Flying. It is something that truly causes me a lot of anxiety. I think it’s the lack of control and understanding of planes that causes it (control problem? Haha maybe). Anyways, recently I was on a plane and as we began to decend it was pretty windy and some turbulence began. For some reason turbulence as we approach landing scares me a lot more than turbulence when we are cruising high up. As we got close to landing, the plane began to go back up. Instantly, I panicked. I grabbed my husband’s hands and tears began to stream down my face. The worst thoughts of what was happening were swirling around in my head. As we looped around the San Diego airport to attempt landing once again, this time it was a success. We were on the land and my anxiety finally began to cease.
Maybe you don’t struggle with flight anxiety, but maybe you have felt that complete loss of control. Maybe you have walked through deep grief, unable to control what happened, and left in the midst of really hard and icky feelings. Maybe you have had everything you thought you loved wiped out right from under you, leaving you having to start from the bottom. We have almost all at some point in our lives experienced and walked through things that we have absolutely no control over.
How do we become okay with not being in control?
How do we live a life that is in full surrender to the plans that the Lord has for us?
Back to the plane ride story, as we were looping back around, I asked the Lord to speak to me. I was experiencing crippling fear, no words my husband spoke to me were going to help, I knew only the voice of the Lord could strengthen me. I asked the Lord to show me what He wanted to tell me at that very moment. I felt Him paint a picture of Him in my mind sitting next to me on the plane and whispering to me, “I am with you.”
That is how we become okay with not being in control: knowing and believing that the God of this universe is ALWAYS with us, has gone before us, and is fighting for us.
"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:7-10 There is absolutely no where we can go that God's presence is not in. He is everywhere. He is with us at all times. He has never left us nor will He ever forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). In this life we are going to experience moments where we lose complete control because ultimately we are not the ones in control. We may have this idea of what we want to happen and what we think is going to happen, but then the time comes and something completely opposite of what we ever though occurs! This life is something we have to learn to hold losely. But it is so hard to want to losen the grip on what we feel like we can control. There would be a lot less dissapointment if we lived a life with palms up and hands open rather than fists closed and clenched.
But how do we actually take action steps to believe this truth when we feel overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, doubt, and all of the other crazy feelings that come with the sense of losing control?
Here are some practical steps to take, but remember they are a CHOICE. In one second you can make the choice to do these steps, or continue on in feeling the sense of a loss of control:
- Pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in that very moment. Pray a prayer similar to this: “Lord, I need you right now. I don’t know what to do. I am full of fear, anxiety, and doubt. Show yourself to me. Cover me in your peace. Please speak to me right now Lord as I draw near to you.”
- Write your feelings down. Begin to list all of the things in which you are feeling, thinking and experiencing. Put your heart on paper. Then once you finish, ask the Lord what He wants to tell you about what you wrote. Write to yourself as if the Lord is speaking to you directly in a letter. Listen for what He wants to speak to you.
- Open your bible and read Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Also read all of Psalm 139
My friend, the Lord is always with you. But I get it, it can be really hard to remember that at times. Something I have learned is the power of declarations. The more we speak the truth over ourselves and memorize it the more we believe it. So today, write this down on a sticky note and place it on your mirror: The Lord is ALWAYS with me.