The hot air balloon.

Say you have a hot air balloon but it has some holes in it. You have two choices if you want to keep it aloft. Patch the holes or put more hot air into it. If you don’t, you’ll crash into trees, or even the ground.

It is hard to patch the holes while you are in motion. It is easier to do that on the ground. You can’t fly it and do it yourself. A professional might have to be hired. That is dangerous work.

So this is your life. The holes are the places where your energy leaks out. Frustrations, hurts, old injuries to your psyche. You can’t patch them on your own unless you are safely on the ground. You can’t keep on doing your daily routine like work and family. You need a safe place without any distractions. If you are going to keep on going you have to hire professional, like a counselor or a therapist. You want someone who is done this before.

Adding hot air is doing all the stuff that builds you up. It includes resting, spending time with friends, eating healthy food, getting exercise, being creative. All these things and plenty more make your spirit stronger. You have to make sure to do them regularly – not just when you feel your balloon going low. They are preventive medicine.

Even if you don’t have a hole in your balloon, the balloon starts to sink over time because the air gets cooler. You can’t wait until you notice that the balloon is sinking to add air. You have to do it before that because it takes a while for the air to start to do its job.

Don’t be afraid.

How many times are we told to not be afraid in the Bible?
What is the opposite of fear? Love.

I’m going to say something radical. Brace yourself.
Love everything you are afraid of. Love everything that frightens you, that worries you, that concerns you.

Love your chronic health condition(s). Love your friend’s brain cancer diagnosis. Love your fat. Love your back pain. Love your hoarder husband. Love your crazy next door neighbor.

The more we fight against things, the harder they get. The more we struggle, the more difficult things are.

You can’t have a baby if you are tense. Relax into the pain. Ride it out. Know it will pass.

And like with any other transformation, something amazing will be born out of this pain.

We hate change. We like to be in control. We fear the unknown.
Our hate, our need to control, our fear doesn’t change the reality.
It only makes it harder to accept it.

The only thing we have control over is our reaction.

Learn deep breathing. Eat healthy foods. Get exercise daily. Try yoga. Journal. Paint. Sing out loud. Find your creative outlet. Do this every day. Learn to trust the process.

And remember to love. To love is to welcome the change, to embrace it.
“Perfect love casts out fear,” Jesus tells us.

How do we know we are not a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly?
How do we know we are not a tadpole about to become a frog?

We are about to trade a life of crawling for one of soaring.
We are about to trade a life of water for air and land.

Don’t fight it. Let it happen. Know that God is in control of all things and God is in everything.

You are loved, and you are blessed. Remember the swallow. Remember the lily of the valley.

Don’t be afraid. Love.