“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Do you ever dream about “when you grow up?” I’m a legit grown-up with a house payment and husband and kids and a dog and I often think about the way I will be when I grow up. In my dreams I have it all together…. I am a great mom and wife 100% of the time, I can balance housework and a job and still make time for fun hobbies, I love the Lord with all of my heart and everyone knows it, I have no worries, no anxiety, and no struggles because I am a grown up. I so wish this dream could come true but unfortunately it won’t. I will proudly say that I have days where I have it more together than other ones and I do my best to show my love for Jesus to the world but on most days I struggle. Some struggles I have outgrown or overcome but some are very much there all the time.
I want to tell you a story of something that happened to me several years ago. I grew up traveling and flew on an airplane for the first time when I was three or four. My family flew often and as I got older had many opportunities to travel alone. While I sometimes got a little nervous upon takeoff there was never any fear or anxiety, flying just wasn’t a big deal. While I was growing up I had lots of worries about lots of things but flying was not one of them. One thing I have always done though on flights is keep my eye on the flight attendants. Anytime I would hear a weird noise or we would experience turbulence I would look to see how the flight attendants responded. Because they were always calm, I would be too. However, in the blink of an eye it all changed.
Several years ago I was flying home from seeing my college roommates. I was flying alone on a small plane and because it was fairly empty there was no one on my row and I could only see the backs of a few heads in front of me. I was about half-way through my second flight when our plane started having some significant issues. It was a terrifying few minutes and as the oxygen masks came down the only person I could find to look at was the lone flight attendant. It was at that moment that I needed some reassurance or a look that everything was going to be ok. But instead, the one person I was putting all of my hope in was freaking out. She had panic all over her face and instead of making sure the passengers had the masks figured out, she was crumpled in her seat hysterical. Obviously I made it home but that 5 minutes on an airplane has sent me down a road of fear and anxiety ever since.
I have learned a lot about myself because of those brief minutes on an airplane and it is not pretty. I have flown many times since that incident but only with my husband or family and unfortunately have had to take medicine. I pray and pray and put it on the prayer request list before every flight. People give me pep talks and I recite bible verses. I have even tried reading my bible but then I get on the flight and loose it. You know why? I can’t seem to give that fear and worry over to God. God doesn’t just want some of us, He wants all of us. I like control and somewhere deep down, I think I can do a better job than God. That is hard to admit, but it’s the truth. We flew to Hawaii recently. We live on the East Coast so it was a long trip on an airplane. Once again I did all of the things- prayed, had others pray, recited verses, surrendered the fear to God and I felt a peace on the trip out to Hawaii that I have not felt EVER. I did the whole flight without the help of medicine. I was amazed by God and then unfortunately, I became very amazed by myself. “I did it!” I told myself and anyone else who cared. “I did it!” Well I have to tell you that “I” can’t do amazing things by myself for very long. On the flight back we were tired, we flew overnight and the skies were rough. I didn’t keep my focus where it needed to be. The fear and anxiety crept in quickly and I was too tired to put up a fight.
Obviously as an adult I don’t have it all together. I struggle with lots of things and anxiety is one of them. Unfortunately in this world we have an enemy called Satan that does not ever want us to depend on God. The enemy doesn’t want us to win and most importantly he doesn’t want God to win and he fought me hard on the way home from Hawaii. I let him get the better of me. I didn’t surrender to the One who is always victorious. Instead in my humanness I worried. My worrying is not going to change the outcome of a flight. My anxiety is not going to make a pilot fly better or for us to avoid mechanical issues. God gives us the ability to make choices but He has our whole life in His hands. I have felt how it is to surrender to His control. The peace that came was overwhelming but for some reason in my humanness I snatched it back. When we struggle we are in a battle and with God we can always win!
“He shall say; ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.’” Deuteronomy 20:3-4
Written By: Heather