Seven years ago, I knew this day was coming. Our big summer trip to Cooperstown, NY. I’ve been dreading it ever since my son joined his first travel baseball team. Because I knew when he turned 12, our family would be heading to Cooperstown for its annual week-long baseball tournament. I was dreading it because I hate to fly.
I can fly, I just hate to.
A few days ago, I attended my uncle’s memorial service. He was an airline mechanic and just adored planes. His service was held at a restaurant that overlooked the runway of a local airport. What seemed like every eight minutes, I would hear the roar of the engines as they geared up for take-off. That’s a disturbing sound to my ears, to put it mildly. It makes nails on a chalkboard sound like the theme song from Forrest Gump. Anyone remember that? I loved it!
Anyway, I came home that night, kind of tied up in knots because I had began dreading to hear those revving engines in my ears again in a few days. After I got on my pjs, I laid in the dark on my bed and gave my fear to the Lord.
“God, going on an airplane is like going in for surgery. It’s not something I ever want to do. I ask you to take my fear and turn it into excitement. When I hear the roar of the engines, let me be reminded that Your power is greater than that sound. Let me be reminded that so many great memories lie beyond that take-off and that landing.”
As I was visualizing myself arriving at the airport, standing in line at the terminal and walking down that long hallway that leads to stepping into that huge white plane, I could just feel my heart pounding atop my sheets. I then realized that this is the same feeling that excitement brings.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whispered. I want to be excited to fly, not terrified. What could you do with me if I got on planes for You?”
Now that's an exciting thought, I thought.
Right before I went to bed last night, my girlfriend texted me, “So excited for you! Will wake up early to pray for you. May you feel calm and peace as you board the airplane. Send lots of pics.”
This morning as I was boarding the plane, another text read, “You are covered in prayer. Have a wonderful time.”
And I know my sister most likely dedicated the greater portion of her night to praying for my peace.
Though I blared my ipod in my ears upon take-off (Shh! Don’t tell the flight attendants!), I’ve never enjoyed a plane ride more than this one. Because I KNOW this peace and excitement comes from God.
As I type this, we’re on a full plane bound for Georgia (and don’t think I won’t be lookin’ for Charles Stanley in the airport!), have a one hour layover in Atlanta, and then are headed on to Albany. That’s TWO flights in one day, my friends -- something this girl has never done before and was so not looking forward to doing. In fact, I wanted to kill my sweet friend who booked us on my first ever non-direct flight! How dare he! But believe it or not, I look forward to my next take-off! In just two hours!
Actually, I do believe it...
Three reasons I do love to fly:
1. Hugging every man and woman in uniform I see in an airport and saying, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving our country,"
(always with giant tears in my eyes)
2. Wearing my "can't do cancer without God" t-shirt in hopes of sharing it with someone who needs to see it. (I actually pretend I have to go to the bathroom just so I can walk down the aisle and have anyone who's looking read it!)
3. Knowing that a plane ride means memories for a lifetime.