Deportation… part 2.

on December 30, 2011 in Scotland with 16 comments by
[Here’s Deportation Part 1. Probably pretty important to read so you can pick up with us today.]

So after Richard is convinced that my flatmate’s phone number is a fake, he asks for another number. I give him the pastor’s phone number. At this point, it’s been about 25 minutes and Richard had fully interrogated me about everything under the Scottish sun.

My spirit inside me is praying like crazy. To be blunt, this didn’t feel like a natural thing… it felt supernatural. It felt spiritual. The Bible says that our battle is not against flesh and blood [and grumpy Richard]… so I began to pray that God would win this battle and allow me into the country.

As Richard left to go call the pastor, I sat down in a chair. And I had a Blazing Furnace conversation with God.

I said,

“Hey God, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I know what You are able to do. I know You can rescue me from this situation. I know You are able to save me from deportation. I don’t think I’m done here in Edinburgh. BUT EVEN IF YOU DON’T, even if I get sent home today, I’m not mad. I will still praise You. I have still loved my time here and I am still grateful.”

I know that sounds sugar sweet and whatever, but it wasn’t. I said it through gritted teeth and with a begging heart. It was a painful tearful moment alone in an airport. I didn’t want to leave Edinburgh. But what else could I do?

I can barely hear Richard on the phone, but his voice is angry. And now I’m SURE I’m going home. [Here’s where Richard earned the name on his nametag…. he said untrue things to the pastor to try to trick him – he made the pastor believe I had said things that I hadn’t said. Pastor told the truth. I told the truth. But Richard tried to trap us.]

I get it. I’m not mad. His JOB is to protect his country from dangerous people. And truthfully, it’s sweet innocent women like me that can be the really nasty ones. 🙂 So Richard, bless him, was just doing his job.

When he came back from the phone call, probably 15 minutes later, his demeanor totally changed. [Insert miracle here.] He spoke kindly to me, he slowly explained why I should be deported and every reason that the right thing to do was to deport me, and then he said, “but I’m going to let you stay.”

And I almost fell on the floor with relief.

The Lord had done it. The warring angels, I believe, defeated that which tried to keep me out of the country. I don’t know if you’ve been in a situation like that, but I’m telling y’all, the atmosphere changed. No joke. I knew that the battle had been fought and I knew it had been won.

[Also, at the point, pastor and his wife and others they told were praying like CRAZYTOWN, so it certainly wasn’t just me.]

Richard did, however, put a massive stamp in my passport that makes it illegal for me to go back to the UK until mid-2012. So he didn’t let me leave without a little hand slap.

Touche, Richard. Touche.

Morals of the story:

1. ALWAYS get a stamp in your passport, even if you are coming home.

2. Flying between European countries is VERY VERY DIFFERENT than traveling between US states.

3. Proverbs 19:21 — “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

4. That verse would still be 100% true if I got deported.

Amen.

16 comments

  1. ~VA~
    posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 6:15 AM  |  reply

    …as if I weren’t already terrified enough of the airport…(I’m terrified of the airport because there are so many people there)…I can only imagine how scary that must have been. I’m glad that you eventually got back to Scotland. Richard sounds like a real jerk…or maybe a middle school girl…

  2. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 6:36 AM  |  reply

    That gave me goosebumps, Annie. The prayer, the spiritual atmosphere, all of it pointing straight to heaven. Thanks for sharing it.

    I’ll have to read “This Present Darkness” again in 2012.

  3. Lisa
    posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 7:57 AM  |  reply

    Thank you for sharing your testimony through this, Annie! I’ve had a few of those “Blazing Furnace” conversations with God – once you’ve been through a situation where God DID allow the bad to happen, you realize what a gut-wrenching prayer that really is – I feel ya, girl. And what another great reminder that spiritual warfare is real!

  4. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:49 AM  |  reply

    Crazy story!
    I always get just a bit nervous going through customs no matter how many times I travel…

  5. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:53 AM  |  reply

    So glad it worked out. After our month in Africa, I’m still a bit traumatized. I prefer it if everyone would just stay the heck home for a bit. 🙂

  6. Amy
    posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 9:17 AM  |  reply

    Oh my goodness!! I am so sorry that you had to go through the trauma of this, but thankful that you have this testimony to share. Happy New Year! 🙂

  7. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM  |  reply

    I love to hear stories of God winning battles! Thank you for being honest about His goodness even when prayers are left “seemingly” unanswered- that’s something I’ve been learning this year. I love Him even more now!

  8. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM  |  reply

    How “mid-2012” is that? Because you have some work to do in July 2012. Just saying.

    Good story by the way. Love how you “Laverne & Shirley” your life all the time.

    • cbed
      posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM  |  reply

      HA!

  9. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

    I’m glad you didn’t get deported! What an intense moment for you. I’ve had those as well and I love what you said in numbers 3 & 4 of the morals of the story. So true! The Lord’s purpose always prevails!

  10. posted on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM  |  reply

    So thankful to have read this (and thankful that you got to stay!). There have been plenty of times they haven’t stamped my passport when I arrive “home”. Good to know it’s worth asking for!!!

  11. Sarah
    posted on Jan 02, 2012 at 8:06 PM  |  reply

    WOW. Oh my… WOW. Amazing. Slightly chilling. And very true, about the spiritual warfare. But God is bigger and stronger. His Name be praised!!! Wow…

  12. posted on Jan 03, 2012 at 4:40 PM  |  reply

    A close American friend had an expired visa problem when visiting Ireland from England. I kept thinking, thank goodness she didn’t have a pet. She had to wait in Ireland 3 weeks to get her UK visa sorted. Those ‘Richards’ can be scary. Glad you made it back! First time visitor to your wonderful blog, Laura

  13. posted on Jan 07, 2012 at 8:31 PM  |  reply

    I just few through Atlanta from the UK this summer and was irritated that they didn’t give me a return stamp. I hadn’t thought about it being a problem to not have one! How come they don’t do it automatically? I never thought to ask for one, though. Durr.

  14. posted on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:07 PM  |  reply

    Ok, I have a scarily similar story! I was almost deported from the UK (England) when I tried to go there for an internship, but by the grace of God I was allowed to stay and also survived being scammed out of $1000… Isn’t it amazing how God watches over us?

  15. posted on Nov 01, 2012 at 12:08 PM  |  reply

    Crazy, crazy! SO awesome that you were able to keep a great perspective in the middle of the craziness. I wasn’t so great at keeping my head on straight and my heart in a trusting place when I experienced an international fiasco. I had lived in Prague for a month and then flew in to Amsterdam first and then back to Amsterdam after, and got stranded in their airport for 2 days. But I had to try to track down my baggage, so they had to stamp me to get out for that, then stamp me to go back to the main airport, then stamp me when I took a train out to try to get on a flight out of Belgium…so basically my passport has about 6 stamps from Amsterdam and none from Praha for some reason. Hopefully the US remembered to stamp it so I don’t run into something crazy like that in the future!

    Thanks for the stellar post!

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