I buckled into 6D and looked up long enough to see the tween pilot settle into the cockpit. Gripping fear overcame my body and caused a nervous twitch in my eye and popping of my knuckles. The reality of releasing my life expectancy to a teenaged pilot was more than I could handle. I began looking back to see if anyone else was alarmed by this presentation of our commander in navigation. I was ready to stand up and vote in a new leader but no one else seemed to share in my concern. How could they be missing this and how am I freaking out over this?
The truth is I hate flying. I hate driving. I hate riding. I basically hate all things that I feel out of control in. I like running, walking and sitting.
Ferris wheels, rollercoasters, jet skis and boats, all things that have the ability to propel me further in space without my control of speed and safety.
Control issues, I’ve got them. I’ve known such since I was 5 years old and refused to play cashier when it is was my turn to go shopping. I wanted to control the cash register. Forget the rest.
As I realize that no one else is going to overthrow our pilot, I breathe in and out and close my eyes. I try and focus on the Lord and his promise to always comfort us in our weakness. Where does my weakness come from?
I realize that the last time I was on a plane was three weeks after my oldest son was being transferred to a hospital in Memphis by Pediaflight while in a coma.
The day was dark and rainy, which adds to the anxiety one has while entering one of these things that propel you further in space. The disillusionment that control can offer is completely shattered with the pretense of slippery runways and possible sliding off embankments into a river or highway.
I held my left hand on my son’s chest and my right hand gripped the respiratory therapist that sat next to us both. The plane was literally the smallest one in the field because this was not the real airport but a sideshow that fronted as a host for toy planes and photo ops. Surely, this was not the actual emergency plane that would take us across the next four states. It was. I gripped the therapist's hand with all the life that was left in me. If for some reason we crashed, I could fashion him into a parachute or life preserver if we landed in a lake.
I was a wreck. My hand would stay on my son's chest as a marker on whether he was breathing or not because I did not trust all the wires hooked up to him operating not from batteries manufactured in the Zack Morris cellphone age. Control, once again, rears its obsessive ways. How could I trust anyone or anything at this point?
The need to feel like you are in control is the absolute worst kind of torture. You think you are actually making the good in your life happen or keeping away the bad but that is a lie. This would be something I would wrestle with all through my son’s illness and continually fail at surrendering to the Lord.
Today, getting on this plane, I am face first in the reality that I still have not released these things. I am still trying to battle on my own, the very first thing that was revealed to me through my journey with losing my son. We are not in control.
Control or the idea of it has to be one of the enemies strongest weapons. It is the pretense that exists if you can manipulate the time that you have to where you think you are safe or free from harm.
Ya’ll, we are always in harms way. At every moment, of every day, anything could happen. Truthfully, the safety we feel is false. The only way to be free of fear is to surrender it to God. This is something that I have to do over and over and over and over again. I know that if the worst happens to me that I will be with the Lord no matter what. But it is something that I have to fight for each time.
Heaven or Earth, he is with us.
Does that scare you? It used to scare me so much that I would do everything possible to avoid doing the things that I felt could increase this possibility. I would avoid trips, vacations and make excuses to avoid dealing with the fact that I had an out of control fear of death.
We have to develop anchors in our daily conversation with God to deal with the fear or anxiety that we feel throughout the day. I have to tell myself over and over that just because I feel something or fear something doesn’t mean that I have to allow that feeling to take up residence in my heart. Isaiah 41:10says, “ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed , for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God says that we are not to be afraid or fear lack of control because he is with us. He will give us strength.
What more do we actually need on earth than God’s strength?
Back in 6D, sitting in my seat of the plane waiting for the end of my world to ensue, it only took a small whisper of He is with me, do not be afraid. I said it over and over to myself, quietly so that I wasn’t removed from the plane as the crazy lady chanting to herself. My fear and all the things that I noticed that led me to my initial feelings of fear and lack of control are all still physically present but my acceptance of it as my truth is different. I realized that the only thing that separates me from my fear is perception of it.
I have to draw my strength from God’s. I have to draw my reality from his promise to uphold me. In Joshua, God tells him to be strong and courageous and not to fear because the Lord is with us always.
I will forever remember that Walker learned this verse in church before he got sick. I can close my eyes and see him standing there with his three year old arms stretched out wide and a grin on his face sweetly singing, “ I am with you always.” I cherish those moments because the fleeting memories are all I have left of him.
I don’t remember the moments that I successfully controlled all facets of our days without fault. I don’t remember the victorious days of staying safe and sound.
I do remember letting go and trusting God. I am with you always.
And so I do. I turn on my phone and put in my headphones and use this moment to drown out all the fear and anxiety that presents itself. All sons and daughters , God with us blasts out my thoughts and I feel peace. We take off and land and take off and land and I am still here.