On Monday, I will be boarding a plane for Missoula, Montana. Those of you who know me…know that I hate to fly. I really don’t mind flying if everything goes smoothly. No major hitches at the airport. No lost baggage. No turbulence. Nothing scary. Flying without any of those things is highly unlikely these days, though, so my stress levels rise as the travel day approaches. I also do not like to fly alone, although I do have to do that sometimes and Monday will be one of those days.
Because of my anxieties, I plan my airline trips carefully. There are certain seats that I prefer to others. I like to be toward the front of the plane rather than the rear. I like the aisle seat. Of course, I like for Chris to be with me so that if there is anything scary at all that happens…I can hang tightly onto his arm cutting off the circulation. (Chris falls asleep when he boards a plane so it is quite alarming to him to wake up to feeling like his arm is going to fall off…but I do not care.)
My friend, Melody, prays for me often when I fly because she now knows how I respond on a plane if there is turbulence. She was sitting next to me on a long flight a while back. When the turbulence started, and she saw my face, it dawned on her that I REALLY was scared and that her prayers were REALLY important to me. She is such a great friend. She still loves me even though I’m weird.
Every now and then, Chris and I will get separated on a flight due to a mistake on the airline’s part. Even with my careful planning, sometimes things will go awry. No one on that plane knows how hard it is for me, when that happens, to stop the desire to run off the plane screaming, “No, No, No! I cannot make that change!” It is actually a miracle of God, that I can begin to take deep breaths, say a quick prayer and sit down in the newly assigned seat next to a person that I do not know. I know that they are so happy to be next to me when I turn to them and say, “Please forgive me if there is turbulence…I am likely to become your new best friend. I might grab your arm, cut off your circulation and pray out loud.” Usually, they smile, nod and quickly try to get to sleep…leaning away from me.
On Monday, I will be flying to Denver and then connecting into Missoula to stay with my brother for a little over a week. He has just had heart surgery and needs a companion for a few days while recovering. I will go first and then my brother from Florida will continue the support through Thanksgiving. I don’t know if you know anything at all about Missoula at this time of the year but to compound my issues with flying there is now an Arctic Blast going on up there with wind chills of -35. I don’t have any clothes for that type of weather and please…I am from TEXAS. We close down schools, shopping centers and churches if it is 32 degrees and raining a little. Can you see me driving on those roads? Getting to the grocery store? Helping my brother get around? The whole picture sends me into panic. However, I love my brother and there is no question that I want to be there for him.
Personally, I think that God has a great sense of humor. He knows my control issues. Because He knows me so well…He chooses to take me on occasional adventures where the only way for me to get through them is to trust in Him. From Monday, November 17th through Tuesday, November 25th, I will be on one of His adventures. Although it is so hard for me to release control, I know He will teach me something through it all. I know if I look for the “God” moments…I will see His divine intervention in every twist and turn…or bump on the plane. He has even sent me a personalized message that He will be present with me every step of the way by reminding people to pray.
Robin, Chris’ assistant, stopped me after a church women’s event last night.
She said, “I need to tell you something. I prayed for you and your brother last night.”
“Really?, I said, “Thanks so much, Robin!”
“Yes,” she continued. “We record Criminal Minds on TV.”
“We do, too!” I confessed.
“Well…last night we watched one of our taped shows. When the credits came up and I saw Joe Mantegna’s name I immediately thought of your brother, Joe. Then, the show started and the setting for the episode was Missoula, Montana! Can you believe that? I knew that God was reminding me to pray for you, your upcoming trip and for your brother. I told my husband…we have to pray for Peggy!”
Isn’t that amazing? Our great God loves me so much, that He will call out a prayer warrior to pray for me even as I prepare for the trip. He takes care of all of the details. He has so many adventures planned for us…if we are just willing to trust.
Philippians 4:5-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”