Wednesday, November 2, 2011
2 November 2011
This has been a truly emotional week. Several weeks ago I planned to visit Nathan this weekend, but when we got news of the riot I wasn't sure I would be allowed to visit. We have received two letters from Nate, and the last one said that since I scheduled the visit prior to the lockdown I should still be allowed to have the visit. That information coincided with the information we were given last summer when we had trouble scheduling our visit. I thought for sure I was covered, since I scheduled this visit as soon as I made my airline reservations, before there was another lockdown. (It seems that they're on lockdown more often than not). I could just see myself arriving at the gate for my visit, only to be told that I couldn't have it, so I called to confirm that I would be able to keep the visit, only to be told no. Evidently this is more than a "lockdown"; this is a "state of emergency" and different rules apply. To say that I was disappointed would be quite an understatement.
The next morning I opened the Beth Moore Bible Study we have been using at school, and the title of the lesson was "God Most High." I actually closed the book and just said, "Thank you, Lord. I needed that today." I could not even do the rest of the lesson; I just meditated the rest of the day on the assurance that God is indeed Most High. He is higher than the prison officials in Oklahoma and Sacramento, and He does know what is best. That's all I need. The next day I was able to complete the study and I was reminded again that God's names each have special meaning. The Hebrew El Elyon signifies that He is the One to whom the kings of earth will someday cast their crowns at His feet. It is His sovereignty that allows Him to do as He will; but we needn't fear His actions, because as one of His children my difficulties will always fall between the bookends of His sovereignty and His unfailing love. I hope you also have that assurance.
Doing that study gave me so much peace! I continued to try to get approval for the visit, even contacting my state assembly member's office for assistance when I got no response from the officials in Sacramento. I had both non-refundable plane tickets and a non-refundable car rental reservation. I wanted some answers, but I was able to speak calmly and intelligently (I hope!) to the assistant who returned my call. She contacted the prison officials on my behalf and was told that I was sent a response but that the answer is still "no" to the visit. I have still not received a response from Sacramento; she is re-contacting them to ensure that I do receive the email.
I called United airlines and to my surprise I was given full credit for my "non-refundable" flight. Wow! I then called my credit card rewards program (I had enough points for a "non-refundable" car rental) and when I gave the agent a short overview she said, "That just happened to my aunt recently. I'm so sorry. Let me see what I can do to help you." At first I was told there would be a one-day penalty, but when I stayed calm and reminded them that I was calling just shy of 48 hours in advance to cancel, they agreed to waive the penalty. Just a reminder that God is higher than the airlines and credit card people! While I'm disappointed that I can't have the visit, I am very thankful that at least I was able to obtain refunds and will be able to plan another visit when the "state of emergency" is over. I just pray that it will be soon.
Nathan was unable to take his midterms and we are not sure if he will be able to finish the requirements for his college courses right now, but I'm not worried about it tonight. God is higher than the college officials, too.