented the door from closing, which prevented them from going anywhere.

Before Lana could follow through with her frustration by kickboxing the elevator door, the ultra-professional, petite agent surprised her by punching the door with her fist. Would you believe it - the punch did the trick and the door closed just enough to get them up to the next floor.

There's something to be said for watching Rocky I- XV. (Incidentally, by Rocky XV I believe he was duking it out in the ring with Hilary Clinton.)

When Lana finally got to the appropriate gate, she found that high winds had prevented the plane she was supposed to take from coming into Philly from Pittsburgh. The next flight didn't leave until the following morning, which means Lana would entirely miss her speech scheduled for that night.

That was when she texted every friend she knew to start praying. Now. She was NOT going to cave and let Satan win this one. She'd had enough. Time to fight fire with fire. 

Within 20 minutes, the wind died down. The plane came in. Lana was able to board on time (although they changed the gate and she didn't realize it until the last minute) and she arrived in Baltimore late that night. Her speech was rescheduled to the next day.

Like most of us facing terrible, rotten, ridiculous circumstances, Lana first panicked and nearly fell to pieces. But she didn't stay that way. Her faith kicked in (better faith than an elevator door, right?). She might have started out as a weenie but she ended strong. As a warrior.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1, NASB)

Yep. There's power in prayer. Weenies morph into warriors. The underdog can become a champion. Even against Hilary's left upper cut.

Debora M. Coty is the author of 10 books and is a newspaper columnist, orthopedic occupational therapist and tennis addict. Follow Debora on Twitter @deboracoty.

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