Lift Off

by - January 09, 2016

As I looked into the rearview mirror to pull out of my garage I could see snow.  I hoped that snow would not delay the first of 3 flights today intended to take me to a country in South America.  A new country for me.  I made it to Will Rogers; made it through security after getting called to the side room for a pat down, and then made it to seat 16A.  After an hour delay (not too long to mess with my next flight) and some de-icer sprayed on the plane… lift off.

I’m sitting now at one of those airport tables, with people speaking an Eastern European language next to me, a hot coffee in front of me, and words floating around in my head wanting to find a place to land. This is my first trip of the year, and my first trip leaving my new home. A beautiful gift of a place to settle into.  My heart is so thankful I am nearly nauseous.

My packing routine had to be redeveloped because I live in a new space with new doorways and rooms.  I still have clothes and shoes in bags in closets.  “Where will my suitcases go as I pack? What room will be my staging ground?” (the living room so I can watch a movie) “What movie will I watch as I pack?” (You’ve Got Mail) It’s always either You’ve Got Mail, National Treasure, Evan Almighty or Walter Mitty.  Don’t judge. I’m not necessarily proud of the cinematic genius of these movies, but I love them; and before a trip I need to keep things nice and light, maybe with a touch of adventure.  One might think I would be used to this by now, and so many aspects of it I am, but I still really have to quiet my heart before each trip and steady myself.  Once you’ve known the nearly debilitating (sometimes more than nearly) fear I’ve known, there is always a bit of a lingering thought that it will rise up again.  Fear not just limited to flying.

But, I don’t fear what I used to… I no longer fear not being in control (I've always had a problem with my conviction coming across as bossy, and sometimes masking my bossy as conviction.  I have one of those tones of voices.  I am still an organizer. In my own will it’s controlling, in submission to His will hopefully helpful and flexible).  I no longer fear death (before I’ve done everything I want to do). I still probably have some fear of the pain that could come with it.  I’m a chicken. I no longer fear if I am being a schmuck following The Lord (I am convinced of Him fully.  I practiced believing, taking those steps of faith and He has proven himself. He didn’t have to, but He said if I sought him with all my heart I would find him. Jeremiah 29:13).  I no longer fear if He is using me, but not loving me (careful who you listen to about your worth). I no longer fear if he will be good to me (in the way I want him to be good to me).  That is a quickly typed and quickly read sentence, but that sentence describes what has been the long dark night of the soul for me. And this past year, God in his Word, in his guidance, in his silence, in my soul has helped me lift off from that place. I don’t fear those who don’t understand me or reject me. I don’t fear not having a life I recognize based on my own expectations.  I am too busy rejoicing in who He is,  and living the life He has given, to worry about what He is doing. What a breath of fresh air for this sometimes prone to overthink-er.  That’s as gracefully frank as I can put it. One day, one flight, one trip, one life.

When we are sorting through our faith, working out our salvation, wrestling… it is like we are in a storm.  We are all scheduled for lift off at different times, based on our surrender and destinations.  Those who go ahead of us get to look back at us with encouragement and tell us to hold strong.  Even if you don’t fully trust.  Even if you still have questions… “is God real?” “Does He have a plan for me?”  “Is it good?”  “Will it hurt?” “Is it worth it?” I can encourage you the answer to all of those is yes.  Yes in your addiction.  Yes in your depression.  Yes in the work of your hands.  Yes in your relationships.  Yes in your singleness.  Yes in your __________.  It’s the good kind of hurt.  The kind that sets us free, and makes us stronger, and puts us on the right course. It’s always worth it, because He is truly God.  Your God.  Your Creator, and He is good.  And, He loves you.  And that means you may want to take some steps of faith, forgive, let go, be disciplined, step up, and lift off.

I lifted off in a storm this morning.  Maybe proverbially like one you are in today.  But as we rocked through the rough winds, thankfully we kept going; and eventually we lifted through the storm into the sunshine.  Be encouraged.  Hold strong.  Seek God.  Hope in who He is and His goodness, not in the answers you are looking for.  He may have better plans for you. He is faithful to give you what you need, to get you to the abundant that He promises.  An abundance not dependent on other people or other things, but an abundance in your heart and soul.  Abundance that transcends this life, all the way through to eternity.

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