We missed the train. How could we have missed it? We were sitting on the platform watching the number of minutes late our train was inch higher like a bad silent auction. But, when the train disappeared from the board (and presumably the station), we were not all aboard. That’s when it struck me finally we were on the wrong platform. We had the right number, but wrong side of the station. We were stuck in Bologna for the night, our suite on the rails chugging steadily away. That’s when I lost it. Silent meltdown. Now, several hours later, I’m on another train in Austria having taken a bus to leapfrog some track work in the foothills of the Austrian Alps.

Lovely day ruined. We’d spent the day walking around Florence on both sides of the river, taking it all in, drinking house wine to feel like we belonged. And we did for a few minutes. We leisurely made our way to the station, boarded our train like seasoned professionals, got off and looked for where our next train would arrive an hour and a half later. It started off twenty minutes late, but quickly free fell to fifty, sixty, seventy. At eighty minutes or so late, it disappeared from the board, but we did not follow suite. In a defeated jolt of clarity, I found another track six. It had trains that were departing it. That was not only our accommodations, but much more that left that station last night. We found a hotel and a Plan B.

What a day it’s been. After a refreshing four-and-a-half hours of sleep, we hurried back to the train station to book the first possible train toward our intended direction. We’d be getting there far later than hoped, but we weren’t stuck. Then, after an interesting first train and a semi-sleep filled trance that lasted the majority of our second, we were told the train was “finish. Take bus to” Munich. And we piled into a bus in some form of organized chaos and bussed to the next station through the foothills of the Austrian Alps. I feel I need to repeat this for my own gratification, but yes, that really did happen. And now, the past 24 hours begin to make sense.

When calamity strikes. Where do I fall back on in these times? What am I relying on in the first place? Who am I that my will reigns supreme? This comedy of errors is just as growth-inducing as the deep talks that have happened over the past week and a half. In fact, it’s these moments that probably bring about more growth than any others. More importantly, God has never left me to drown. There’s always been Erik, there’s always been a way out. There was just more along the way that God had planned for me than I cared to see or experience beforehand. But, my, has the view been beautiful. Less direct for sure, this trip couldn’t have taken a better turn.

There you have it, the latest installment of the misadventures of the Wayward Journeyer in Europe. There’s been drama, comedy, trials, errors and triumph. All along the way, I’ve been far from alone both physically and spiritually. God all along has been reminding me of where He’s leading me through Erik and the Spirit. Sure, I get frustrated and angry, but when I quiet down, I can hear Him clear as day. What looks like a catastrophe is merely the Father gently helping His children grow into maturity. To think that I only saw that we missed the train.