I had a meltdown and I am not proud of it. I am Irish by birth and tend to have a bit of a temper. I am really working on this problem so that I do not lose control because I always want to model Christ in my life. Someone seeing me having a tantrum is not seeing Christ, instead they are only seeing my sinful nature.
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
My mother past away in March of this year and my dad died last year. I needed to finish settling their estate and this required me to travel home to Ireland. I needed to close out their bank accounts. A trip was scheduled for early May. Early May is still too early for the tourist seasons and all the higher prices that go with high season. My husband and I planned the trip to last one week. This would also allow me time to visit with my Irish and Scotish family. I also hoped the trip would finally give me closure on my loss and grief. I was really struggling with my mom’s death emotionally and I was actually dreading the trip. Of all my visits to Ireland, only once had I travelled there without my mom. That one trip without her was my honeymoon. This trip would be very emotional for me.
Psalm 37:8 “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil.”
The day of our departure finally arrived. I did not sleep well the night before the flight. Our itinerary required us to fly to New York City with a 3 hour layover. As part of our planning, I had paid extra to get seats with more leg room because my husband is very tall. But that extra expense is worth it on long plane rides for him to be comfortable. We were delayed out of Dallas so got to NYC over an hour late but still with plenty of time. We took our time getting to the gate for the flight to Ireland so we could stretch our legs before sitting for six more hours. When we got to the gate the plane was boarding. As we walked up to the gate agent to board, she told us that the airlines had to switch the type of plane being used so all seats had been reassigned. She went off to get us our new boarding pass. Originally, we were in row 9 at a bulk head with tons of leg room. When she brought us our new boarding passes, we were in the back of the plane and not sitting together. I explained to the gate agent that this was not acceptable because we had already paid quite a bit extra for the bigger seats. The agent then tried again and got us row 17. Still not great seats but better so we proceeded with boarding.
We went down the jetway to the plane and the flight attendant informed us that those seats are reserved for the flight crew to use during the flight. We tried to work this out on the plane but no doing. We were sent back up to the gate agents. Several other people had issues that needed to be resolved like having the same seats as other people on the plane. So it was chaos. I could feel myself losing patience. Prayer was what was needed at this point but I ignored that prompting of the Holy Spirit. After more trips down the jetway to the plane and more return trips to the gate agents, I lost it. I was yelling at the gate agent. The more I yelled, the more angry she got. She kept threatening to close the gate so that we could not board the plane. I finally stomped down to the plane like a pouty three year old to take my seat. I also made sure to inform those around me how we had been wronged by the airlines.
The flight attendants on the flight were very nice and offered their apologies. I told one of them that I had a gluten free meal preordered and when they checked, they did have one for me. I am allergic to glutens which are found in flour and other foods. Other than no leg room for my husband, I was hopeful it would be a pleasant flight. When my meal was served, I noticed a bag of bagel chips and shortbread cookies which seemed odd. I checked the ingredient list and both contained glutens so now I was not sure this meal was gluten free. I gave it back to the flight attendant because I did not want to risk it to eat any of the food. Luckily, I travel with some gluten free bars for emergencies, so they were my dinner. I spent a good deal of the rest of the flight in tears. I was angry with myself for letting my emotions control me. I was sad as I thought my mom and my dad and how much I wished they were with me on this trip. And I was ashamed that once again I disappointed God with my behavior.
James 1:20 “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
I know Jesus loves me no matter what I do. I understand nothing will separate me from His love. What damage did I cause by my reactions. How did I make that desk agent feel? If I could find her again, I would apologize for my outburst. What problems was she struggling with in her life. Maybe God had intended me to provide her with a word of encouragement but I ignored all that. I only wanted to throw my tantrum and ignore everyone else. I wanted things my way or no way and Christ was never part of my thoughts.
It is very difficult to write of my personal shortcomings. I am embarrassed by them. But it is an important opportunity for me to share my experiences both good and bad so maybe I can help you from repeating my mistakes. When you feel yourself losing control of your temper, take it to God as quickly as possible. Ask for Christ’s help to control your tongue. This is obviously something I still need to work on. In fact, I am sure this might be something I battle for the rest of my life. But with God’s help, I will continue to try. And when I fall down, I will ask for God’s help to get up and keep moving forward.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”