Today I visited Florence - "Firenze" - such a beautiful city! I really enjoyed my time there, though this morning was a little stressful as I had some transportation troubles...
In the morning I had purchased my train ticket from Cittadella to Florence, which included riding on two different trains: one from Cittadella-Padova leaving at 8:01am, and another from Padova-Florence at 9:03am. I was scheduled to have a ~20 minute break at the Padova station, more than enough time to transfer to my second train...except the first train was delayed. At first it was only a 5 minute delay, but that turned into 25 minutes, meaning I would miss my second train.
As I left the Cittadella station, I worried about what in the world I was going to do when I got to Padova, sure that I was going to lose the money I had just spent on the ticket. Not only that, but from looking at the schedules earlier in the day, I knew that the next train from Padova-Florence was several hours later, so even if I caught a later train, I really wouldn't have time to see much of the city.
I was frustrated, but as I sat there on the train, I started to pray - I asked God to somehow get me to Florence today. And because He has continually been so faithful to me, I just felt a sense of peace, that somehow it was going to work out. I calmed down and started to doze off, though I was unsure of what exactly I would do at the Padova station. About 20 minutes later, the train stopped, and I heard an announcement over the loudspeaker (somehow I understood the Italian) that passengers could get off and board another train that would get us to Padova more quickly. Calculating in my mind, I knew that I still wouldn't arrive in time to catch the second train, but I decided to go for it anyways.
I watched the time pass throughout the duration of that second ride, and realized that it I might be able to catch that train to Florence after all. But as the train pulled to a stop at the Padova station, I checked my phone and saw that it was 9:04am. Shoot. I missed it by only one minute, I thought. Oh well, I guess that little prayer of mine was silly, anyways.
I walked downstairs and over to the screen where the train schedules were shown , planning to just head back to Cittadella, as I couldn't afford a ticket to another city for the day. But as my eyes scanned the list, they stopped abruptly on Train #9432 - to Florence. It was delayed by 5 minutes! By that time it was about 9:07, and with the delay the train would now leave at 9:08. I had ONE MINUTE. I sprinted back up the stairs to the correct platform, and caught the train just in time.
I sat down, a little out-of-breath, and smiled. God had answered my prayer! He brought me a faster train to Padova and delayed the second train to Florence. I could say it was just a coincidence, or luck. But I believe that God is purposeful in everything He does. I also believe that He loves us as His children so much, and enjoys showing us that love through little things each day, things like delaying trains for us. So often I miss out on God's blessings simply because I'm not looking for them. But I am learning to be more thankful for the ways God shows me His love throughout the day. He knows all of my worries and fears, my passions and the things that I delight in. And He is a good dad, who loves to give His children good gifts.
Traveling solo has been teaching me so much - especially about trusting in and depending on the Lord. Today I was encouraged by God's faithfulness, and was reminded of how amazing it is that our great God loves and cares about each of us individually.
I believe in God's grace through Jesus. I love to learn, in a variety of contexts - reading God's Word, interacting with people from diverse backgrounds around the world, and as a student of Linguistics and Foreign Languages at Western Washington University. Pages of My Passport is dedicated to sharing this journey of learning through written and visual content.