Growing through traveling


I’m sitting on a plane traveling home from Breckenridge, CO. I’m thinking about all of the times I’ve flown on a plane in the past. As a little girl I was very fearful of everything. I had no desire to travel and I definitely had no desire to go anywhere if they spoke a different language. I would not know what anyone was saying! You see, control was extremely important to me. Most of my life I was out of control and bad things happened to me. I didn’t understand that control was the issue. I always blamed it on fear.

One of the first times I flew I was so terrified. I would be flying alone. I was meeting a friend in Chicago to be on a Christian talk show regarding some teachings the two of us had done together. How did measly little me get invited to co-teach this topic with a well known speaker and now meet her in Chicago at a television station?  This sort of thing doesn’t happen to a girl like me. As I said, I grew up sheltered and literally afraid of everything. I had no confidence in myself and I would have never believed it, if you told me as a young girl that my life would go where it has gone.

I was packing my carry on and I was having panic attacks in my living room the day before the flight. I was terrified. I kept thinking,”What is wrong with me?” “What have I done?” “Why did I say yes?”  People like me don’t get on planes and fly miles away and speak on a television show! My memory went back to a time in my early twenties when I decided, as a young mother, to sell Avon. I remember my dad laughing at me when he found out. “YOU are going to go door to door and talk to strangers?!” Now that really boosted my confidence. Actually it really did because something in me wanted to prove him wrong. I had two very small children but I did it and I enjoyed it. Fast forward many years later right before both of my parents passed away. I was the speaker at a ladies retreat.  I was taking my father to the grocery store because my mother was incapacitated from knee surgery. He asked me if I was going to this retreat to hear that lady on television named Joyce Meyers. I said, “No dad, I am the speaker.” He had no idea who I was and he absolutely had no idea how his opinion of me shaped me. (Now I know that his opinion of himself was not very high so how could he think highly of someone he produced.)

Back to my topic at hand. I was so scared to get on that plane that I had a friend take me to the airport a couple of days before and walk me through what to do and where to go. It wasn’t too terribly long after that year that I went on a missions trip with my church. Again, I was terrified even though my husband and I sensed that God was saying he wanted me to go. I was going to Romania with five people from my church. The night before we left I had nightmares that I was in a foreign country having to sleep on dirt floors. That week turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life. I don’t know when I laughed as much as I did that week and I loved the Romanian people. And my eyes were opened up to a whole new world I didn’t truly understand until that trip.

A couple of years later, after starting work with a ministry I was invited to go to Romania again. This time I would be leading a conference with a co-worker who was living in Hungary. A friend went with me. We would fly to Hungary and then ride a train to Romania. As I’m typing this I’m still thinking, “Who is this girl?” How did I end up doing all of these wonderful trips?  Again, this was a trip where I fell in love with the people, had the best time ever teaching and fell in love with Europe. If you are desiring some relational depth just take a week or two and go on a trip with some people. We had so many good laughs and precious conversations. The most meaningful thing that happened to me on this trip was when we invited a homeless man to come to our conference. We actually ran into him on the streets during the first day and talked with him. And he came each night! Through a translator he told the leader that he had never heard a woman teach like I taught and his heart was touched. Wow! I cannot tell you how much that man meant to me. I think of him every now and then and wonder what happened in his life.

From 32 until almost 60 I have seen incredible growth. I almost don’t even recognize myself. Traveling has become one of my favorite things to do. I’ve had multiple opportunities to travel even though I live on a modest income. I’m now calm and comfortable and I’m thankful. Does that mean I’ve got it all together now? Absolutely not! You see our brains have not been redeemed and our brains are like computers. They have file after file stored in this unbelievably small space in our heads. I can revert back to some stinking thinking at any given moment.

I grew up having very little. I had heard about families going on vacations to ski resorts but I had no reference as to what that was like. And I never saw myself ever flying to a beautiful snowy mountain. A dear friend invited me to fly up this week and meet her in Breckenridge, CO to join her on her vacation. When I checked the flights I was amazed at how affordable the prices were. So I did it! It should not have been snowing that early in the year but guess what? It did! And the ski resorts opened early. (I did not ski but LOVED watching them.) It feels like a whole new world opened up to me again this week. I absolutely loved it and the beauty that we saw is beyond words. However, there were a couple of times that I felt that insecure and intimidated young girl surface.

When you grow up without a lot of resources, a deep belief system can take root in your brain because you feel “less than” others who have more. I saw only wealthy people going to Ski resorts and it was not even on my radar that I would ever go somewhere like Breckenridge.  I was so excited I was like a little child at Christmas. However, when some very nice ladies began talking to us at the resort about where we were from and what all we were going to do over the next four days I became very quiet. My friend was carrying on a fun conversation with them. They seemed like really nice ladies. But all I saw was beautiful ladies, beautiful clothes and an obvious different lifestyle. There was an opportunity for me and my friend to go with these two ladies on a horse riding excursion. I wasn’t up for the endeavor because honestly, I’m not too sure about horses after being thrown off of a horse when I was 8. But to be totally honest, I wasn’t comfortable around these ladies. In my OLD PROGRAMING they were out of my league. I totally forgot who I was! My friend asked me later why I was so quiet.  I told her about my faulty belief system and how it had reared it’s ugly head. However, as I was sitting there I could hear my Heavenly Father saying, “YOU are daughter of Zion. YOUR Father is the King of Kings!” Now I know that because I teach that. But it’s one thing to know it and it’s another thing to KNOW it!  So there you have it.  I felt inspired to write this short story as I fly back home.

I have been teaching people their identity in Christ for 28 years and I still can have experiences that can paralyze me. I can still forget who I am and whose I am. I can still walk after the flesh and judge others and believe lies. I’m human and so are you. That’s why I feel I can be real with you. My prayer as I left Breckenridge: Please forgive me for forgetting who I am. I cannot change the programing of my brain Lord without your help. Help me to know that my worth is just as flawless as my older brother, Jesus. Because I too, am yours! You birthed me into a ROYAL family! My father is the King! Take that truth deep into my psyche and allow me to help other’s that struggle like I do with these same truths. You’ve done so much for us. If we could truly see who we are and what you have done and how you have changed us from the inside out; we would be totally amazed.  Open our eyes Father. And thank you from the bottom of my heart!