Holding Pattern

I’m married to a top notch Air Force pilot and no I’m not biased at all. It’s the truth. What some may find shocking; however, is that I am not a huge fan of flying. I don’t mind when the plane is airborne and we are flying nice and smooth, it is the taking off and landing that I dislike, not to mention turbulence. The feeling in my stomach is one of anxiousness, uncertainty and feeling out of control. When the wheels finally hit the ground during the landing and we have arrived at our destination, I breathe a deep sigh of relief and am ready to get off the ride.

Eight months ago, I boarded a plane with my mom unaware of the length of the flight but fully aware of the destination. It has been a flight that has given me some of the most beautiful and most painful views I have ever experienced. It has brought me to a place of complete brokenness and surrender as I allow my Father to carry me through this turbulent flight. For what seems like eternity now, I have been in a holding pattern, waiting to make the final approach for landing. The emotions, the anxiety, the anticipation, the preparation, have taken my breath, left a pit in my stomach, and have me overwhelmed. Each time I get the call or text that a significant change has occurred in my mom, the light comes on to take my seat and prepare for landing. But I haven’t landed. I’m still in a holding pattern. The flight isn’t over. The waves of turbulence continue. The waves of emotions continue. The torture continues. Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

sunset-c130The day is coming when I will no longer be in a holding pattern and I will be on the final approach for landing as my mom passes from this world to the next. The wheels will touch down on this long flight of suffering and will land at is final destination and I will be able to breathe a deep sigh of relief. Or will I? While I am fully aware of the destination of this flight, it has not changed my feelings. I will be arriving to a destination of life without my mom. A destination of life that no longer has an a amazing woman for my kids to call grandma. A destination of life that has my dad without the woman he has loved for over 42 years. I hate it! It sucks! It’s not fair! Why, Jesus!? Why!? Why didn’t You take her cancer away!? Why didn’t You keep her from this long road of suffering!?

Jesus. Father. Holy Spirit. I give You my harsh, real thoughts. I give You my raw feelings and emotions. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Anxiety. Grief. I give You my hurt and my pain. I release it all to You, Father, knowing You hold my heart and handle it in a way only You can. With tenderness. With mercy. With grace. With kindness. With love. Jesus, I fall to my knees in complete exhaustion and total surrender. I open my arms and receive the truth of who You are. I receive Your power. I receive Your love. I receive Your peace. I receive Your comfort. I ask You Father, to grow me up out of this deep hole of suffering. I ask You to strengthen me, to help me find joy and life in the midst of the sorrow and feelings of helplessness. I honor You, Father. You are a good Father. I am fully Yours and I love You deeply. Guide me and equip me for what lies before me. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Father. Thank You, Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 The Message
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

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