Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day Four: Living without regret

When I was little, about eight, my dad let me watch Jaws with him when my mom was out of town. Big mistake. Not only was going in the ocean out of the question, but I even feared the deep end of a swimming pool.

I'll save the story about how the Big Foot Documentary affected me for another post!

To say I was terrified was an understatement; to say I was being irrational only made me more mad. You see, I've learned in dealing with some other issues that kids can't process what they see in movies or on TV before the age of 13. They aren't phychologically able to reason what is real and what isn't. For me, things my parents let me see when I was young caused a great deal of anxiety that manifested itself in different ways in my life. I was terrified that if I left them something bad would happen - this was a theme played out in those movies I shouldn't have watched. I finallly had to own up to my fears, take responsibility for them, find ways to work it out, and ultimately trust that God certainly knew all the breaths I would take on this Earth before I was ever born. He was in control no matter how much I worried.

I know it might sound silly that watching Jaws, a Big Foot Doc, and other movies (I don't mean Free Willie or Home Alone) when I was young gave me anxiety, but it did. The Lord tells us to guard our hearts and minds and I think it is especially important for parents to do that for their children. I don't blame my parents, because my struggle has taught me a lot and I've been able to overcome it.

Anyway, I'll get off my soap box.

Like I said, one of my biggest (and most irrational fears) has been of the ocean. There were a few times in high school, because of peer pressure, when I got in and didn't say anything. I can count the times I've been in the ocean, though, on two hands. That's saying a lot considering I've been to the beach quite a bit.

Reid has been pestering me to Scuba dive with him for years. My response was always something a little more dramatic than "NO WAY" but it gets the point across.

I never thought I would change my mind, and never thought I would want to even get certified.

At the end of May I was on a plane that had just taken off from Dallas and was headed to San Diego where I would meet Reid and board a cruise ship for a few days with his family. Shortly after takeoff, maybe 40 minutes into the flight, things were not right. I've flown enough to know that the sound those engines were making were not the sounds of a peaceful flight. The flight attendents were panicing, but everyone else on the plane was silent. I looked around at people wiping tears from their eyes, holding the hand of the stranger next to them, and a few families with young children they triend to keep occupied. We lost pressure and altitude quickly and things on the ground outside my window became larger. The pilot's voice came over the speakers and said we had to turn around for an emergency landing. He also told us not to be alarmed by the emergency personel we would see on the runway. This was in case something happened during landing.

Everything inside me went numb. I picked up my phone to try to get a signal to text Reid and tell him what was happening. I knew planes could fly on one engine. I was thankful I knew more about aviation from my consultant husband than I'd ever wanted.

I just kept thinking of Psalm 139:16 and that if this was the day that God had ordained for me to meet Him then I wasn't going to be able to stop it. It was an amazing peace that I've thought a lot about since then.

Our plane did land safely at DFW, I was rebooked on a different flight, and left with a new perspective.

After talking through the emotions of that plane ride with Reid, I decided I didn't want to live with regret. My first step would be to go Scuba diving if he would take me somewhere cool! He kept up his end of the bargain and that brings us to yesterday.

We went on two boat dives at about 60 feet under and saw some pretty cool stuff. I held a cute little starfish, Reid held a huge, ink squirting octopus, there were Eels, and beautiful fish.

My favorite was swimming with the huge 4-5 ft turtles. They are so big the look prehistoric! And, I can't forget to mention I swam right next to a 4 ft shark and didn't even breath hard. How's that for coming a long way?

-- Post From My iPhone


Corby and Lauren said...

Mare! I am so proud of you!!! I don't think I would be able to conquer that fear. I hope that you're having such a great time. Love you and miss you!

Shannon Pate said...

Wow!! I am so proud of you!!! I had a similar experience on a plane once and felt the same thing! I am so proud of you for not letting fear win!!! I am so glad you are having fun!!!

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