Navigating Turbulence

If you’ve read my book, Worth It & Wonderful,  (which I hope you have) you know I fight anxiety around air travel. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.

I can tell myself all the logical reasons why I shouldn’t be nervous, and yet here I sit, fighting off anxiety. Literally, I’m writing this as I fly from Roanoke to Chicago and I can feel the rumbles and bumps of turbulence as we go. It’s really not so bad at this exact moment. But, it is enough of a bumpy ride to get my attention and prompt me to pray through it, as I write and reflect.

As the initial warmth from worry set in, I gazed out the window. I realized that the horizon really helps! It gives me perspective. The bumping and jostling are less jarring when I see our overall trajectory is still straight and level. It doesn’t make it all go away, I still struggle to fully relax, but there is comfort in the bigger picture.

This is a lesson for us all and it transcends my travel worries. When life is throwing unexpected turbulence our way, difficulties, challenges, or anxiety-inducing circumstances, it can help to lift our eyes up and beyond what is immediately in front of us. We can look ahead and be confident in the direction that we are headed, even if the journey feels uncomfortable. 

It’s a great analogy but what does that actually look like?

Looking at the Horizon 

As a parent, it can mean refusing to be washed in discouragement when your typically well behaved child goes through a season of disobedience. Lift your eyes up to see the amazing person they are and how this is a teaching moment and something you will work through and grow through.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

As an employee, it means recognizing that some work seasons are punishing and hard but you will be refined through the struggles and will learn as you persevere. Focus on why you do the work you do. More than that, consider who you are really working for at the end of the day. Let that be the big picture that grounds you as you push through turbulence. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Colossians 3:23-24

We all have times where we are off and find ourselves in a funk. Life’s rhythms can be thrown out of whack and you may feel a bit lost. You’ll be found again, hang in there. If you are in this type of place I urge you to remember all you have already overcome and the places God has already delivered you from. 

Faith & Turbulent Times

For those who have faith in Jesus, I encourage you to take it one step further. Don’t fail to rest your eyes on Him. Ultimately,  He is your wayfinder and your horizon when life feels turbulent and scary. We see this beautiful reality on full display in scripture in Mark 6:45-56

As Jesus walks on water Peter exits the boat to walk toward Jesus. As Peter focuses his attention on the waves and his circumstances, instead of on Jesus, Peter begins to sink. When he refocuses on Jesus He is able to walk tall, defying the laws of nature and demonstrating the power of faith.

When you are in a season of anxiety and struggle, wash it all in faith. Let faith guide your worried heart until you feel on stable ground again. Let your faith urge you to look up and rest your eyes on Jesus, not the chaos and confusion that swirls around you.

Fix Your Eyes on the Horizon 

I find myself traveling more and more by airplane these days. Every time I think my travel is starting to slow down, there is a reason to hop on another plane and head out on another adventure. I’m committed to overcoming my fear of flight turbulence because I don’t want the beauty of life to be dimmed by fear and anxiety about what could happen. Not only do I want this to be true of my travels and the literal turbulence I experience on planes, but I want it to also be true of the way I navigate the general turbulent of life. Join me in this unwillingness to give in to the hard things that threaten to steal our joy. Let’s fix our eyes upon our True Horizon. 

2 responses to “Navigating Turbulence”

  1. Michele Mulich Avatar
    Michele Mulich

    So insightful and a great reminder.

    1. Caitlyn Scaggs Avatar

      I’m glad to hear it resonated with you! Thanks, friend!

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