Have you ever dreamed that you were flying ~ like literally flying?!? I have, and ooooooooh my, it was exhilarating!!! With my arms stretched out front-and-side, in a mostly prone position, legs trailing weightlessly behind me, I flew a few feet above endless green rolling hills, with nothing carrying or pulling me! Just free-floating me, gently gliding over the rolling hills, soft breeze in my face! It was a most amaaaaazingly delightful experience!!!!!
One obviously can’t take pictures of one’s dreams, but I found this photo (above) on Pixabay that’s very similar to what I saw in my dreams. This is one thing ~ of many! ~ activities that I’m looking forward to in Heaven!
This has to be connected to my love of flying in a jet, which we did this last spring. Even though it’s not even close to being the same kind of flying experience as what I did in my dreams, it’s still a blast to take off (my fav!), and lift up off the ground…
Then rise up through the clouds…
(Dave and I take turns getting the window seat each trip we go on; if I really want to score points with him, I let him have it even if it’s my turn.)
And finally, we’re soaring above a soft carpet of clouds, looking down on them!
So it should be no surprise that Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite verses:
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall rise up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Because we are still encumbered by our human bodies, flying on our own physically is impossible. Man has tried, but never succeeded. We’ll just have to wait for Heaven to enjoy that!
Likewise, because we’re still encumbered by our “carnal nature,” rising up into the spiritual skies is not easy; impossible on our own strength.
But not like the physical, we actually have access in the spirit realm to the ability to “rise up with wings like eagles.” So what actually holds us down?
I’ve come to realize that there are two major reasons for why I have a hard time “rising up” and and why I “faint” and “grow weary.”
1) CARRYING UNNECESSARY BURDENS
Many years ago when I was at my ideal weight and out on my walk, I got to the crest of a hill and suddenly realized that I had not even been straining to get there, nor that I was even going uphill! In fact, I looked back to make sure I had been!
(actual crest of actual hill on my actual walk)
That’s how easy it was to walk with the right amount of weight on my body, and with my muscles in shape from walking and exercising regularly.
Because of my optimal state of health at the time, carrying the weight that was on me did not feel burdensome.
Now, with this extra weight I’m currently carrying, walking is soooooo muuuuch harder!!! Uuuuuuugh!!! It’s a continual strain to carry these extra 60 pounds on my overburdened, under-worked-out frame. Getting to the crest of that very same hill today is only with huffing and puffing.
But my physical body is not the only place I carry extra weight; my tendency throughout my life has been to carry my daily life burdens and not even think to hand them over to the Lord ~ well, until they get so obvious and painful that I finally realize I don’t have to keep carrying all this!
I have to admit that sometimes I’m carrying them because I don’t want to surrender something. So burdens of all varieties ~ emotional, mental, and spiritual ~ pile up. It’s no wonder that, with all the extra hard-stuff-of-life-type burdens on my heart, I find it difficult to rise up and fly as Isaiah 40: 31 says those who wait on the Lord will do!
2) NOT YOKING UP WITH THE LORD
It usually just suddenly dawns on me that the Lord wants and is waiting to help me figure out what to do about all the stuff that I have allowed to pile up.
Then I remember His invitation:
Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
God never intended His loved ones to carry or deal with this hard stuff by ourselves! He wants us to yoke up with Him and allow Him to carry the weight of the burden. We still have to go through the situation itself, but He carries the weight ~ or heaviness ~ of it for us.
So, I sit down with Him, often in my favorite chair or on my bed, and allow one burden ~ one pain, frustration, difficult thing ~ at a time come to the surface of my mind. Which isn’t hard; they’re all clamoring for attention!
Once one burden has surfaced, along with the pain and/or frustration, or whatever it churns up, I then let the Lord help me process it. I ask Him to either:
a) show me how to deal with it, or…
b) help me hand it over and release it to Him. And to show me which is which.
After unburdening myself of each extra emotional, mental, or spiritual piece of baggage, I just wait… letting His presence sink deep into my spirit and my raw emotions. Even though some or even all of the situation itself is still there, I feel so much lighter and freer because I am now relating to it differently!
By the mighty power of the Spirit of the Lord at work within me…
I am now rising above it. It’s no longer dragging me down into the quicksand of depression and hopelessness!
This isn’t usually a quick process; it takes time ~ at least a few minutes, longer if you have more to deal with ~ to thoroughly process this with the Lord. But if you’re busy mothering, working, driving, or whatever, and can’t take more than a few seconds, at least do a quick burden-release to the Lord. That’s certainly better than continuing to carry it! But do come back to it ~ to Him ~ when you can take some time to really process things with Him.
