>Jumping Out of the Plane

>There’s something to be said for getting out of our comfort zone. If you read my last entry, you know that I got to do that via flying alone and attending a writing awards banquet (which went very well, thank you.) What was amazing about the entire weekend was the number of teachable moments for me. By nature, I’m high strung, Type A, and born to worry. If I’d had a crystal ball last week that allowed me to look into the future and see how smoothly my weekend was going to go, all of the worry, sleepless nights, and fright would have melted away. Then again, I wouldn’t have needed all the faith and prayer that filled many hours.

Over and over, I was humbled at how God’s hand was over me. From the transportation back and forth from the event, courtesy of the coordinator of the writer’s conference, to the upgraded suite, to the free bus fare from the kind driver, I was surrounded with a sense of calm and God’s presence.

On the way home, I sat next to a man who was from Folsom, a town just minutes from my home. He was not only friendly, interesting, and Harvard educated, but I believe, placed next to me for a purpose. He shared that he recently did something that he swore he’d never do: parachute out of a plane. His twenty-something year old son invited him to simply watch him parachute and then he was invited to go along. I asked him what it felt like the moments before he jumped from the plane. He said, “Well, I thought, I might die.” And then he jumped! He explained the experience as exhilarating, as he cast his faith into the hands of his guide who led him safely to earth.

I grew teary eyed listening to his story. While I didn’t jump from thousands of feet in the air, I took a leap in faith that I would have a safe, successful, dare I say FUN time on my own. It was only when I put trust in my parachute-guide, that I was able to allow my faith to grow and enjoy the ride.

As I descended to the Sacramento airport, I looked out the window to see the shadow of the plane. It was a tiny, compact shadow that resembled a toy. As we got closer to the ground, it grew bigger and bigger, catching up with its true size as we touched ground. On Friday the 10th, my confidence was like that little airplane shadow. Yet, with each successful and joyful event that passed, my confidence grew, until I stepped off that plane on Saturday the 11th somehow changed…stronger, more trusting, and thankful to God for the lesson.

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