I should be in Las Vegas right now. I should be walking the strip, taking in the sights, sounds and smells (only the good ones, of course), walking hand-in-hand with my husband. Having some nice, quiet, relaxing time, just the two of us. (and the 30,000 other people walking the strip around us)
Instead, I’m sitting in my sweatpants and sweater, with a baseball cap covering my bad hair day, sipping on homemade iced green tea, in the comfort of my own home.
Why? Because I allowed fear to overcome everything I know and hold tightly to believe.
I hate to fly. Hate it. Hate is a strong word. Not strong enough. We don’t use it often in our home, due to the strong, negative emotion that it portrays. In this instance, it is hardly sufficient. I used to love to fly. My brother and I would hop on a plane every summer and fly back east to see my dad. By ourselves. No adults involved. That was super cool. But, a few bad flights (insert the adjectives “horrible, life-threatening, all-together horrifying,” as you wish), and the super-coolness flew right out the window – no pun intended. Couple that with a few years of heavy duty stress and loss, and my feet choose to remain firmly planted on the ground.
Monday night was one of the lowest points that I have had in quite a long time. My husband and I were driving to Pasco, intending to board the plane together and have a week to ourselves. Well, somewhat to ourselves. The intention of our trip was really the National Groundwater Drillers Association Convention (say that 5xs fast), but I was tagging along. I knew that my fear of flying was going to be an issue, so I had asked in advance for my dear friends to cover me in prayer. I had felt pretty good all day, and obviously was intending on the flight, since we were driving 2 1/2 hrs to the airport. The closer we got, the more physically ill I became. I’m not going to go into details, so as to spare myself the last remaining shred of dignity that I may possibly have clutching to myself (it really wasn’t that terrible, I’m just being over-dramatic, for effect, don’t ya know), but it became a fear that for some ill-logical reason, I just couldn’t overcome. Which, if you know me at all, just infuriates me. I am fiercely stubborn, and once I set my mind to something, you will have a hard-pressed time talking me out of it. But, satan prowls like a roaring lion, and his lies and deception got to me. Which, if you know me at all, just infuriates me. (Yes, I know I just said that – stay with me). I know the God I serve. I KNOW He covers me under the shadow of His wings. I KNOW that He is my strong tower, a shelter over me. I KNOW He is my refuge and my fortress, my God and in Him I will trust (Psalm 91) And I KNOW that worrying is not going to add a single hour to my lifespan (Matthew 6). So the fact that I allowed the deception really torks my hide.
So, I said goodbye to my husband, watched him board the plane – totally illogical – if it’s not ok for me to get on a plane, why is ok for him? Went sobbing into the bathroom, splashed some cold water on my face, sucked it up, and got into the car and prepared myself for the 2 1/2 hr drive home. Alone. In the dark. Have I mentioned I’m blind as a bat in the dark? Really. If it’s dark in our home, my dear, sweet, loving husband likes to crouch in the corner and scare the crap out of me as I come feeling my way along the wall, because I can’t see. That’s in my own home. Now imagine me on the road. Crying. Mad at myself as I have ever been in my life. To top it all off, I get pulled over. While I’m looking at my phone for directions to make sure I’m going the right way. Never had a speeding ticket in my LIFE, and that night, of all nights, I get pulled over for doing 45 in a 35. Lovely. But God is gracious, and the officer had mercy upon me. Let me go. Not even a warning. Except to tell me to be careful and that I could hit 50 just right down the road. Seriously. When have you ever had a police officer pull you over for speeding and then tell you to go ahead and take off?
I came home exhausted, both physically and emotionally. I have had a hard time forgiving myself. I missed my husband. I felt horrific for being a poor example to my children – how can I teach them to trust and overcome fears if I can’t do it, myself? But then, a dear friend said to me “how do you know that you’re not being a GOOD example to your children by showing them that adults have real feelings and they get afraid, too? And showing them that you have to work through things and overcome them, just like they do.” (Bless you, my friend. I love you dearly) And my mother-in-law has reminded me that “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) So really, if I am hard on myself and beat myself up and feel like a loser, I am just falling back into the trap of doing exactly what satan wants me to do. And I’m choosing not to go there. We all know how well that worked for me the last time. ;0)
My faith is increasing. I am drawing near to God, and He is drawing near to me. (James 4:8). He’s walking along with me, loving me, forgiving me, giving me His strength. Am I still mad at myself? Heck yes. I’d so much rather be with my husband right now. Am I working through it? Heck yes. What a blessed opportunity to learn and grow, and teach my kids a hard life lesson through the process. And maybe, sometime in the future I’ll soon be flying the friendly skies. Or not. We’ll see. ;0)