The plane shook so hard that I bit the inside of my mouth as it dropped in a pocket of air.
I tasted the blood and knew that I was going to have to swallow it down because the stewardess had made it clear that passengers should remain buckled and that the weather might prevent beverage service (translation: bumpy ride ahead). I tried to read and found it to be impossible because the tiny letters were jumping all over the page making my eyes and head hurt. I made the mistake of looking out the window and saw hazy and tall clouds--not the happy clouds that normally dot the sky. I had seen the weather reports and knew that our state was going to be under a series of storm warnings today and I had switched my flight to avoid the bulk of these storms (but mostly to avoid an 8-hour wait at the airport for my flight).
I also noticed that I was sitting directly next to the plane's spinning propellor and that I'd never know if it came off because I'd be immediately put out of my misery.
That didn't bring me comfort, either.
I finally put my book down and just closed my eyes and informally began asking for Peace and calm in my spirit. I realized that my entire body was clenched from the stress of the takeoff and transition to the sky, and I felt slightly close to spontaneous tears for a few moments. I sang songs in my head and tried with everything in my being to take deep breaths and relax.
Normally I find flying to be exciting and fun, but this flight was not exactly normal.
I had to let go of control, and ask Him to take capture of my anxious thoughts.
I worry more than the average person. It's not pretty and it's caused its fair share of wrinkles and sleepless nights. I worry about things that matter, and I worry about things that don't. I worry about the future. I worry about the past. I worry about the present. I stress and review and relive and work through things more than I'd like to admit. I like things to be neat and orderly, and I like my life to be expected and routine. I do not care for curve balls and I like to stay ahead of problems and issues. I enjoy planning and considering situations before they occur, and I do not do well with making decisions under pressure.
And on that plane, I was completely at the mercy of the pilot, the sky, and Jesus.
I could not make decisions for the trip. I could not ask air traffic control if anyone had looked at the radar map and agreed it looked safe to fly. I could not check my phone to see the radar map for myself to determine the best route. I could not tell them to put the plane down in Raleigh and that I'd figure out a way for someone to come pick me up. I was going to have to sit down and ride it out.
I didn't like it, but I also didn't have a choice.
It occurred to me that the flight crew most likely did not have a death wish yesterday. They probably had family and friends they wanted to return to, and they made these flights all the time. While I was completely unnerved by the state of affairs, they had enough prior knowledge and experience to determine that it was a safe time to fly. I was going to have to trust them and let them do their jobs.
And when I'm anxious, I need to trust the Lord to do His job.
If I know Him and I know that He loves me personally, then I can trust His decisions for my life. I can trust He is good, and I can trust that He has a view that is bigger than any radar or history book. I don't have to spend my time spinning wheels and wringing my hands and considering things over and over and over again--I can sit still and recognize life is often out of my control, and that my itinerary was set for me before I took my first breath.
And if that knowledge doesn't calm the churning in my spirit, then I don't know what will.