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Freedom Day

April 15, 2014

Today during my daily morning time with God, the opening lines in my devotional, Jesus Calling, summed up a recent experience of mine.

TRUST ME, and don’t be afraid. Many things feel out of control.”

These were simple words which revealed an area of my life that I have battled for years. In a recent blog, I shared about my struggle with fear. As usual, I wrote openly and honestly, but I didn’t reveal my biggest fear of all. Those closest to me know that fear intimately, because I do talk about it even though I would rather not. My actions, both those grace-filled and those not so much, have reverberated how much control the fear of flying has held me captive. In all actuality, the fear had become a strangle-hold that has prevented me from participating in many life events, sadly including seeing family and serving God.

When I wrote that previous blog, I knew full well what plans I had to conquer (okay, let’s get real) – to challenge fear’s death grip on my life. I am blessed with some of the world’s best friends, and a special one gave me the opportunity to go on a cruise with her. The only catch was I somehow needed to get to Tampa. Oh, that’s only 1650 miles from my home.

As I researched my options, I discovered the most economical and most convenient (read: not taking an extra week of travel) option was to fly. Since God had already lain on my heart that I needed to let go of this all-consuming fear, I knew what I had to do. I didn’t like it, but I needed to be obedient to his call on my struggle. I will confess that it took me three months to have the nerve to buy the ticket, but once I did, I knew there was no turning back.

Previously, all my thoughts would have fixated on the panic of being inside the airplane. By all my thoughts, I mean every waking thought. So great was my terror that I could not watch airplane movies and even would tremble when purchasing tickets for previous flights. I won’t even tell you how bad my behavior was on those actual flights. Although, I will say I met one of my dearest friends that way – mid-air, consoling a sobbing me who was convinced she was going to perish that day.

This time was different. My captured thoughts (2 Cor 10:5) were spent giving my fear back to Jesus. My hands did not tremble when I purchased the ticket, and every time doubt crept in, I whispered, “Fear of flying, meet my Jesus.” Initially, I told very few people about my trip because I wasn’t completely confident of my abilities to do this. (It would not be the first time I walked on a flight and got right back off.) I acknowledged that I couldn’t do this, but instead placed it at the feet of my Lord, who could. Somehow, my heart filled with peace. It was a slow transformation.

The day arrived, and much to my surprise, I wasn’t filled with trepidation. I announced the day as “Freedom Day” to my family as they drove me to the airport. Freedom from what was holding me hostage was a huge obstacle to overcome.

AllegiantSun

After boarding the plane, I immediately set my mind on my previous week’s and day’s humble beseeching prayer, and hoped for the best. (I rest assured in the hope I have placed in God and his Son, my confidence in me, however, was marginal, at best.) Never one short in hugs or stories, I did the one thing that came most natural to me – struck up a conversation with my seatmates.

In the way that only God could orchestrate, my new found friends were a pastor and his wife. I marveled at their peace and reassurance of my situation (even on occasion holding my hand), but also at how much we had to share with each other. I came away buoyed not only by their friendship, but also their wisdom in many of the topics we discussed during the flight. We shared that while we all have struggles; God is faithful through it all. With that, I was reminded that I had already lived through (and survived) my worst nightmare (of losing a child) with God’s steadfast hand ever present. While our lives were not mirror images, we did have one reflection in common – a burning desire to live life for Jesus while loving on his people.

The hours passed quickly as we swapped stories. Faster than I thought was imaginable, the flight was over! I successfully flew with help of God and my new friends (B & T)! Letting go of my personal kryptonite, I tasted how sweet freedom truly was.

I wish I could tell you that is where the story ended. But that is not exactly what God had in mind! A week later, as it was time to return home, God provided once again! Because there in seats A and B to my C, were my friends from a week ago!

As I have professed before, the only things I truly collect are God’s blessings of friends. I was blown away by some amazing new ones who will always be able to say not only did they witness “Freedom Day”, but they were a part of God’s plan for it.

When I read those words this morning, I heard God’s gentle reminder –

Trust me, Kandy. I’ve got it all under control.

Humbly, I am truly thankful He does.

 

5 Comments
  1. Sweet friend, you underestimate yourself. There was no sobbing. There was discussion, and maybe a little fear, but no hysterical sobbing. I was amazed at how great you were doing on that flight when you were afraid. And, I’m so glad God sat us next to each other. Meeting you was my biggest blessing from that trip! I love you! So, when are we going to Europe?

    • Nancy – You are too kind. The sobbing actually took place before boarding, but the crying was what got your sweet husband’s attention. Then came the stories and later the hugs! I thank God always for the seat placement that day and the for the friendship that blossomed from that! Look out world – here we come! Love you! Kandy

  2. melissafaithbodin permalink

    Oh dear friend! I am SO excited for your new found freedom and I am SO extremely proud of you!!!! I love you and can’t wait to hear about your trip in person!!

    • Missy – I am proud of ME! I did it! I cannot wait to our next coffee date to tell you all about it AND to hear about your adventures in Africa! God is so good! Kandy

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