Are you afraid to fly? I want to tell you a story. It’s a true story!
It’s a little long, but if you’re in an airport, or even in the plane getting ready to takeoff, I think this story will help you with your fear of flying.
About 3 years ago my husband and I were invited to a beautiful Party in Florida. As soon as the invitation arrived in the mail, my heart sunk. Not because I didn’t want to go but because I knew I would have to fly, and I knew that I would have to disappoint my husband who really wanted to go. But since he knew my fear of flying, he said, “it’s okay Angela you don’t have to go, I’ll go alone.” So even though I felt sad, inside I felt great relief. My fear of flying was much bigger than my trust in The Lord. I knew it, God knew it, my husband knew it and I wasn’t kidding anyone. Yes everyone, including God still loved me, but inside I felt ashamed. Here I was telling the whole world about my faith, and singing about my faith and I couldn’t make a less than 3 hour trip to Florida.
Well, that trip was in the future about two months away and I basically forgot about it. One night my husband and I were out with friends … the Florida party was coming up in a couple of weeks. While dining my husband mentioned to our friends that he was traveling to Florida soon. Our friends inquired if I was going (they all knew my tremendous fear of flying) .Hubby, said no, and that he not happy about it. I immediately said “WHAT”!!! YOU said you were fine with it, you said you understood, etc. I felt angry that he would embarrass me in front of friends. We almost had “words” right then and there but tabled it.
Later that night when we arrived home I brought it up. I told him how he embarrassed me, and we then DID have some heated words between us. Our disagreement didn’t last long, maybe 5 minutes or less, but I stormed off and went into the guest room to be alone. The guest bedroom is where I have my quiet time, and my Bible was there. So I sat down, FRUSTRATED (not with my husband) but with myself. I said OUT LOUD to God, Oh God, I’m so sick of this. I’m so sick of being afraid all the time of flying. I’m missing out on things and my husband, whom I know loves me is upset with me. The next thought I had in my head was to open my bible, so OUT LOUD I said to the Lord, “oh but Lord, there isn’t anything in here about an airplane”. But in desperation, exasperation, etc., I opened up the Bible.
Now I’m not one of those people who believes that you open the Bible stick your finger there and “magically” you get a “word” from the Lord. But when I opened up the Bible what I saw astonished me. This picture you see embedded below is what I saw … in my Bible.
Do you see the word airplane? Yes, the word “airplane” IS in The Bible. Okay, God didn’t write it, I did, but the word airplane was in there. I sat there with my mouth open. And remember I had just said “but Lord there’s nothing about an airplane in The Bible.” Well … immediately I knew that the God of the Universe was with me in that room. My bible is 2 or 3″ thick and of all the pages I opened to I opened to that one. What does it all mean though????
Well in 1999 I (even though I was scared) I decided to travel to Israel. My husband didn’t come, I went with my church. The plane ride to Israel was tolerable (even though my heart was still throbbing with fear) and deep inside I was scared but we arrived safe. BUT the ride back was intolerable for me. I truly thought it was my last day on earth. A seasoned traveler with me told me it the worst turbulence she had ever encountered. But since she was seasoned she knew to sit toward the FRONT of the plane. I was in the rear, and every bump, drop, everything, I felt. So I took out my Bible (yes I traveled with my big Bible back then) and I opened it. I came to the verses in Isaiah from Chapter 54:14-15, and I read them. I meditated on them. I said them over and over to myself and I wrote what you see in the margin there. I wrote it because I wanted to be able to look back (if I survived) and remember a time high up in the air when God gave me deliverance over Satan who was tormenting me with thoughts of doom. What I kept hearing over and over was you’re gonna crash and it’s gonna hurt. I was so ashamed I put a big scarf over my head and hid my face. This is all true. I took 3 or 4 Benadryl’s but NOTHING would put me down. I was so scared. By and by we landed. I ran into my husband’s arms and hugged him and kissed him and said I’ll never fly again. I told him what I’d been through.
And so it was on that evening after hubby and I had some heated words between us, that I had “come to the end of myself in terms of flying” and begged the Lord to release me. When I opened the Bible and saw those words, (in the picture above) I knew God had touched me. I was only in the guestroom 2-3 minutes at most, but God had visited me. I can sort of see God up in Heaven saying “okay Angela, this won’t take long, we’re gonna settle this thing once and for all”. And he did right then and there. I closed the Bible, stood up and walked over to my husband and promptly apologized. I told him what had just happened in the room, and we both agreed, although Satan would try to convince us otherwise, that it was no coincidence. God had indeed met me at the point of my need.
I told my husband that I would accompany him to Florida, but he said “it’s okay honey, you don’t have to go” … I said “but I want to go” but he insisted he was no longer angry. So I didn’t go. He had released me. Well he went without me … and he sent pictures back home of the beautiful hotel room he’d rented RIGHT ON THE WATER. He did that to bless me, hoping I would go. All of a sudden I realized, wow, Satan robbed me of a beautiful weekend with my husband and I felt sad again . . .
A couple of months after that I received an email from “Gaither Homecoming Musicians” that they were going to do a cruise to Hawaii. One of my husband’s life dreams was to go to Hawaii, and I thought, well I could just delete this email and he’d never know. I thought again about my fear of flying, but then I thought about how God had met me in the bedroom. I decided to trust God that he really had met me and I forwarded the email on to hubby. I knew if we went on that cruise it would mean a transatlantic flight. But I hit “send”.
Well we went to Hawaii. And here is what God did. We had FIRST class tickets that cost us less than $200.00. (unused air miles). During our cruise I sang (just for fun) on the ship and Gordon Mote heard me which led to my album. Now … you see the end of the story. God saw the “end” from the beginning. I still have fear of flying, hey most people do. God never said we would not fear, but he promised to be with us in our fear. But the difference is that NOW, I trust that the LORD of the Universe is with me, and I know even if that plane goes down, if it’s not my day to leave earth, I will survive. And then I’ll have another story to tell. It’s what we do with our fear that matters. We can let it define us, defeat us or we can surrender our emotions to God and allow Him to deliver us from fear. It is all a choice we make.
Going forward: If I don’t survive a plane crash then I will still be alive with God in Heaven Forever and God’s “grace” will be sufficient for me in death. Will I trust that or not. I choose to trust him. I have flown many times since then, and it is truly different from that night coming back from Israel. I now remember all the ways God wants to bless me, and give me wonderful experiences on this earth. I will not allow Satan to steal from me the way he did that time my husband went to Florida without me. I will ALWAYS remember how God met me at my point of need. Matthew 28:20b – lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. So even if you didn’t see this story today while flying… my story can be your story for the rest of your life.