A few weeks back, we as a family, shifted back from Maharashtra which is in the northern part of India to Kerala in the South. For safe and swift travel, we considered flying, as it takes just 2-3 hours. Also during this pandemic time, it felt more convenient to fly – especially for our 7 year old daughter who has special needs.
But, sadly, our flight kept getting cancelled for some or other reason. This happened three times in a row. It was very frustrating the third day. Every morning when we would do all the preparations for travel and announce that we are leaving, the very next day the notification of flight cancellation from the airline would pop onto my husband’s phone. It was a puzzling moment.
Now we had no other option but to travel by train. With much frustration and confusion we booked our tickets for the train which we got in no time. However, I wasn’t very happy because travelling by train was going to be challenging for us. Especially in the pandemic, we heard that there wouldn’t be a pantry available in the trains. Hot milk is required to prepare food for my daughter. My 9 year old son who just likes to move around wouldn’t be settling still in one place for such a long journey. I assumed. I thought what if he goes missing in the crowd especially in the night. I was worried about how I would manage my daughter’s needs without hesitations as many strangers will be around looking at us, some with curious eyes and some with pity-filled eyes. I needed space and ease to travel.
It would be a 34-35 hour trip from Maharashtra to Kerala – almost 10 times longer than the flight. There was no doubt the journey would be stressful, tiring and challenging at the same time. I even wondered, why wouldn’t God allow us to travel the easy way? Why would our tickets keep getting cancelled? Why couldn’t we get our way?
We got into the train that afternoon with all our luggage and food for a day. I really wanted God’s favour on us. I had all that tensed feelings as I reached our seats and just wished the journey would get over as soon as possible.
But to my surprise, the journey was not at all the same as I pictured in my mind.
There was a pantry in this train. Which meant hot milk provision for my daughter and meals & tea for us too. There were no passengers in our cabin. There were only a few people just in our carriage. We could use the entire cabin. I could feel free to take better care of my daughter on the journey. My son wasn’t bored as he could move around freely. He even managed to stay on his seat. Most of all we spent a good time together talking with him after a very a long time. It was a good family time after the stressful and painful months when covid-19 hit our family.
He also enjoyed watching different stations, trains, hills, mountains, bridges, rivers, farms, villagers, animals, trees and sunset on his long train journey which he wouldn’t have gotten to see on the flight. My daughter was quiet and well-cared for. It was a wonderful, peaceful and convenient journey for us as a family and we could create some memories together. We did make it to Kerala safely and I must say happily. In fact, I didn’t want the journey to be over so quickly 🙂
Now as we settle and begin our life again here in Kerala, things aren’t so easy for me to adjust to. I battle loneliness, insecurity and feel misunderstood. I have very little control over my life and decisions. I feel very much bound by my circumstances and I can’t have my ways.
At present, my life feels the same as how I pictured the stressful train journey. But each day I remind myself of the surprising train journey we had and how God had brought us here. This gives me strength to move on with hope and know that my life won’t be the way I assume but the way God intends.
All of us long for our lives to be swift and easy going just like the flight journey. But life’s unexpected happenings make us take the train journey instead. We feel we have no control. We feel stressed and tensed thinking about the unknown. But often times, we forget the truth that God knows the beginning, the end and even the in – between of our life journey. He has planned each detail of our lives and He is for us. He is the one who ultimately controls everything.
So, when we can’t have our own ways, we can always trust His ways. When we can’t have the easy flight journey we wish for, we just need to get in the train and experience His favour in the most surprising ways!