Worst-Case Scenario: It All Works Out

November 25, 2013 | 23 comments

“I’m sorry. We aren’t able to get you home.”

I dropped my forehead on the American Airlines counter, squeezing my eyes shut, like I might be able to trap my tears behind closed lids.

It felt foolish to cry, and I was embarrassed by my pink emotions rocketing to the surface. But my plans had been rearranged, and all control appeared to now rest in the fast-typing fingers of a stoic-faced airline representative in Texas.

I couldn’t find my inner resolve. Dear God, give me peace. 

I imagined my family in Iowa. My family, packing the malaria medication, and zipping up 50-pound suitcases, and saying night prayers in advance of our Thanksgiving trip to Haiti. I worried how I would be able to reconnect with my family in Texas or Florida before we flew to a third-world country. This much I knew: I wouldn’t be going to Iowa.

Over the weekend, I had been in Texas for a retreat at Laity Lodge with friends of The High Calling. The retreat ended Sunday, and I had planned to return home to Iowa in time to fly out the next day with my husband, the girls and my mother-in-law.

But the airline representative made it perfectly clear that was not going to happen. My flight had been canceled and there were no other flights home. She kept tapping on those keys.

I felt a hand on my back, and it was David. He was praying. Another friend, Jen, stood beside me and wrapped her arm around mine. This was community, koinonia as Pastor Mark Roberts had told us during worship that morning at Laity Lodge. And while my tearful release had now become a public spectacle in front of friends, I was grateful for this koinonia, God made flesh in an airport.

Before David left, he told me: “Worst case scenario: It all works out.”

Later, when I drifted off to sleep behind a Dallas hotel’s room-darkening shades, I thought about David’s words. They felt like  another way of saying what Julian of Norwich once said:  “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

julian of norwich


This morning, I sit in a hotel room, waiting for my family. We will reunite at a gate in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport sometime this afternoon. And we will fly to Fort Lauderdale tonight. Together. Thank you Jesus. 

My mom, “Mama D.”, texted me this morning with words of encouragement: “Happy Thanksgiving and Happy ThanksLiving, as a friend of mine used to say.”

Scott just texted, too. He says it’s all good. He says they’re at the gate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Yes, they remembered the malaria medication. He found the Imodium by the sink. And he had already packed the sunscreen, which I had forgotten.

We can all breathe easy with the help of time and perspective … and Jesus.

No I didn’t get home. But home is headed here. 

And together, we’re bringing home to Haiti.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

An update on #HomeForTheHolidays

In important ways, so many of you are going with us to Haiti this week. You’ve helped us bring a home to Haiti!

You have generously been a part of our fundraiser to build a house for Adeline in Haiti. And I’m excited to tell you that we are very close. In the last week, you have purchased thousands of dollars worth of ViBella Jewelry. You’ve shared the story on Facebook. You told about the #HomefortheHolidays projects in your Bunco groups and Bible studies and your own blog posts. And so many of you have prayed. A lot.

I have every reason to believe that God will pull together the $5,000 needed for this house by the time our family sees Adeline on Black Friday. I can’t wait to tell her what you’ve done!

This is what Thanksgiving and ThanksLiving is all about, people, and I am thanking God for each one of you.

God-willing, I’ll able to find some wireless down in Haiti to offer updates. You can follow along here, or on my Facebook page.

To be a part of the #HomeForTheHolidays miracle, click here.

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 9:12


Update: My friend, Jen, just sent me this photo. She bumped into my family in the Sioux Falls airport. 🙂

by | November 25, 2013 | 23 comments


  1. Cori D. :)

    Excited to hear about Haiti! And I’m glad home is on the way to you!

    • dukeslee

      Thank you Cori. Eagerly awaiting my family’s arrival here in Dallas.

  2. Michelle DeRusha

    Love love love that quote by Julian. And that David, he is a rock, isn’t he? And Scott – God’s got it, yes He does! Wishing you safe travels, a joyous reunion with your family and many, many blessings and much good work in Haiti. Give sweet Adeline a hug from all of us who love her so much!

    • dukeslee

      Yeah… David is a super guy. So grateful for his prayers, and for Jen’s steadfast presence. … And cannot wait to hug my God’s-Got-It Guy!!!

  3. Sharon O

    so glad it all worked out for you.

