Okay, so now it’s time to discuss my flight back home where I would be by myself with my own thoughts and feelings. Talk about an adventure I never want to face again in regards to my flight home and the irrational fears, but praise God for the forgiveness, joy, hope, and indescribable healing that came next.
My drive back to the airport that morning was extremely nerve wracking. I wasn’t ready to sit in a car again. We were driving too fast in the woods and there are deer on these roads. They could jump out at any moment. Every mailbox or road light we passed looked like a deer to me. I couldn’t sit calmly in the seat. I was incredibly fearful of the drive.
We finally made it near the airport. My dad asked, “How about we stop at Wawa? You could take something on the plane.” “Would they let me?” I thought. I stood at the screen inside, trying to remember how to put a hoagie together. Everything took longer than usual these days and my thoughts were left in shambles. I finally did it. Thank goodness we were early for the flight because I took entirely too long.
I hope I didn’t upset anyone. After all, it’s nearly 5:30am and I have a flight to catch. A flight to no one except an empty home. I walked into the airport.
The line for security wasn’t terrible, but not my favorite. There were three large dogs in line. I’m allergic to big dogs. I’m allergic to most things. What if I get sick? What’s it matter anyway? I continue walking through the line. I get to security and they ask me to take any food out of my bag that I might have with me. The guy sitting behind the conveyor belt says he’s hungry & wants my sandwich if I’d leave it for him. Wait, what? Is he being funny? Do I laugh? I asked him if I could take it on the plane. He said, “Only if it doesn’t have onions.” I kinda get his joke, laugh a little, and keep walking.
Time to head upstairs. I sat down for what seemed like an eternity, eventually getting onto the plane. I cannot stop shaking. I try to calm myself. It’s nearly impossible. I am barely holding it together when it’s time to board the plane. Same thing as before. I try to walk on the plane and it’s like everything in me shuts down. I find my seat next to a mother and her daughter.
It’s time to fly. Can’t we move faster? Why are we in the air so long? I don’t want to hear myself think any longer. I tried to color. I couldn’t focus on coloring. I tried to watch a movie, but I couldn’t hear what was happening on the plane. Finally I started asking questions to the mother and daughter next to me. Any time they would stop talking I would ask another question. The mom even gave her child insulin, but I still insisted on talking to them like I was the most important person on that plane.
I was in a state of panic. We landed safely, as has always happened in the past, but I was still shaking. I got safely home, even though the traffic seemed more intense than usual. I arrived home safely, but now I’m all alone.
My fears were heightened. What if everyone finds out what sins I’ve committed? Can they sense how I’m feeling? Will they hate me? My life began to overwhelm me. I no longer wanted to go to work. I had already stopped driving, so why go to work? I began to cry and felt a tugging at my heart like I’d never felt before. Can I get a job from home? More tears began to flow from my eyes. Why am I crying? Maybe I need to lay down. Can I even get out of this bed? My mom called. I kept crying. I started walking around the house very slowly. Each step was increasingly scary. Now I can’t even walk? What am I doing? I went to the kitchen.
Suddenly I didn’t want to be around anything sharp. I’ve never once wanted to hurt myself (I still never have), but suddenly I’m afraid of a sharp object attacking me. Yes, I felt as though the knife was going to leap out of the drawer and stab me. I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either. Mom kept asking me what was wrong and I kept saying, “I don’t know.” I really didn’t understand why I was crying. She’d hate me. Of course she would hate me. No one could ever forgive such a terrible thing.
She told my dad she was taking the next flight to see me. After taking a few flights to reach me, she arrived the next day. I had a friend drive me to work, but mom picked me up after I was done. I didn’t want to stay at work the whole day, but I did. I cried half the day at work. I didn’t feel safe there. I didn’t feel safe anywhere. I felt like every coworker hated me and I wasn’t appreciated. More tears fell from my eyes.
That night mom and I went into the house. I paced around for a long time, unable to speak. Suddenly, while she was at the table and I had my back to the kitchen counter, I heard myself confessing my sin to my mom. A feeling of relief washed over me when she said, “Ok, so?” Wait, my mom doesn’t want to disown me? I started crying again, but this time they were happy tears. They weren’t my words. What came over me? Could it have actually been the Holy Spirit taking my voice captive?
I hadn’t prayed or read the Bible in weeks. The last time I remembered going to church it was a worship night. I had been crying for a long time when suddenly I felt something pull my heart and lift my head upward. I had a vision of these broken, yet colorful, pieces move into the shape of a heart that tilted toward Heaven. God was going to put my heart back together.
