So. Funny story. I was blessed with some standby passes on an airline. I can go anywhere they fly whenever I want. There just has to be an open seat unclaimed by anyone else higher up on the food chain than I am. Which sometimes is super easy….and sometimes….well…not so much.
The kids are out of school. The concert is over. My client is on vacation, so work will be a bit less stressful and since they have wifi on planes now, I can even work in the air. How cool is that?
And my wonderful husband says to me, “You should go visit Auntie and Uncle in Hawaii. Get your work done in the morning and then get some rest. Refresh. Pray. Blog. Write. Visit. Have fun!”
Did I mention how wonderful he is?
Live the adventure became my motto. Last minute plans jetting off to exotic destinations….not exactly in my comfort zone. I like a plan made in advance that doesn’t change.
But I checked the flights and they looked pretty open, so I packed a bag, loaded up my computer (minus my power cord 😢 I will have to get one when I land), and off I went. I made it to Chicago. Easy peasy. It looked pretty open to Honolulu. And then it wasn’t. So I tried going through LA. And….denied. Houston? Atlanta? Denver? Nothing. Nothing. And a big fat nothing.
It looked pretty open out of Newark today, so we decided it would be best for me to stay in Newark and try again this morning.
But it had been a long day. All day bouncing back and forth between gates and not really eating and only a few hours of sleep. I was out of my I-like-a-plan comfort zone. I hung tight with a great adventurous attitude all day long….until I got stuck in Pittsburgh on my way to Newark.
And then I just wanted to forget it. Quit. I was only an hour from home, and I just wanted Mikel to come get me. Especially when I realized Newark wasn’t voted the world’s safest city this year. Or any year. And I would be taking a shuttle by myself to a neighborhood that wasn’t so safe at 11:00 at night.
Fear set in. Big time!
My grand plans of resting and writing were gone, replaced with just a desire to live through the night. (I’m not exaggerating. LOL. Okay….so maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Blue Bloods, but I even texted Mikel, “I’m scared. I don’t want to be a statistic.” My exact words.)
I felt all alone. But I wasn’t. God was with me the whole time. The. Whole. Time. I just forgot.
Mikel encouraged me. My auntie encouraged me. They prayed for me. I made it to my room safely and barricaded myself in. I put on some worship music (I know of this great new CD coming out 😉 ) and let His presence saturate my atmosphere.
And then I felt foolish. I had thought, “If only Mikel were here. I’d feel safer.” Or auntie. Or my friend Jennifer. Or my dog. Or anybody tangible.
Fear can make you forget. Forget who He is. Forget who you are. It can make you forget whose you are.
It sure made me forget.
First Things First
The best thing to do AND the first thing to do when fear settles down like a fog is to remember.
Isaiah 51:12-16 Eternal One: I am the One who comforts you and gives you peace. So why are you afraid of human beings? The children of men are only grass; they’ll wither and die. Have you forgotten Me, the One who made you and the whole world,who stretched out the skies and made sure the earth’s foundations? Yet you constantly worry about others—how they hate and might harm you. But their anger counts for nothing. In an instant, those who cower in fear and trepidation will be free to go in confidence; they won’t die in chains or suffer from hunger. Because I, the Eternal, am your God,I can make the oceans roil with storm and roll with great waves. They call Me, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. I have given you My words to speak and protected you with the shadow of My hand. I am the One who pulled the skies tight and made the earth rock solid. And I am the same who said to Zion, “You are indeed Mine!”
I totally forgot. I forgot my Maker. My Savior. My protector. I forgot that angels encamp around those who fear Him. I forgot that 1,000 may fall at one said and 10,000 at my right hand but it can’t come near me. Im in the secret place.
Once I remembered, fear left and peace came and boy was it sweet.
Be Led by the Spirit
The Bible says that the children of God (that’s us) are led by His Spirit.
Now I’m not advocating just going into dangerous situations willy nilly without a thought or a prayer. And to be honest, at the end of the day yesterday, I was hungry and tired (and I’m talking exhaustion with tears…lots of tears), and I had a hard time distinguishing fear from peace from check. “Do i press on? Do I go home? Did I miss it? I was so sure…”
So I called in reinforcements. Mikel was praying, and my auntie who has traveled all her life was praying. They both felt peace. And I kept going back to the peace I had about going. I knew it was right. So I pressed on through the fear.
I wanted to be cautious, but I didn’t want to be led by fear. By my emotions. By the circumstances. Fear hasn’t earned the right to lead me. I’m a child of God, so that honor belongs to Him alone.
A bad situation doesn’t mean God’s not in it. And a situation void of trouble doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the will of God. We can’t be led by circumstances. They’re flimsy and ever-changing.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas had God’s word on going to Macedonia. He had a vision about it. A vision! They got one woman saved and cast an evil spirit out of a slave girl. Cool! Way to go God!
And then they got stripped, severely beaten with rods and chained to the wall in the dungeon in prison.
“Wait a minute God. Where’d you go? I had a vision. This shouldn’t have happened!” Is that what Paul and Silas said? Nope. They prayed and sang praises to God and He shook that prison so hard everyone’s chains fell off. Then they left and kept on truckin’. Kept on preaching. Kept on following His direction.
I’m so glad I didn’t quit. That I didn’t go home from Pittsburgh. I’m sitting on a flight getting ready to land in Honolulu as I type. And I’m looking forward to see what God has for this time away from the stress and mess and hectic schedules of life. I’m excited to see who I can minister to and bless and touch with His love.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t forget to remember. He leads with peace. He is always with you.
Live the adventure.