As I was happily getting ready for work without a care on my mind, the Today Show broke through my thoughts of unicorns and cuddling river otters in a rainbow stream with a news story about the airport that I’m flying out of.
Apparently, they have had a turnover of 100 security agents a week and the videos of the security lines look absolutely horrid! People have missed their flights because of the delays in the security lines. Southwest Airlines had to supply cots to those who missed their flights because of it. I’m not flying with Southwest but I just could imagine how insane I would be. So, now I’m going through the scenarios in my mind of all the possible worst things that could happen to me.
I broke down crying the parking lot this morning before heading into work. I am so overwhelmed. Being an introvert by nature and not having a lot of self-confidence throughout my early years of my life, this can be a little much to digest. Let’s add being neurotic on top of that and, well, we have an amazing emotional cocktail going on.
This is when the time difference between EJ and I really sucks. I’m over here in America freaking out like a freaky freaked out freak and she’s lying in bed sleeping unbeknownst of my worries. Of course I freaked out on her first via messaging. And then went on to freak out on other friends that live in the same time zone.
As I was awaiting their replies, a small voice in the back of my mind spoke to me. I am a Christian. Who is readily there for me right now at this moment? Who has always had my back? God. This human life can really take its toll. It can really make it very easy to put God on a little shelf in His “Break in case of Emergency” box. And when I heard this voice I felt ashamed at first because I didn’t come to Him. After all that I’ve been through in the past and knowing He’s always been there for me. And after all of the blessings I have in my life, I didn’t come to Him first.
Yesterday, I read a very interesting blog about Faith by Mark Landry (if you haven’t been following him, you have been missing out!) and how Faith means differently than what most churches teach us. In his post “The Most Misunderstood Thing about Faith” he states:
God isn’t pleased with you unless you have FAITH.
To have FAITH, you must
(A) Believe that God exists
(B) Believe the things that you’re hoping for will come to fruition
(C) Believe that if you follow God you’ll be rewarded
I believe God exists. Why can’t I believe that what I’m hoping for (ie, less anxiety, smooth sailing through airports and flights) will be answered and that I’ll be rewarded (ie, having the great possible time with my honey bee)? He goes on to say that “churchy” folk like me don’t like to believe that there’s something in it for us. Which is totally true!
I also haven’t been reading my Bible as of late. Like for the past couple weeks. So, I cracked open my Google on my phone and looked up scriptures about anxiety. Here are a few gems:
”Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” ~1 Peter 5:7
“Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe,” ~Mark 5:36
And here are a couple of my favorites!
”Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Those last two spoke to me because through all my fears and anxiety, I have been truly blessed with this opportunity to travel to foreign lands and see sights that my family or friends will never travel to see. To be in awe of all of His creation. To see different species of animals that I would have never seen face to face in my local area. To see the mountains and coastlines and the ocean. All of these things that I should be truly thankful. All of these things that I should be overjoyed to witness have now been clouded with fear and anxiety. That’s pretty messed up.
As I was writing down these scriptures on pieces of paper that I can carry with me on the planes and through the airports, my friends started to text me their words of encouragement and how they all believe that everything will be alright. What was even more spectacular is that EJ messaged me. The wind woke her up and she checked her phone to see her distraught and overly excitable girlfriend’s message. She wrote:
you’re leaving your country for the first time, and you’re going to meet someone you’ve never physically met before, and not only that but you really want it to go well when we do meet. All of that together is a lot of pressure, it’s perfectly alright to be feeling scared and anxious, I would probably be worried if you weren’t concerned at all
She gets me. He *points upward* gets me. I know in my heart that He woke her up to comfort me. I am feeling much calmer. And I’m trying to not use prayer as a spare tire in case of emergency but as a steering wheel to guide me as my lovely fellow blogger quoted from her Sunday service last week.
I’m a work in progress. I will be for the rest of my life. I must always work on my Faith and have a grateful and thankful heart for the opportunities that I have been given and the amazing support system of family and friends He has placed me in.
SIDE NOTE: The guys that brought lunch for the office gave me loads of airport advice and I keep getting calmer still.
What are your travel hacks that have helped you in the past? I sure could use the tips and helpful advice!