Thursday, July 24, 2008

Through the Storm

"I Found Joy in a BIG God" Part Twenty

The plane was much fuller for our flight home. Almost all the seats were taken, but the stewardess informed us that the back row had three seats together. Hmmm…stay in the second row by myself, where I was told the ride would be smoother, or move to the back with friends…friends won!

From the on-set I knew this experience was going to be different. We had only taxied out to the runway when the pilot announced that Toronto was undergoing heavy, violent weather and again we would be detained. “Violent weather” didn’t sound positive to me. I’d be happy to sit on the runway for as longs as he deemed necessary. Minutes later the pilot reported that he had received an “all clear” and we were ready for “lift-off”. Thus began a very turbulent flight home.

The girls beside me tried to be so calm and encouraging. Conversation flourished as they tried their best to keep my mind from panic, my stomach from turning and my eyes from observing the threatening black clouds out the window. “Thunder Run” at Canada’s “Wonderland” was my only roller-coaster comparison, and it was tame compared to the drop, rock and roll that was shaking and plunging us uncontrollably. Having an aisle seat, I kept glancing at our stewardess. Her head wasn’t between her knees. I thought that was a good sign.

Although current circumstances appeared bleak, I kept repeating and claiming the verse God had given me back in March. “The Lord will watch over my coming and going both now and forevermore”. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew God would be with me. As the storm raged, words to a Scott Krippayne song kept ringing in my heart, “Sometimes He calms the storm, with a whisper ‘peace be still’, He can settle any sea, but it doesn’t mean He will, Sometimes He holds us close and lets the winds and waves go wild. Sometimes He calms the storm, and other times He calms His child”. I desperately cried out for God to calm His child.

For almost a full hour and a half our seatbelts remained on as our little 50-seater plane braved the elements. There was about a fifteen minute reprieve during the flight and as the stewardess quickly distributed drinks she inquired how we were faring in the back row. I think my single, non-syllabic moan spoke volumes as she turned to me and said, “I’m sensing a nervous flyer”. I laughed and responded, “Oh, you don’t’ know the half of it”. At this moment it felt like she and I were the only two on the plane as she looked right into my eyes and said, “Oh, don’t be afraid. Our pilot never would have taken-off if he hadn’t have felt certain we would reach our destination”. Her words reminded me again of my Pilot’s promise to watch over me.

I was never so glad when shortly thereafter I began to see something other than black clouds out the window. Landmarks started to come into view. The CN Tower. The Roger’s Center. I suddenly found courage to take a couple of pictures, “memory stones” of trusting God like I never had before.

As the plane made its final descent before touching down my heart overflowed with joy. The Lord had indeed fulfilled every promise He had spoken to me. He had done more than I could have ever hoped or imagined. Stepping off the plane I did a “happy dance”.

This wasn’t a journey of information but transformation. Truth was accompanied with proof. Years of head knowledge had been lived out in experience. I had faced my biggest fear and faith had won. Lorie and Val were quick to confirm that our travel home was indeed horrific, but they had rallied to keep me from sensing their own feelings of unease. Lorie said, “Joy, your family needs to be so proud of you”.

Lord, are You pleased with me? Did I bring a thrill to Your heart by stepping out in faith? Did my total trust in You make You smile? Father, did I honour You with my obedience?”

In His warm embrace I heard…”Well done my child…well done”.

** Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final post in this wonderful God-journey. **


Paula (SweetPea) said...

Yes, I believe the Lord IS well pleased with you, Joy.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Yes, I believe the Lord IS well pleased with you, Joy.

Diane said...

Don't you just love God's sense of humor some times.
Hang in,

tiggerdaisy said...

I concur with Paula...I believe the Lord is well pleased with you! :)

Your flight experience has given my stomache a flip-flop! I will be traveling from Mississippi to Chicago next month and I haven't flown in almost three years, so I'm a little nervous. But I know my God will keep me as I travel just as He did you.

Thanks for sharing!

Prayers and blessings,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm proud of you, Joy! Wow, I didn't know you went through so much getting home. I hate fly in turbulent weather. I'm so glad that God gave you some good friends with whom to weather the storm. I'm so glad for the ones he's given to me for the same reason!


Runner Mom said...

Hey, girlfriend!

My favorite picture is of your doing your Happy Dance! Right now, "Mary, Mary" is playing on my radio with "SHACKLES"--they are praising God and so were you!! Woohoo!

Yes, He is well pleased with you. Your obedeince to Him is obvious! Thank you!!
Love ya,

Marilyn said...

Oh my goodness! I've loved all your "series" from She Speaks but today....well, today just made my honey pot overflow in the form of tears! What a sweet, sweet testimony of God's love and grace.

Your friend in Mississippi,

Cheri Bunch said...

I did not know that your flight home was such an adventure! I am so proud of you! You allowed courage to rise up and face your fears! Way to go, Girl! I know that the Lord was girding you with His strength!
I love your countdown to She Speaks 2009! I hope I get to see you there!
Love you,
ps. I saw Japia in the Word again! Love that name!

Lynn Cowell said...

Your story is such a great example of where the Lord wants to take us if we will have faith, step out and trust. I, for one, am so glad you did!
God's greatest to you!