Today, I offer a personal testimony:
My last airplane journey was to Montana. I was to fly out of Burbank to Salt Lake City, then on to Montana. I felt all grown up; big time ministry woman, hitting the skies. I love traveling alone. I call these trips me and Jesus journeys.
So off I went feeling the woman in charge of my own life. I was shocked at the smallness of the airport and when I asked the way to my boarding area they laughed at me. I soon found out why. There was only one boarding area and it was right around the wall behind where they stood. Okay joke’s on me.
I walk around the corner and saw the plane was ready to board already, but they were not calling us to board. Starting to feel a little anxiety I kept watching the clock because in 4 hours I was to board the flight to Montana from Salt Lake City. And that was the last one for the night. What would I do stranded at an airport all night?
The hours crawled as I watched a literal circus of errors with no explanation as to why we could not board the plane. The Santa Ana winds had come up and were blowing the plane all over the place but they assured us that was not the problem. They came on the speaker and asked who among us would be willing to get off the plane because there was too much weight for it to fly.
Seriously? Of course, The Voice, began to chime in (read previous blog to see who The Voice is) telling me that it was MY weight that would down the plane. What if I was the one who tipped the scales of the plane and sent it spiraling downward killing us all? I knew I should have lost those 20 lbs before this trip! No one volunteered to be the one to get off. I had to reach Salt Lake before my other plane left. My anxiety level was rising.
Okay Jesus, it is you and me. This is scary. Bring me peace.
What should I do?
Then He whispered. “It’s okay, Dixie, I go before you, remember?”
I’m good. I’m good. I’m not in a hurry. Mercy. Grace.
He had my back. But my mind was killing me.
“Bring every thought captive, to His voice, Dixie.” I self talked.
Two hours later they finally let us on the plane with no explanation as to why we couldn’t get on before that and I was just wondering if they truly did they get that one fat person off so we wouldn’t fall out of the sky? The stewardess told us that it was “bunk” that the plane would weigh too much. Then we saw the pilot come on the plane, who, up until then, had been missing in action. Hmmmmm. And he was all smiles as he climbed into the cock pit.
Now, I have to ask you, when your pilot delays the plane by not showing up on time, what comes to your mind?
“Okay, Lord, here we go.”
The stewardess walked the isle and told us under her breath that we needed to write to Delta and complain about this incident. This told me she knew something she was not telling us.
“Good grief, Lord, I am so glad you are with me up here.”
I was already emotionally triggered, though. I was thrown back into my childhood. The old scripts started playing. “Nothing ever works right for you, Dixie. If it’s going to go wrong it will be on your watch.”
God was revealing yet again, deeper issues in my heart that need his tending; areas I need to repent of and receive his forgiveness and perfect love in; areas I need to lean in and trust more and let my mind be renewed; areas where I am harsh for some underlying reason that I need Jesus to reveal and heal.
Now we are in the air in the Santa Ana winds. We lurched our way to Utah, literally. Like riding a bucking bronco, I am sure. I had texted everyone how much I loved them by then.
Arriving in Salt Lake, a man who had looked up my flight to Montana had told me that it had left an hour before, so I needed to find an attendant and ask for a motel. So, sure enough, the plane had left without me. I mean, really, how many people were going to Helena, Montana that time of night. Probably two people, they told me. They could have waited for me.
“Lord, I simply can’t sleep in one of these airport seats like Tom Hanks did in that movie where he had to live at the airport.”
“I’ve got this Dixie.” Deep breath.
The man at the counter told me they would put me up in a nearby motel and transport me there and bring me back in the morning to catch the next flight. Wow! Okay then. I was put up in a very fancy hotel near the airport.
“Just like a husband, you are, my Jesus!!”
“When you say you trust me, that means even when the way looks bleak, my child.” He whispered.
The ride to the motel put me on a shuttle with a woman who was alone. She went to another motel but the next morning we ended up sitting together on our way to Montana.
And then I knew.
The delay was so the Lord could put us together for a one hour flight. In that hour we found we were both believers and we connected on a level I knew was Jesus. She was encouraged and I was too.
A divine appointment.
By the time we arrived in Helena and got off the plane, (there were about five of us on the plane) it was like we had always known each other and I introduced her to my friend I was visiting. I will not know until eternity what that whole encounter was really about. But I do know the whole trip was planned out by Jesus for this particular meeting.
And to reveal to me new things about myself.
That’s what he’s up to; This loving, wild, relentless, fabulous God of ours. He’s always after my restoration.
My emotional healing. My deliverance. My freedom.
And he’s after yours, as well.
I say yes to you, Lord. I don’t like the ugly parts of me you have revealed, but I would stay in that ugliness if you didn’t show it to me.
So show me.
Even in airports, I am held in his grace. I am held in his love. I am being restored. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)