For reasons you can now understand, going on a helicopter ride has been on my Bucket List! On our recent trip, Dave arranged for us to go on one!
With the six of us passengers all buckled into our seats in the helicopter, the pilot turned on the engine and the blades atop the machine slowly started turning around. (See one of them below left.) After a minute or so, though, the pilot turned the engine off and told us that the blades were not starting up as quickly or strongly as he thought they should, so he wanted to have the mechanic check the engine to see if something was lugging it down. He told us: “I’d rather check this out now when we’re down on the ground than have problems when we’re up in the air!” We all fully agreed!
The delay gave me some extra time to get a few pictures… Left: the helicopter blade in question. Right: Dave and I with our headphones on, waiting to take off.
After some checking, it was decided that the engine was good to go, and we were off ~ and up ~ on our ride!
Here we’re soaring ~ errrr, uuuuh ~ coptering(?) over Las Vegas! (And, by the way, there are plenty of “good clean fun” things to do there!)
The aforementioned headphones were not to merely muffle the loud sound of the helicopter! We were able to hear the pilot’s voice through them, telling us all sorts of interesting things about the sights we were seeing! This is a great analogy of how the Lord wants us to put on our “spiritual headphones” and let them muffle out the loud voices of the world so that we can more easily and clearly hear His voice!!!
As I thought back on the helicopter’s slow start, I got to pondering what was lugging me down in being unable to stay consistent in rising above temptation and get my disordered eating in order. This took me full-circle back to my tendency to carry extra burdens…
I found this photo (on Pixabay ~ an awesome free photo source!)…
… and had fun adding all of the various struggles I could think of to each of the bags!
Yep! That’s a pretty accurate picture of what I feel like some days! For those of us with disordered eating, these things can propel us toward food to find comfort, solutions, distraction, and avoidance of dealing with the problems head-on.
Here are all the above bag titles listed for you:
- Wrong understanding of God
- Wrong thinking about food
- Overwhelmed by life
- Frustrations with kids
- Hurt or betrayed by a friend
- Hard stuff going on at work
- Painful stuff going on in marriage
- Chronic illness
- No idea what to do with my future
- Can’t get myself to stay focused on what I need/want to
- More to do than I have time or energy for
- Money problems
Next I funneled all of those into the following six areas. I’ll address several of these in future blog posts, but for now, I’ll put an “antidote” resource after each to at least help you (me!) get thinking in a better direction. (If you’re in Thin Within, much of this will be review.)
1) Wrong thinking or understanding about eating and how it relates to God
“Intro to the Thin Within” message by Heidi Bylsma
2) Inadequate or inconsistent focus
“Truth Cards – Thin Within Support” video by Heidi Bylsma
3) Difficult situations that are beyond us to fix or change
“What Can God Redeem” blog post by Barb Shelton
4) Trying to “figure it out” or “do it all” on our own power
“Thin Within and Walking in the Spirit” video by Heidi Bylsma
5) Brokenness, broken heart, depression, or illness (not our choice)
“Does Healing Hurt?” blog post by Allison Mitchell
6) Anger and unforgiveness (our choice)
“What Place Anger?” blog post by Heidi Bylsma
Much more can be said about each of these, of course! Whole books are written about each one. If you have found something to be particularly helpful, feel free to share in the comments!
Healing and resolution in all of these areas involve renewing our heart and mind. And this is exactly what Thin Within is all about! I highly recommend getting connected in a group and becoming committed ~ to the group, and to getting this area dealt with once and for all!
AND IN CLOSING ~ ZIP-LINING!
This love of flying is why, upon first seeing the Zoom Zip-line in Vegas, I knew I wanted to DO IT!!! This ride starts out at 51 stories high, but the rider is completely secured in a cradle harness that encases the torso, with both legs secured in individual leg braces as well. You “fly” along a zipline that takes you 1/3 of a mile through the Fremont Street mall. This isn’t Dave and me, but it’s exactly what we looked like ~ with the sky a little darker ~ when we went about an hour later.
Here I am right before it was my turn to get attached to the cable and be launched through the big door, which the four flyers in the above photo had just launched out of!
Here I’m zooming along the zip-line, approaching the end (where the photographer awaits), having just thoroughly enjoyed the flight!
Now, to get to where, “by the mighty power of the Spirit of the Lord at work withing me,” the photo above becomes a picture of me being able to consistently rise up through ~ and not get stuck in ~ clouds of depression, hopelessness, or temptation, and actually soar above them with wings like eagles! ~ or even jets, helicopters, or ziplines!