In September 2012, I wrote a post titled, My Burning Hands. It’s a short read, feel free to click on that link and check it out.
In Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday, June 29, I started a 26+ hour journey, making sure I had my own hashtag #movingmeltomelbourne (I am hip), as I traveled on 3 planes to Australia. The excitement for this move has been building for well over a year as I wrapped up my life in South Korea (seven years!) and anxiously waited to join my team who launched a church campus in Melbourne (New Philly) at the beginning of April.
A few weeks before my flight I asked God to give me the chance to talk to people about who He is before I even landed in Melbourne. I normally recede into my mind and watch a whole lot of movies when I travel, and I didn’t want to do that this time. I wanted to be bold (as one might say) and actually share my faith with those sitting around me if the opportunity came up.
I woke up Wednesday morning with a migraine and my four hour flight from Detroit to L.A. was miserable. My only thought was, “I have to feel better for my 14 hour flight, I have to feel better… I have to feel better.” All thoughts of talking to people, encouraging people, sharing about my faith and why I was moving to yet another continent, flew out the window. My flight leaving Detroit was delayed, and my layover in L.A. was already cutting it close. As an extremely time-oriented person, the amount of stress I felt stuck in insane L.A. airport traffic while taking the bus that commuted you to the international terminal, was so intense I was holding back tears when I finally reached the security check point. Staring at my watch tick by one minute after another I made my concerns known to a security guard (by way of fearfully exclaiming, “My flight is boarding now!”) who told me to take a deep breath. Well, that wasn’t helpful. I cried instead. With 10 minutes to go until my flight took off, I scooped up my stuff without bothering to pack it away and ran to my gate. I was proud of myself for remembering to put my shoes on.
I made my flight, sweaty and flustered, but I made it. The adrenaline rush from running across the airport released my migraine. Nice, right? It was. The Australian guy in the seat next to me continued to strike up conversation after I felt the need to explain why I was so sweaty and out of sorts. Our plane ended up sitting on the tarmac for over an hour, but I didn’t even notice because I chatted with my new friend, Taz, the whole time. After I told him about why I was moving to Melbourne he told me that he just finished doing DTS with YWAM (a lot of acronyms, but if you know what they mean you are probably excited, if not, it means he is a Christian, like me-fun!). We went back and forth with different stories about our life and faith and what we’ve seen God do. I ended up sharing the story about My Burning Hands (it’s all making sense now, eh? Okay maybe not yet) and how I saw my friend’s leg grow to match the length of her other leg after I prayed. Not only was Taz excited about the story, he mentioned his own back needing healing because of a slipped disc (I think? I was just recovering from a high stress situation after all) and he was worried about the pain a 14 hour flight was going to bring.
As soon as our flight took off and we both went into our own zones of movie watching and sleeping I prayed for his back. I had my hands out, palms up, in front of me and they began burning immediately. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but after a few minutes I almost regretted praying so soon because my hands really were burning, and painfully. I ended up praying for his back about three times off and on during the flight, with my hands burning each time (thankfully not for the whole flight.). About 30 minutes before we landed I asked him how his back was. He looked at me, “Did you pray for my back?” I smiled, “Yes!” The first time he got up during the flight he felt a release in his back and the pain was a lot less. He was so excited about it and disappointed that he didn’t tell me before I asked. “When I first got up and my back felt so much better I thought, ‘Did Melody pray for me?’ I need to ask her!”
Taz asked me more about what I wanted to do in Melbourne and ended up praying for me as well, I was so encouraged and refreshed after my 14 hour flight to Brisbane, I couldn’t wait to get on the next flight headed for Melbourne.
I believe that prayers are powerful.