On a Sunday morning last fall, I boarded a plane in Phoenix, where I had come three days earlier for my uncle’s memorial service. Three days with my parents, sister, and assorted relatives that I hadn’t seen in years, three days of catching up and talk talk talking, three days of absorbing varying levels of grief, loss, tears, and anger, three days away from my husband and children, three days out of the rhythms and rituals that undergird and uphold my life. It was in many ways wonderful, but as I flopped into my narrow window seat, I also realized I was emotionally and spiritually spent.

We took off. An hour into the flight, the plane started bucking and cantering like a grumpy colt. The fasten seat belt light came on.

Now, I am a nervous flyer at the best of times. Throw in turbulence, and I become agitated. Add in emotional and spiritual exhaustion, and I fall into full-fledged panic. I sat there with the plane rolling beneath me and panic rolling within me, and I could do nothing. I could not fight. I could not flee. I could only sit. With every jolt, fear roiled through my body.

Read the rest over at Velvet Ashes, a beautiful online community for women serving overseas.