Landing in the Ice Storm

The exit signs flashed on, and stayed on. The stewardess braced herself on the side of an aisle seat. My stomach did acrobatics as the plane dropped again and again. All you could see out of the plane’s windows were dark clouds stacked on dark grey clouds. Not a single star or patch of light from the ground. I gripped Jesse’s hand so hard it probably hurt but he knew that going into marriage he was signing up for white-knuckle landings and take-offs with me. An audible “Woah” can be heard when the turbulence continues and the sleeping passengers are jostled awake. We were landing in an ice storm. Safe, but turbulent. Uncertain and slightly terrified, but the oxygen masks haven’t dropped…yet. Neither here nor there. Your past destination or Home. A quick prayer anchoring you to heaven as you float in liminal spaces.

Well, Hello 2018. Here I am. I have mixed feelings about you, but I’m choosing excitement over panic, thoughtfulness over self-pity, and a glass of living water instead of things that do not fill me up.

Sometimes I can focus too much on the things have gone wrong or were difficult. And I don’t remember the good stuff. Looking back on a year of memories, I tend to NOT remember the times when I came to God on my knees and He met me there. The times He comforted me like a small child. I remember the failings, not the rescue. Ahn at Hillcrest Chapel last Sunday reminded us to remember the rescue. To remember the Grace we have been given but do not deserve.

I’m tired of being the grief girl, but I’m also not content with shoving my feelings down and pretending that they don’t exist. I like to carry them like pails of water, and by golly if you carry a pail of water up the hill some of it sloshes out and you have less pesky emotions to carry than when you started with but you have to start up the hill. You have to. Even if you fall and break your head, you get back up again. and you climb the hill again. You kiss the sweet ground when you land, and say “Thank you for giving me another day on this green earth God. I know I complain a lot. and I’m sorry for that. I know I apologize for things you don’t consider bad like awkward phone calls or wearing the wrong shirt to church, and ignore the bad stuff I really should be working through and you have to be patient for way too long before I take the speck out of my own eye. But Thank you for another day. Another year. Another chapter in the book of Redemption that I did not deserve.” Amen, Amen, Amen.

How can we sing about death having no sting, when it’s crippling me?

Landing in the ice storm. Little to no control over the whole situation. Coming in blind and hoping for a good outcome. The wiseman had a star, and what do I have on my darkest days? A bunch of  grey clouds, uncertain ground under my feet, turbulent turns of the stomach. But God lets me grip his hand. He’s beside me on the plane. He’s not the pilot. He’s not the air. He’s not asleep, unaware of my suffering. He’s the still, small voice. He whispers in the times of uncertainty, waiting, and storms.

I spoke of things I didn’t not understand, things too great for me.

Job 42:3b

The plane dips onto the runway. The wheels hit the tarmac and are the most comforting rhythm I’ve heard in a while. Evergreens on the hills remind me I’m once again Bellingham. Kicking myself for taking the cheaper airline ticket on the smaller plane (you don’t even get free soda and peanuts), I laugh as we enter the airport, giddy with my new-found appreciation for life, ground, and safety.  “We’re not flying for a long time after this, ok? Long enough for me to forget this experience.” I tell Jesse. He laughs in disbelief, a little rattled too. The stewardess warns us put on a rain jacket if we have one, since it’s raining pretty hard outside. I let the rain hit me in the face and breathe in deeply.












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