I was on my way home from a month long trip to the United States. My trip was loco. Working almost every day until 3:00 a.m. as a freelancer and trying to spend time with my daughter, best friend, and family.
It actually was amazing. We didn’t do anything super exciting. As I get older, the idea of spending quality time trumps anything else. Looking back, I cherished every moment with them, just talking, loving the people who love me in return—they love me for no good reason, by the way.
Here comes the last day in the United States with my daughter–and I hear some crazy news. It was surreal. An underwater fiber-optic cable connecting Tonga to high-speed internet was cut in the middle of the ocean, leaving the country (100,000 population in 170 islands) without access to “the outside world”. I could NOT believe this was happening. JUST when I finally decided to work-from-home full time, BOOM… NO INTERNET IN THE ENTIRE ISLAND. How is that even heard of or possible?! I was thinking it could not be true. Was God trying to tell me something? Why did He bring me there?! Why did everything have to be so hard for me? Must I struggle for everything I want in life?
I decided to go back home, although I deliberated just staying back in the U.S. forever. I JUST had obtained new freelance clients. NOT just any clients, I mean AMAZING clients. One, in particular, was like a dream. I couldn’t believe she was asking ME to work with her. Now this. I knew I would lose her and others. I just was devastated the night I heard. I spent a month in America with hopes to come back and work from home, but it just wasn’t going to happen for me. For someone like me.I panicked, called my office and let them know… well, that I was panicked. Amazingly enough, they are WONDERFUL people who were willing to help me in whatever way they could. The next morning I woke up with a peace that surpasses all understanding. I knew I had to go back home to Tonga. No matter what I was about to face, I needed to get home. I wanted to honor my work obligation in Tonga and trust the Lord will guide my steps.
I woke up the next morning, after a night of downtrodden prayer, with a calm in spirit. I got ready and got on that flight–with a clear head. If you know me, you would know that I am not hokey about the things that happen in life. I believe the Lord is the creator and it all falls into His glorious plan.
The flight going to the U.S. was during the Christmas season, which meant squished seats and cranky families. The flights back home, on the contrary, allowed me an empty seat on EACH flight (all 18 hours of it). Then when I landed, ALL my luggage arrived with me. There is always a piece of luggage that comes in a week later for my flights, for some reason. Not this time!
As if that wasn’t awesome enough, the smile on my children’s faces when I returned made my heart drop to the floor. It all made sense and I remembered that I would do anything for them. I would lose clients for them and risk it all. It is these little things that make you just appreciate LIFE.
I learned so much in that time. I mean, people go through so much trauma in life. As a Christian, we quickly forget the God that got us through so many other trials—debilitating trials at times. In the whole scheme of things, there are some things that matter and some that don’t.
Here is what I learned or what I was reminded of for the stupid internet being out:
1. INTERNET is amazeballs. Enjoy it, appreciate it, but never let it control you.
2. Don’t believe a loving husband. This sounds bad I know. Let me explain. When I almost didn’t come back to Tonga from my trip to America, I asked him if he thought I should stay or come back home. I knew if I did what my husband thought was right, then I would listen (or I could blame him if the decision was wrong. KIDDING, don’t do that . That is bad.) When I asked him, he wanted to be supportive, so he said that if I needed to stay then I should. BUT—as soon as I got out of the airport he said, “Wheeew, I am glad you didn’t stay in America!” A loving husband sometimes tells you what you want to hear, but in actuality, no matter how unappreciated you feel sometimes… you are loved and needed.
3. We are NOT our best selves when things go wrong. I was a wreck and lost some brain cells when I thought my freelance business was over. (I am dramatic, I know.) Reacting in the wrong way, in hindsight, helps us to realize we could use a dose of humility now and again to keep us grounded.
4. Changing our perspective is necessary. We can easily throw ourselves into a slump. Remember, it can always be worse. It can always be harder. What will you do with the hand that is dealt to you? “Woe is me” mentalities don’t work when you realize WHO holds the world in the very palm of His hands. The Bible says we should pray without ceasing. Even in my darkest moments in life, prayer has allowed me to see a glimpse of light when the rest was in darkness.
5. Family first (and family isn’t always blood). Our friends and family, if we are truly selective about who we let in, are one of the biggest blessings we have in life. They weep with you, mourn with you, walk this walk with you. They realize you will fail them, yet love you anyway.
6. Last, but not least, trust in God. He is the only one who will never fail you. People fail us, all the time. Have much grace with them; haven’t we received the same from the Lord. Trials can truly be blessings in disguise, we should trust that. Each trial is an opportunity to seek His face. Trials are opportunities for us to truly understand that HE is from whom all blessings flow.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
If you truly love the Lord, there is peace in knowing His will is 100 times better than your own. We are never alone, no matter how lonely we feel. His hand is in it all. Trust in His will, trust His sovereignty—even in the little things like having no internet.
I didn’t lose a client, but if I had, that would still have been OK. He is still good.