Monday, April 26, 2010

From dreaded to exceptional

Tag this under “other adventures” because I have to post about my weekend, and I don’t have a single cooking experience or recipe to share.

I traveled to Atlanta to meet my mom and sisters for a Beth Moore conference over the weekend. I have a done a few Beth Moore Bible studies and heard her live a couple of times, and I was looking forward to the event. But going into the weekend, I was extremely negative. I felt like something was going to go wrong or it would be such a short trip, I’d be exhausted and spend most of the time in airports or the car and not get much time with my family.

This is a time in the year when I can’t take off work, so I couldn’t make a longer weekend out of it and Atlanta is no longer just a quick drive for me. So I had to take a non-direct flight late Friday night, and I am not a fan of flying. I do it because I enjoying visiting new places, but I hate the hassle of airports, security, delayed flights, etc. I am always convinced something will go wrong.

This anxiety is not without cause. Just ask me about the time I sat on a curry-scented plane for three hours before an international flight, missed my connection in the U.S., was detoured to another city and spent the night with my parents in a small hotel room without earplugs. Or the time a quick weekend trip to Tennessee from Missouri landed me in Peoria, Ill., for an unplanned overnight stay.

But anyway, for the two weeks leading up to this trip, God had been teaching me about anxiety and worry through several outlets. As I described this trip to a friend earlier in the week, I heard how negative I sounded and realized this was the opposite of what God had been teaching me. I needed to let go of my anxiety and trust Him to get me there, or if not, allow me to see His glory in delays or detours. So my prayer going into the weekend was that I would be able to let go of this anxiety, trust God and be able to keep my heart and mind open to hear His message to me.

And you know what, He didn’t just get me there, He blessed the whole weekend. My flights went smoothly and I even landed early in Atlanta. We had to get up early Saturday morning to get to the venue, but it was an easy drive with no traffic (a rarity in Atlanta) and we arrived early. The all-day conference was great. I love being in worship at an event like that. It's just amazing to be in a room where 10,000 women are worshiping God.

Then Beth’s message on insecurity was what I needed to hear. It was somewhat of a continuation of what God has been teaching me, in that it is about controlling my thoughts and filling my mind with God’s Word and not my anxious and insecure thoughts. We also got to hear a short question and answer with Beth and her daughter in a smaller venue.

Leaving the venue in the chaos of 10,000 women and a huge parking lot took a while. It was late afternoon and we were planning the rest of our evening as we sat in traffic. The longer it took, the hungrier we got. We ditched our plan to shop first and headed to a restaurant my mom wanted to take us to. We walked in the door, and there was Beth Moore waiting for a table with her daughter and son-in-law. My sister got the courage to walk us up there and talk to her, and she was so kind and real. She didn’t just say hello and turn back to her family, instead she wanted to know our names and give us each a hug. It was a brief encounter but capped off an already great day.

After some shopping, we headed back to the hotel completely exhausted and were asleep by 10 p.m. I slept so well, I was wide-awake by 7:30 a.m. This meant I got to spend the rest of the morning just talking with my sisters and mom, something I had been afraid we wouldn’t have much time for. The storms from Saturday cleared, and we had a beautiful day. After a successful shopping trip, I had the easiest trip through security at the Atlanta airport. (They’ve apparently opened a new security checkpoint since I was last there a year ago.)

I am writing this in the airport, so assuming my flight does actually leave and land in the right city*, this weekend has exceeded anything I could have hoped for. And even with something as simple as a weekend getaway, God was faithful and reminded me that He is worthy of my trust with not just this but everything else I allow myself to worry about and obsess over.

I don’t like giving up my control, even to an airline for a weekend trip, but God is showing me that life is much more enjoyable when I do loosen my grip and trust Him.

* As of this posting I am back home.


  1. I felt the same way and even felt "guilty" that you had to come during busy season! Little did we know what an incredible weekend it would be! Love you

  2. That is such a hard lesson for me, too. God proves Himself to me (which He doesn't have to do) over and over again and yet I still try to control things myself. Thanks for the reminder that He is always in control, is worthy of my trust at all times, and can do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!" So glad you had a great weekend! Can't wait to hear more about it.