Thursday, May 27, 2010
On the second night of our European Vacation Ricardo and I were laying in bed, trying to fall asleep. Our eyes were wide, our hearts were racing, and for two completely different reasons the walls were closing in. Here we were in the middle of our dream vacation and fear and anxiety were the only emotions either of us could wrap ourselves around.
Now, it is neither my place nor my business to tell you what my husband was struggling with, but I will tell you it was winning.
I had been dreaming of Europe all my life and of this trip specifically for the past year, but in the weeks before the trip, I felt the fear start to grip me. All this hype just to tell you this:
I am TERRIFIED to fly. (Anti-climatic?!)
I will never forget what one co-worker said to me when I told her about my fear. And told her. And told her. (I can always count on Sharon for a "suck-it-up-sister" lecture!)
Here is what she said to me: "So WHAT?"
"Are you not going to go? Are you never going to go anywhere because you are too afraid to get there?"
Her point was, and is, simple. You may get on that plane and it may crash before you ever get there, but you can't NOT live because you're afraid to die. You're going to die, no matter what. Her wisdom was enough to push me on to that plane. When we landed I learned that another plane had gone into the Atlantic and the fear crept back in. The rational person in me knows that how, when, and from what I die is completely out of my control. And that death is the only thing this life can guarantee us.
A friend once told me that there are two types of worry; worrying about the things you can control and worrying about the things you can't. But there is no sense in worrying about the things you can control because it's within your power to change them, and there is no sense in worrying about the things you can't control because there is nothing you can do about them. Truthfully, I spend too much time worrying about the latter. Fear of flying itself i really just a fear of the lack of control. Surprising how often CONTROL is the root of a problem.
If we let them, the things we fear will control our lives. Some people call that fear the devil creeping in. I don't know what I call it, but I DON'T call it living. Just over a year ago all I could think about was what could happen to me, to us, if we got on that plane. Now I can't imagine not having taken that trip.
I cannot stress this point enough... I love my husband. I love him 40,000 feet over the Atlantic, sick in Heathrow terminal, solemn in the presence of the most awe-inspiring Christian art the world holds. I love his quietness and his childlike joy. I love that he is a rational, logical man who loves God and needs no further proof that He is real.
Does this relate to my fear of flying? Absolutely.
I get on the plane to see what my husband looks like in Rome. To see what he finds thrilling in this world. What moves him. I get on the plane so I can kiss him under the Eiffel Tower, have cappuccinos with him on a train ride through Switzerland, and stand in awe with him at the altar in St. Peter's Basilica. I get on the plane to walk the streets of Paris and talk about what it might be like to live there together. I get on the plane to lay awake at night with a person that I know will always comfort me in my fears and encourage me in my dreams, and who is never afraid to share either of his with me. I get on the plane because there is nowhere else in this world I would rather be than right where he is.
And I will NEVER let fear of a silly thing - dying in a horrific plane crash - stop me from enjoying every second of living with that kind of love.
Wishing each of you all the love your heart can hold,