This month marks a very special anniversary for me. It was one year ago that I took a step I never thought I would. Below is the (slightly modified) story as I shared it in my Christmas letter:
In the summer of 1989, my family and I boarded a flight from LA to Miami, where my husband had accepted a new position. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, we had tickets in the non-smoking section…on PAN AM!! For reasons I will never fully understand, that was the last flight I took until 2014…..25 years later! To say I had developed a crippling fear of flying would obviously be an understatement. This past January, with my long suffering (and unbelievably patient) husband at my side, I wobbled through the doors of the Charlotte airport.. not to drop off or pick up…BUT TO FLY! I had never experienced any of the enhanced, post 9-11, security measures, so I just stayed right behind my hubby and did everything he did..license out, ticket out, toiletries out, shoes off…. I was like a little duckling following its daddy.
I have no doubt that the TSA guy had to roll my purse back and forth about ten times under the X-ray machine to decipher whether or not I was a drug mule. I brought supplies to address any physical malady I could possibly encounter: Pepto, Advil, Xanax, extra strength deodorant, a “pre pasted” toothbrush, spare underwear.. You name it, I had it…plus tissues for weeping, weird music for meditation, and of course index cards scribbled up with bible verses. I was locked down and suited up for a white knuckle, red flag, double black diamond experience. But guess what? The catastrophe never materialized! The ride was smooth and on time, I was completely relaxed, and half way through the flight I even raised the blind to take pictures of the puffy clouds!
THAT, my friends… is the equivalent of dancing in the end zone!!
Here I had simply prayed for the strength to get through the flight and I ended up actually enjoying it! Romans 8:37 declares that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” and I’d be profoundly remiss not to give all the glory to God for quietly and miraculously lifting this major (embarrassing) road block in my life. I also have to thank my loving and supportive husband (sounds like an Oscar speech) for holding my hand as I finally, tentatively, stepped out on this newly cleared path. Lastly, I need to acknowledge the role of a very dear friend. She had recently also overcome an equally crippling and longstanding fear of flying. Her strength, faith and courage was a huge motivator for me to at least give it a try. The beauty of it all was when I finally boarded that plane, it was to fly up to Pennsylvania to surprise her for her fiftieth birthday! Funny how these stories unfold…