Paralyzing Fear~

I had it all planned out! Three glorious days in the sun and then I’d fly into Bend from Seattle around 11:30 pm Friday night.  There was clearly enough time to get a good nights rest, get up early on Saturday, and attend our son’s graduation from George Fox University (Redmond Campus) where he was receiving his Masters in Education.

It was 11:30 pm in Seattle when they cancelled the flight! ( I had already been waiting for the flight for 4 hours!) We were politely told that the airline would pay for our hotel and that we would get home safe and sound around 4:30 pm Saturday. Um….no….may son is graduating at 9am!!

Tears began to trickle down my face as I beat myself up for having even gone away for a few days! If I thought this could happen I would never have gone!! Two sweet young gals in line began asking me why I was so full of tears; they were so compassionate.  As we neared the desk to receive our vouchers for our hotel I had a gal from the airline tap me on the shoulder asking if I was the lady with the son graduating in the morning?

Apparently, one of the young gals in line had gone over to the gate where they were boarding the last passengers who were headed to Eugene.  This 11:45 flight had ONE seat left. This young lady had appealed on my behalf and got me on that last seat on that plane! Remarkable! I was so grateful.

So, Plan B:  I will get to Eugene, rent a car, get a room, sleep a little and then head to Redmond for the graduation!!  Uh – oh~ got to Eugene, it’s 12:15 am and they can’t find a car to rent to me!  Finally~ I drive away from the airport in a sturdy SUV in search of a room for the night!   It’s 12:30. After an exhaustive search I find that there is no room in Eugene because 7,000 women have gathered for a Beth Moore conference!!

Now my cell phone is almost without power so I don’t want to go over the Cascades alone at 1:00 am -alone-without a phone! Plan C~  I decide to take Hwy 5 and head to Salem, get a room for a couple hours, rest, and then head to Redmond for the graduation.  After a long drive I arrive in Salem around 2:45 am.  I have a tiny bit of power on my phone and I see a message from my husband letting me know that he has been calling all over town and there is only ONE hotel room in Salem, it is reserved for me.  I have no idea where the hotel is and now my phone is dead!  I look for something that is open to ask for directions but I find nothing.  Literally~ I pulled over to the side of the road-tired & scared- and I cry out to God begging for Him to help me! Crazy as it sounds I immediately felt a fresh sense of resolve, drove a couple of blocks and saw the lights of the Hotel I was looking for!

At 3:30am I clicked off the light thanking God for this much needed rest and for His hand of safety over me. Up at 5:30 and off to Redmond for Dave’s graduation; got there 15 minutes early!! Cried the moment I saw him standing there in his cap and gown!

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I know this is a long story; but there is a big part that I left out of the details.

  All of my life I have been unable to drive in uncertain places, especially at night. Navigating the unknown has thrown me into panic attacks….so I never even attempt it, an embarrassing and crippling fear!  This crazy fear has kept me from many wonderful road trips, adventures, and business opportunities.  I had no idea that God was going to “give me the opportunity ” to address this fear so dramatically but He sure did!

I learned a lot about myself that night but more about God~He never left me, His comfort over-whelmed me, His favor blessed me, and (with help from my hubby) God even got me to the Hotel! Best of all~I made it to graduation in the nick of time! 🙂

Perhaps you have a fear that paralyzes you, like I do.  I pray you can believe that if you are  given the “opportunity” to address it God will never leave your side, and He will make you stronger and more able!

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

“Sorry, You’re Not In The Club!”

I have always been fascinated by people~~ I love their stories, experiences, uniqueness’s, and even the challenges they may bring. Yet there is a type of behavior that I have observed; even been impacted by that I believe ought to be addressed or at least considered….

In High School students join a team, the choir, or a club….they share experiences, laughter, challenges, and responsibilities and then, for some reason or another, they withdraw from their involvement and to their surprise they experience the feeling of “Sorry, Your Not In The Club!”.  Since they are no longer a participant in that group  the interactions begin to become stilted, even awkward or non-existent. I watched this happen over and over in college as well.

Imagine my naive surprise when my husband and I stepped out into church ministry –serving our hearts out, watching others work and serve hard as well, only to watch the same behavior surface when we or others sensed God moving in a fresh direction. Obedience to what He desired caused many who served faithfully and selflessly to experience the feeling of “Sorry, You’re Not In The Club.” People became distant, relationships strained, and a new awkwardness set in…..

In business I have watched this apply as well; as those who have served on teams, building the goals of the Company and supporting the vision, move in a fresh direction after years of service that same awkward sense sets in once again. And I am left to wonder why?

Should we not value the times we have shared and served together? Should we not be reminded by fond memories of experiences and challenges weathered together? Should we not allow our teammates to fly free, to grow, and to chart a fresh course for their lives with the joy of knowing they will always matter to us?

I often ponder these questions!  What about you? What are your thoughts on this?

As I turn to the Word of God I find true nuggets hidden in the pages!

Proverbs 17:17
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Proverbs 20:6
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Proverbs 17:17

A Friend Loves at all times. 

I wonder if we could stretch harder to stay connected to those who have served alongside our lives, ministries, or jobs remaining so grateful to who they have been in our lives and for all they have done whether in our church, community, or place of work!

As the silly song from a Disney movie expresses:

Boy, and as the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You’re gonna see it’s our destiny
You’ve got a friend in me 🙂