Friday, February 23 2024 - 2:36 PM
standing in line at airport security
Photo by Dreamstime

Afraid of Flying

I‘m what they call an, *ahem* “Expert Flyer.” There’s even a special security checkpoint line at some airports for me and my kind. We, the E.F., can slip off our shoes, pull out our laptops, and toss them into a bin faster than you can say TSA. Heaven help the poor soul who gets in our line with a liquid container over 3.4 fluid ounces. The heavy sighing and passive-aggressive comments are doled out in abundance. And yes, I am fully aware that some of my past behavior in the name of the E.F. has not been particularly dignified, for example, rolling my eyes at a crying three-year-old. But in my defense, if he wanted to keep his precious juice box, it should have been in a hermetically sealed one-quart transparent plastic bag! Seriously!

Today, however, I arrive at the security checkpoint and I pause. I decide that I’ll take a slower line this time. My stomach is in knots and I pray that a crying toddler will get in line behind me if only to drown out the sound of my heart thumping in my ears. No such luck. You see, this is no regular trip. I’ve been planning my 30th birthday solo trip to Europe for a very long time. I’m on my way to Paris! Where the streets are paved with macarons! This has been the moment I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl, but why am I full of fear?

What If?

Why is it that when I’m on the cusp of having everything I’ve ever wanted, all I can think about is what can go wrong? What if I get kidnapped and sold on the black market? What if my French is atrocious? Or what if I get lost? What if I hate it? What if everything goes wrong?!

The thought of leaving the security line and heading back home crosses my mind. So much can go wrong. Plus, I have so much to do at home! No one would blame me if I decide to stay.

I look down at my passport, which is set to expire in nine months. I thumb through the pages and study my then 20-year-old face, wondering what she would say to me now. When did fear become the norm for you? When did you forget who you are? More importantly, when did you forget WHOSE you are?

I close my passport booklet and shake my head. Then I decide to leave the line.

I am, after all, an E.F. My line is that-a-way!

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)

If you liked this, you might also enjoy When I’m Afraid | Five Life-Changing Ways to Keep Faith Over Fear 

Jael Amador writes from New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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