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  • Writer's pictureAndrea O Smith

God Met me in my Ascension

Many years ago, I had just wrenched myself from a relationship that I never should have engaged in to begin with, let alone continue well after it should have ended. My spirit was crushed. I had very little, if any, self-esteem left. I had moved back to my home state and was desperately trying to make sense of the next steps. Should I stay and apply to grad school? Should I get a couple of jobs and save for school? I remembered that as a little girl I had wanted to be a flight attendant. Now seemed like an opportune time since I didn't have anyone depending on me. So, I applied to a few airlines and was excited to get called for an interview with a small company operating regional service for a larger company based in Houston, TX.

When I boarded the flight to the interview, my heart was heavy as I contemplated all the missteps and poor decisions I had made the previous year. Why would they want to hire me? I don't even value myself. Why should they put any trust in me? I had very little money left since a large chunk of my savings was spent moving from Nevada to Michigan. A dear, generous friend was allowing me to stay with her during this transition. It was so sweet, but also a little embarrassing for me to have finished college, but still not able to afford a place of my own. I looked out the window of the airplane and watched the tiny raindrops race each other down the oval shaped window. The cloud cover made the atmosphere feel dreary and dismal. It reflected the state of my heart. I was broken hearted, financially drained and emotionally exhausted. Despite my business suit, hair and make-up done and resumé ready, I thought the interviewers would see right through to the absolute failure that I really was. I fought back tears with my face turned away from the other passengers. Why was life so heavy? Hadn't I already dealt with enough of the tough stuff? When were things going to turn around?

The plane pushed back and we navigated the taxi ways. I had only flown a handful of times at this point, so it all still seemed new and exciting. We barreled down the runway. I love the feeling of the pressure against your chest as the airplane picks up speed and the engines are roaring. The noise in the cabin is so loud it drowns out all conversation. The moment the plane lifts, the sounds quiet and it feels peaceful. Looking out the window again, I watched the agents on the ramp buzzing about in their tugs and trucks. It was only seconds after take-off that they appeared the size of matchbox cars. Another few seconds and they are the size of ants from this altitude. Climbing further still, it becomes difficult to make out any vehicles on the roads. I quickly came to the realization that I could see many large buildings in just one glance. All of these business, schools and stores were bustling with people who had burdens of their own. Each just trying to figure out the best way to get through the day, hoping to make the next one just a little more pleasant. This perspective really made me feel small. What would anyone care about the trials and tribulations I was trudging through? Who was I to think I had any value at all?

Then, God met me (the thought randomly popped in my head) with a verse from Luke 12:7: "Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." What? Why? Why would God care about that? I don't even know how many strands of hair I have, nor do I have the ambition to count... or even estimate for that matter! I felt the verse repeat in my thoughts. I felt like God was teaching me that His view is even higher than this airplane. He could see ALL. And yet...and yet...He cares about me, loves me and is obsessed with me enough to care about the number of hairs on my head! No one up until that time or since has had that kind of passion for me. Who could? My husband may have been able to recognize my freckle pattern on my nose in the Summer, but that's likely the extent of his human capabilities. If God loves me that much, then what more could I want?

As I stared out the face-sized window, I could take in the view of full cities now as we rode the air South. My soul was stoked with a new compassion for all of those people below that were struggling with grief, finances, broken relationships and some of them not knowing or understanding that God loved them and knew them enough to count the hairs on their heads. My spirits were lifted as I recalled the promises of Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That gave me a breath of fresh air and a renewed sense of purpose and perspective. As a matter of fact, I wasn't just content, I was joyful!

Of course, what goes up, must come down. As we descended into the Houston Intercontinental Airport, I paid close attention to the people and objects appearing to grow larger. When the wheels touched down, I smiled having taken the ride of my life. It wasn't because of the pilots, although their training got us there safely, it wasn't the flight attendants even though they were pleasant and helpful, it was because my seat mate was my Creator. He took the time to talk to me when I was alone and feeling the weight of my poor decisions. He loved me enough to give me a pep talk on the way to an important interview that would change the trajectory of my life. He loved me. He loves me! He loves me!!! That's all I needed to walk into that room full of people ready to judge every part of me. I was made in His image for a purpose and He loves me.

Friends, have you lost sight of the promises God has given you of plans to prosper you and not to harm you? Have you been drowning in self-doubt, financial stresses, health issues or spiritual warfare? You are not alone. The enemy wants you to feel like you're all alone in your struggles. He wants you to believe that you have been abandoned by the one who took the time to knit you in your mother's womb. (Knitting is tedious and takes great care.) He loves you! Yes, He sees your struggle and has worked a way out for you. You must lean on Him and His understanding. He is the way when there seems there is no way! Remember that you are surrounded by people who are struggling too. Yes, even the ones on social media that seem to have it all together. They don't! Not a single one of them! Christians, though, we have what others don't. We have hope for peace. Romans 5:1-4 tells us: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Isn't that the BEST news?!?

Lord, Thank you for you promises to prosper us. Thank you for loving us more than any other human could attempt. Please help us see through the fog of our despair. We are unable to comprehend the clear picture of the future. You know all and we trust that you have our paths planned. We question why we need to walk down some of these heart-breaking roads. We hurt. You know that feeling well. Please help us to lean into you instead of away from you when we are wrestling with pain and doubt. Help us use these tough parts of our story to someday bring you glory. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

P.S. Yes, I got the job!

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