Flying through the pause

I’m sitting in the airport awaiting the flight to Florida for our Spring meeting. My job consists primarily of organizing and facilitating two conferences annually. We link government personnel with industry leaders to provide better services for the military. Remember all that talk about “Sequester”? Well, one of the first places they cut spending was travel and attendance at conferences. Yeah, this has been a fun one to organize, lots of unique challenges to overcome in the last couple months. We do have a few additional functions, but the organization really has no reason to exist without these meetings.

Not that I’m complaining. I’ve actually welcomed the additional hurdles as my job is normally not too challenging. No, this is just to paint the picture of where I am today, physically and emotionally.

What do you call it when you have nightmares when you’re awake? You know, that dream where you find yourself naked in front of the classroom? Day-mares? This is my 6th big meeting with the organization, plus I’ve had maybe a half-dozen little ones in that time. Every single time I gear up for one of these meetings, I start having these day-mares a couple of days before I have to fly out. I get anxiety out of the blue, imagining myself waking up late and missing my flight. Every. Single. Time. I have so much trouble with it the day before I fly that I stay up ‘til all hours of the night, unable to get myself to sleep (which, of course, doesn’t help the anxiety much).

So here I sit, on the precipice of the most stressful meeting I’ve had to date. We’ve had last minute problems with meetings before, but with this one it’s been one thing after another. It’s so bad that we’re still waiting on one final piece of the program to fall into place, just 2 business days before the start of the meeting! Yet I really have no anxiety about that at all. Either it will happen or it won’t, but we’ve done the best we could, given all the circumstances, and I trust it will be a successful, informative and enjoyable meeting. We’ve done all we can to prepare and at this point it’s in God’s hands.

Over the last couple days, though, in come the day-mares about missing my flight. I have yet to miss one. One time, I had to sit in the airport all day when my plane broke down and I had to wait for a much later flight, but still I was here on time. But still, I’m ever afraid that I won’t make it. I caught these fears creeping in and asked myself, “Why am I perfectly fine with the possibility that my incompetent AV dude is going to foul up the whole program making the organization look completely foolish, that the spider-web intricacies holding this thing together may snap, but am scared to death that I may sleep in and have to take a later flight out?”

Wow. What does this say about my self-confidence? I’ve got faith enough in this thing which has been threatening to fall apart if someone breathes wrong, but no faith whatsoever that I can do the same simple thing I do every single morning – get up and get moving.

Sometimes, we just have to be thankful for when everything seems to be going wrong. Every time I’ve felt that anxiety creeping in, I just had to stop myself and ask why. Why do I have such little faith in myself and what would God say about that? This most stressful meeting to date has, therefore, been a cure for my anxiety. I’ve been given a cue to pause, breathe, touch base with the HP and continue on, doing the next right thing.

And I made it to the airport in plenty of time. 🙂

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