I couldn’t believe my mom hadn’t disowned me. I had a physical relationship with someone I wasn’t married to. Shouldn’t she hate me? No. She asked if we could pray together. We laid a blanket out in front of the small sofa and kneeled on a pillow. We prayed together and then I prayed. As I confessed my sins to my Heavenly Father, I asked Him to please forgive me. He said, “My sweet Krista, I already forgave you a long time ago. Now you have to forgive yourself.”
He forgave me? God forgave me? Mom and I sang “Whiter than Snow” on the big couch, along with just about every other hymn and worship song we’d ever learned in our lives. I played every Stephen Curtis Chapman, Michael W Smith, DC Talk, & Chris Tomlin song I had on my phone. I even kept the songs playing at night. I couldn’t sleep, and if I did I had nightmares, so what else could I do?
I kept feeling so much sadness and remained fearful, but when the worship songs were playing, the fear subsided. The nightmares, however, persisted. A few days went by and I finally felt brave enough to sleep alone. Mom had been driving me to work every morning, but I still didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house. We practiced driving around the neighborhood and I was getting better, but I still wasn’t sure of myself.
(I’m getting goosebumps as I’m writing this part so get ready!) That night, when I was in my bed (alone) sleeping, I was awoken by a very loud yet extremely calm voice that simply said, “Colossians 3:23.” I had gone to a Christian school since I was 4 years old, yet in that moment I could not remember that verse. Also, who was that man whose voice coming from next to my bedroom door? I jumped out of bed to grab my Bible. I found the verse. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for human masters.” Okay, angel, or the voice of God, or whatever was outside my door. I’ll go to work.
So you know that miracle I mentioned? That was me. After mom and I prayed, we sat down on the couch and I picked up a pink Jesus Calling devotional that my aunt gave me for college graduation many years prior. I hadn’t read the book before, but every page we turned to mentioned what I had been dealing with many days prior. I could hear God speaking to me. If only I had read about what was happening. What I didn’t realize was that a spiritual battle had been going on and I was trying to fight. I asked God to take over. God told me he would fight the battle for me, but it would be so much worse next time. Mom and I went through and rebuked every darkness and anything that wasn’t of God to be gone from every part of the house and even rebuked them off our property, the skies above, and the earth beneath.
We sat back down on the couch & I felt the biggest hug. Someone’s arms were wrapped around me and I felt secure. The wall sits behind the couch. No one was back there. It was like God had wrapped His arms around me. Now, scientifically speaking, this next part is unexplainable, but I’ll do the best I can. I felt a hand reach into my chest and wipe my heart clean. I physically saw a piece of my skin lifted as a dark puff of smoke slipped out of my heart, coming out of my chest, and vanishing into the air. Suddenly I felt my heart form into what I can only describe as our modern-day portrayal of love, a heart. You might not believe me. I probably believe me, but I saw it happen before my eyes. Momma saw it too.
It’s taken me nearly 3 years to be able to drive any type of distance, but I no longer fear work or bridges. I know my God will protect me. I now listen to the Christian radio station K-love every day on the way to work and on the way home. One voice I’ve grown to love is Jamison Strain. If you haven’t listened to him, you should buy his CDs. He has the voice of an angel.
I recently went on a flight to visit one of my best friends in Nashville. You know what helps? Bringing the flight crew and cabin crew some treats. Everything is better when you give of yourself. I barely watched a movie, not because of fear, but because I was more interested in learning about other people around me. What do you do when the negativity, fear, and memories of rejection kick in? Remember who sends those thoughts, rebuke them in Jesus’ name, and listen to the voice of the one who made you. Also, try coloring books with colored pencils. I cannot even begin to tell you how much they’ve helped. Also, don’t dumb down the size of your God. He created the universe. He can work a miracle in your life.
I’ll never be fully healed, because I know that I’m human and will still have struggles, but that’s ok. We are all a work in progress. After all, as the Bible school song says, “he’s still working on me.”
**The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.**
A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset. When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you that it will start to feel like one.
John 8:36 – whom the Son set free is free indeed.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Once a man was asked, “what did you gain by regularly praying to God?” The man replied, “Nothing, but let me tell you what I lost… anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death.” Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not in gaining, but by losing, which is ultimately the gain.
Signs of a toxic person (because I know many & I’m sure I’ve been one to people in the past):
1. Nothing you can say or do is ever good enough.
2. They comment on the smallest flaw or perceived imperfection.
3. They drag up your past and won’t allow you to be different.
4. They leave you feeling guilty and ashamed of who you are.
5. They’re critical, controlling, and don’t think about your needs.
6. They leave you feeling battered, beaten, wounded, bruised, and torn.
7. They violate your boundaries, and they never respect “no”.
8. They don’t care about your feelings and they like to see you suffer.
9. It’s always about them, and what they think, want, and feel.
The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away. You are loved. You are God’s child.