I flew on an airplane today. It was the first time in 11 years that I have flown. (I’ve been a little busy having and raising blond headed geniuses, after all)
A lot of things have changed in 11 years. For example, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever had to remove my shoes, and then stand with my arms over my head while a machine x-rayed my entire body. I was tempted to ask them if they could tell me my body mass index while they were at it…but lets face it, who really wants to know that anyway?
We ate an early lunch of nasty, greasy, airport Pizza Hut, and then boarded one of the smallest regional planes I’ve ever been on. (Or, maybe all planes are smaller than they seemed to me 11 years ago, when I was still a kid.) After that, we witnessed an argument between the flight attendant and the passenger sitting in the seat behind us. (This argument was over the vitally important matter of whether or not the passenger was allowed to have his own personal magazines in the seat pocket in front of him during takeoff.)
Why was I on a plane today, you ask? Well, funny as it feels to me to say aloud, I am speaking at Teen Mania Ministries, a teen missions organization based outside of Dallas, TX, tomorrow morning for their mid-week chapel service. And why am I doing that, you may further inquire? They (Teen Mania) are the ones who published the book I wrote about my sister, Joy, and they invited me to come and share about it. (Confession: It took all my will power to give that answer instead of the first one that popped into my mind, which was “I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!”)
I don’t do things like this. I don’t leave my kids at my sister’s house for the night, jump on a flight to a state halfway across the mainland, speak to a group of accomplished, Godly men and women, and then fly back home in time to pick up my kids and put them to bed.
I feel like such a fraud. In fact, I felt all day long like someone was going to take one look at me, glance at my ID and info, and then say “Sorry, only street savvy, world-wise, cool people get to fly, and I’m pretty sure you smell like peanut butter sandwiches and pee.”
Who am I kidding? I can’t be this person. This morning I made up a story about a raccoon to distract my three-year-old while he was sitting on the toilet trying to…take care of business. THAT’S the person I am.
There are no magazines in my house that can cause intense debate of any kind. (All the magazines are either about financial analysis, saltwater fish tanks, or Legos) (and while the Lego magazine can occasionally spark heated discussions about which set should be purchased first, at least it doesn’t nearly come to blows like the debate that took place behind us on the flight today!)
Its almost comical, this whole thing. Its like I’m living someone else’s life, not mine. It will only last 24 hours, but I am unsure if I can hold onto my fake bravado for that long.
I’m terrified. I am convinced that I will step up on that stage tomorrow and everyone will see through me, and instantly know that I have no business speaking to them about anything, unless they want tips on raccoon potty stories or Lego sets.
I’m totally unqualified, utterly unworthy, and completely out of my element.
I’m pretty sure that’s exactly the way the Lord wants me to feel. Because if I was calm, in my element, capable, then I wouldn’t be praying like CRAZY. And if I was qualified, then I could take some of the credit. And if I was worthy, then maybe I would get some of the recognition.
Bu I’m just a regular, southern, country girl. I have holes in all but one of my pairs of jeans (which are the ones I’m wearing today, by the way) and calluses on my feet. Last week I went blackberry picking with my kids and let them play in the rain. I wish more than anything that I was wearing cut-offs and a sweatshirt right now, playing board games and eating peaches at my kitchen table with those wild little blond headed geniuses.
Instead, I’m praying like crazy, wondering who in the world thinks they should ever expend a second of energy arguing about magazines, hoping that supper will be less greasy than lunch, and holding my breath that no one calls me out for being an imposter on the world scene.
If I didn’t know better, I would be convinced that the Lord made a rather large mistake. He really would have been better off asking someone else to do this, spread this story, share His glory, point people to His heart.
But because I know that He doesn’t need a giant x-ray machine to see inside me, and He doesn’t get fooled by hole-less jeans, and He still chose me to do this…I’m just gonna keep praying like crazy, and keep putting one foot in front of the next, and keep swallowing the lump in my throat, and keep remembering, always remembering, that it doesn’t matter who I am, or am NOT.
It matters who HE is. And He is worth a greasy lunch, a giant x-ray machine, a cramped flight with ridiculous people, and the exhaustion of trying to hold it all together for 24 hours.
But when I get home, I’m going back to being the real me. This imposter that is parading around in my body can only keep her crap together for 24 hour periods.