Freedom in the Airport
In my life, fear is the default white noise, and God’s voice is the mute button. I get so used to the white noise that I forget about the mute button. When I was reading a book today, a book that a good friend of mine wrote and printed, and bound for me, God muted my fear. I blinked. Stopped. Breathed in. Noticed things. Noticed the fear, and the lie of it. The rush of it. The normalcy of it. It’s my default. It’s my safety. It’s my comfort. Why do I keep running back? Could life really happen moment by moment, word by word, breath of God by breath of God? Following God’s voice and savoring the journey? I dare to think so, though I miserably failed this past week to walk that way.
My to-do list dominated much of my thought life this past week. Fears about pleasing people, missing flights, having to pee at inopportune moments, not eating too much, not being focused or free enough, not connecting with people enough… The weight of this fear on me. The longer I submitted to that weight, the more it dominated my thoughts, and then the focus is just “getting through” things until at some magical point “in the future”, I could be freed of it again. Why do I keep falling for that lie? Submitting to the white noise that never ends? That swallows me up and feeds me counterfeit promises of freedom once I do this, or please them. “Just a little more… Just get through this… Just push a little more… THEN you’ll accomplish enough to deserve your freedom”.
Freedom happens now, cutting into the fearful fog like a knife. Silencing it, and clearing my head with a loving tenacity. Affirmation by an invisible hand seeping into my thoughts and even my body. My posture straightening, my muscles relaxing. There you are, God. Why have I been running from you all week? Why do we avoid stillness? Why can’t we find rest? True rest?
As I begin a journey into the creative realm, out of a life in the purely practical realm, I know I will need to rely on that mute button, daring to believe it is accessible at all times. That living free is possible, not just in fleeting moments, but as the only way to walk this narrow road, letting go of the comfort of my fear, and clasping the hand of Jesus, fixing my eyes on his as I walk out onto a tightrope, onto the waves with a steady gaze, unwavering.
Now, I see. Now, I start to hear. Now, I start to write. I feel my pain, name it, and know He feels it too. Now I feel the beauty of laying my pain down again. It bubbles up. I curse. I cry. I feel the rejection. I look in the mirror at the airport, and wipe away my tears. I feel beautiful. I feel Him say that. I breathe again. I stand in line with my bags, getting lost in my book, my heart soaring with my friend’s heart, as she shares and writes her own story, freeing me to live and write my own. My tears drop onto the metal handle of my luggage cart. I don’t care that people might notice.
I’m alive. I’m free. I ask for a window seat. “Sorry ma’am, only middle seats left.” I say “Ok”, and feel sure that God is there, and wonder what he might have planned for me in that middle seat, that maybe I’m to stay up and write, instead of sleep. That maybe He would put me next to someone on the window who really preferred the middle, or decided not to board for some reason. I knew He could open one up for me. But, ok, I’ll take the middle.
3 beeps later, she hands me my boarding pass: “Found a window seat for you.”
A rush of warmth takes over my mind and body. God’s voice. I know it’s Him. Surrendered. And Soaring.