    • dukeslee

      We are too. My family is en route to Dallas. Headed to their gate shortly!!

  4. Jody Ohlsen Collins

    “no I didn’t get home, but home is headed here…” oh, Jennifer–our real home is where He is, yes? What a remarkable God.

    • dukeslee

      Indeed. Thank you, Jody.

  5. Mary Bonner

    this brings tears to my eyes…having been delayed in airports before, I know it can be frustrating. But home is coming to you…sweet words. I’ll be praying for you and yours. Love my jewelry and can’t wait to hear updates!

  6. Beth

    You are such a delight. And your words are ones I need to remember. I’ve been praying all day for safe travels tomorrow as I head off to see my husband one last time before he deploys. My heart does not even want to imagine any sort of delay but as I prayed today I knew instead of worrying I needed to surrender to God and trust in Him. All shall be well. But added prayers would surely be appreciated. 🙂
    Many blessings to you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. ro elliott

    This does test a momma’s heart indeed….oh those hard surrenders…that giving thanks in all things…these times are what opens a heart wider for Jesus to come…you opened wide and I know He enlarged your heart for Him as you go to Haiti. Blessings and grace as you go!!!!

  8. Lynn Morrissey

    God really does work all things together for our good (and I am not sermonizing here)! It is well with your soul and your family’s. So glad it is all working out. Praying for a wonderful “thanksliving” trip! My friend called Thanksgiving this with an unintentional, but meaningful slip of her tongue. I say it on purpose to you and your sweet little family, because you live well at all times. Love you, Jennifer. Especially hug Lydia for me!

  9. kasmith03

    Love how it all worked out!! I grew up in Sioux Falls!! My dad has been to Haiti several times and has taken my son twice as well. Life changing!! Small small world!

  10. Leah Adams

    I hope you received my envelope with my contribution toward Adeline’s home!!

  11. David Rupert

    Cheering your family on as they wing their way to Haiti. It’s amazing that we are never really alone when faced with these kinds of situations. We just need to look around at the great cloud of believers. Glad we were there to pray, as you have been previously with so many others.

  12. ThandiweW

    Hallelujah! I knew God had positioned the blessings long before the test arrived, but to hear this testimony…yes. And these words? “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” I will be repeating them, knowing God has made it so. I so needed this today. Thank you. Traveling mercies, and may the Grace that flows from you pour out over all you encounter in Haiti.
    Bondye beni ou,


  13. Lelia Chealey

    Love this. And you. Breathe in His holiness.

  14. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    Had I been there, I would’ve been no help, standing in a puddle of tears with you. Isn’t it good then, that the Lord was with you in the midst of that whole situation? NO thing is too difficult for him and He made a way where there was no way. Rejoicing with you Jennifer, for every facet of your journey to Haiti! I’ve not heard that quote before, but I’m officially in love!

  15. Jacque Watkins

    Beautiful Jennifer. God is so good. Home headed to you…love that! Covering you with prayer as you serve in Haiti. My heart is with you, friend…xo

  16. Sherrey Meyer

    What a moving post, Jennifer! It doesn’t hurt you included a quote from one of my favorite faithful women, Julian of Norwich. Safety and protection to you and your family as travel to/from Haiti and serve His people there.

  17. Sandra Heska King

    I still can’t get over how you appeared just after we had prayed for you right there in the food court. A God bump moment. And another when Nasreen offered to give up her own seat to Minneapolis for you. And this… that you weren’t headed home, but that home was headed to you… together to bring a home to Haiti–all happening in God’s hands and under His control. Love you so, sweet friend. Praying.

  18. Nancy Ruegg

    ‘Have to add my voice to the chorus below. Those words, “Home is headed here” brought tears to my eyes. Home–with its comfort and familiarity and memories and love–is the closest place to heaven on earth. And it’s not the house; it’s the people. God bless you, Jennifer, as you create more blessed memories in Haiti, for you, your family, and the people you’ll meet.

  19. Jennifer Bush Dorhauer

    Needed to hear this message. All will work out. My always-tenuous teaching position is looking more so by the minute for the spring. All I can do is take one step at a time. Praying you a great trip.



  1. WORST-CASE SCENARIO: IT ALL WORKS OUT | sharing vi bella - […] CLICK HERE for the rest of Jennifer Lee’s Story […]

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