I conquered a huge demon / giant the other day. It was my fear of flying. All my life I have been severely claustrophobic because of childhood trauma and also deathly afraid of heights. My mind only played out bad scenarios when it came to flying whether it was the plane crashing, having a panic attack on the plane because it was too small or even trying to open the door during flight because of the anxiety. Our mind is more powerful than we know. Because of this fear I’ve passed up ministry opportunities in the past. I was asked to come and speak in Denver years ago and I immediately made an excuse why I couldn’t make it. I also had venues wanting to book me for performances and the same thing “Cant make it, gotta work” etc. One of my good friends and long time supporters asked me to marry him and his wife and when he did I immediately said yes. But soon after my mind started messing with me and began to come up with all the crazy scenarios again. What if you die, what if you freak out… I try to combat it with…. what if I don’t. As I started going back and forth in my head playing out these worst case scenarios I made up another excuse to tell my friend and that I was going to have to cancel with him. Although I knew it was wrong deep down there was no way I could do it. I did give myself a window. I told him to give me a few days and I’ll see what I can do. After that I went to visit my friends Gil and Adena Hodges who were close by at a conference during their trip across the country. I had a great time finally meeting both of them. They are ministry leaders and very near to my heart. At the conference they were speaking at one of their friends showed me a picture from their last conference in Denver Colorado and it was a view of the mountains. The view was freaking AMAZING. Immediately I thought of the wedding and knew that if I didn’t get over my fear of flying that I would never be able to see sights like those; not only me but more importantly my wife and daughter. Because of my fear they wouldn’t be able to experience it. While Gil and Adena were down they were staying at an air B & B and allowed me to stay the night with them. We had a great time of fellowship but during our conversation I told them about my opportunity and fear, so they recommended that we try an Ascension to overcome the fear. I agreed. An ascension is similar to hypnosis and in this particular one that they do its embodied as a court case between God, Jesus and whatever it is that is ailing the person. So we close our eyes and go in and I see this spirit of fear or trauma embodied as a being, they open a court case against it to see what right it has to be there and then envision Jesus destroying this entity with his blood and releasing whatever ties that I had with it as being defeated. We went through a list of things that they felt may have been tied to it and ministered healing. I have done inner healing and deliverance sessions in the past so I knew these sessions of hypnosis are as powerful as you want them to be and deep down I wanted to let the fear go. After the session I felt great and couldn’t wait to get back home and tell my friend “It’s a go, I’ll do the wedding, lets book it!”. We booked the wedding, and I was feeling really good about it until about a week out. Laying on the couch with the fam I knew the flight was only a week away and I saw myself in this little tube and immediately felt panic enter my heart. It was weird. Just thinking about it began to make my heart drop into my stomach and start to race. I then started watching YouTube videos of people who suffered from panic attacks while flying and that didn’t help one bit. Being able to see people on planes and how small it looked freaked me out even more because I knew in less than a week that’s going to be me. My wife told me to stop watching the videos but I couldn’t, I felt like I needed to play out every scenario and see how to overcome it if something started to go wrong. Hearing pilots talk about flying being the safest way to travel, learning about how normal turbulence is definitely prepared me and most of the people who suffered from their flying phobia were mostly terrified of the turbulence thinking that the plane was going down. So even though I was doing my research freaking myself out while watching the videos they also helped me to understand the logistics of the plane and how everything worked. Most people who suffered from panic attacks sought medication from their doctors who would mostly prescribe Xanax to help relax them for the flight but there were a bunch of articles online saying how that didn’t even help them. I had to try something, so I went to the doctor and told them that I was severely claustrophobic and afraid of heights and he prescribed be Klonopin. When I got home and tried to Google Klonopin and fear of flying and there wasn’t much online saying that it worked. I then tried to ready myself mentally and studied panic attacks and how to overcome them. During a panic attack the body releases adrenaline and a way to calm yourself is to think about a person or thing that you love dearly. Think about your wedding day, the birth of your child etc. But for some those thoughts are counterproductive because they would think of their wife and wedding and then the fear would tell them that they were going to die, and they wouldn’t be able to see them again and the experience would intensify. For me even while I was watching flying videos and was starting to feel panic set in in the privacy of my own home I would look pictures of the Denver skyline “where I was going” and immediately the panic would stop. While doing the research, again, something would trigger me and my chest would tighten up and heart would start to race and immediately I looked at the picture of the Denver skyline and instantly felt relief. Experts in flying phobias tell you not to think about the flying or the fear but think about what you are going to do once you get there and that helps to keep the mind occupied. The pictures and thoughts of Denver and even Italy or France helped me because I knew that I would never see them if I didn’t get on the flight and when I looked at the picture I would always instantly feel relief. So I changed my computer wallpaper to the beautiful Denver skyline with the Rocky Mountains in the back. The day of we are getting packed and I’m a bit nervous. Nervous is ok because its something new, Im ok with nervous, panic on the other hand is what we need to stay away from. When we got to the airport I was feeling good. We made it through TSA which also was a new experience and then made it past security to be seated by our terminal. We had about an hour and a half wait and I felt pretty good but still a bit nervous. The closer and closer we got to time to board the anticipation began to build and things began to bother me. There was this one woman sitting across from me who was eating chips by the handful and for some reason it was getting under my skin. There were kids and babies running around screaming there too and it just really started to mess with me. Once this started happening I pulled out my phone and looked at the pictures of Denver again and felt some relief. A few minutes later it hit me really hard. The anxiety. I felt it creeping up like a knot in my stomach and my palms began to sweat really bad. I kept moving from hot to cold back to back so I went ahead and took my medicine. Placebo says that if I think this will work it will. I knew if I took this it would make me feel better and I did. I felt the anxiety leave and the effects from the medicine seemed to help a bit. It was time to board the plane and I told myself this is it and that it was going to be exciting. Me and my wife got on the plane and as soon as I stepped in it was bigger than I thought it would be in my mind and there was so much more room. We got to our seats which were right behind the emergency exit seats and that brought a sense of comfort as well. The plane took off and there was zero anxiety. In fact the anxiety turned into excitement and euphoria because I was doing something new and I knew what awaited me when I landed. It was pretty surreal for me actually because I was one of the first people in my family to ever fly and now practically the entire world has opened up for me. I had to hold back tears because of how beautiful the flight was and inner knowing of conquering this fear that has been with me since childhood because of personal trauma. We landed in Denver and the scenery was just as beautiful as it looked in the pictures. The cool breeze on my face felt amazing and the air was way lighter than the humidity in the south from where we had just come. Long story short is that our mind is super powerful. It creates realities and fears that do not exist except within our own psyche. Letting go of triggering or traumatic beliefs is one of the most important decisions that we can ever make. We must let go of the fear of ‘What If” and embrace the awe and wonder of life and what it has to offer. This is my story of overcoming my fear of crippling flying which is possible for anyone to do and the fear is only temporary, its created by us. We can overcome it and embrace the best life that God has for us free of worry, doubt and fear.