I’m writing this from the plane. American Airlines flight 283 from Los Angeles to Honolulu. I’ve started a new chapter in my life. I’m alone on this plane headed to a new home equipped with my clothes, my guitar, my laptop, and loads of love and prayers from family and friends and I’m okay with that. This is a sporadic recounting of my experience so far.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling I had right after I gave my last wave goodbye to Amy and my family. I had just gone through security. It took me way longer than it should have because I have a lot of stuff and I’m really not quite airport savvy. But after holding up the line dumping my water bottle into a trash can and trying to walk through the metal detector with my phone still in my pocket, I got to the end, put my shoes back on and turned around. It finally hit me right then and there that this was it. That anything I wanted to say (at least in person) was already said and done. That I really wasn’t seeing my family for six whole months. Even this morning I still hadn’t quite understood that fully. But I gave my last wave goodbye, smiled, turned around, and started walking. Here I was, in an airport terminal in LAX, away from my family for the first time. I felt an emotion so strong it was almost like a physical weight on me. I desperately wanted to turn around and run through security to give my family some real last hugs goodbye but I knew I couldn’t. I wished it was like the movies where someone else would run up to me and throw their arms around me to say a real goodbye, but it wasn’t. This was real life. It was time to go.
I walked to gate 47A alone. I found a seat and sat down. I got some goodbye text messages from friends. I don’t even know how I felt, and I don’t know why, but I felt like I wanted to cry. I knew my family was just walking back to the car. Even though they were less than 1000 feet away, it felt like I was already on the other side of the world. I knew everything had changed. I knew this was the beginning of a new chapter of my life and that people were praying for me at that very moment.
And now I’m sitting here on this plane just writing for the sake of writing. I know everything’s going to be okay. I even know that everything’s going to be good. I’m here because God wants me here and I trust Him to take care of me. I’ve got my Bible and a little wooden plaque from my seven year old brother inscribed with the words “I will never leave you or forsake you.” If he’s got enough faith at seven to say that and make sure I remember it, I’m pretty sure I had better believe it.