Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Would You Do if You Weren't Afraid?

I was in a plane crash when I was six years old.

It was Christmas Eve, and we were flying home in a twin engine Beechcraft Baron. In a one-in-a-billion freak accident, the landing gear malfunctioned and retracted just before we touched down. I remember the bone-clattering jolt, the sickening lurch as the plane listed to the left, the horrific screech of steel on steel and steel on concrete, the sparks of the prop as it hit the runway, the shattered glass, the heat and acrid smoke of the port engine as it exploded, and the unexpected smell of wet dirt as we plowed into an arc off the runway. We took out two runway lights. I clutched my teddy bear, and when it was over, I sat frozen and just wanted to be still for a minute, but my parents literally threw me out onto the cold tarmac to escape the hot flames.

None of us had a scratch. If not for my dad's skill and experience and the fact that I was in the copilot seat of the cockpit, the plane would have cartwheeled. I wouldn't be sitting here, typing on this blog.

It makes sense that anyone who had been through that would develop a lifelong paralyzing fear of flight, but I didn't. Flying is still a thrill to me: there's nothing more exhilarating than a takeoff or more fortunate than a good landing. I even married a pilot. You're probably thinking, what, is she crazy? Why wasn't I clasped in the grasp of fear?


I solidly realized that God's Will really is done every day. For some reason we decided that I would sit in the front for the trip, which was very unusual as I couldn't even see over the dashboard. He guided Dad's hands and took care of us. He could take me out in a one-in-a-billion freak heart attack right now as I sit typing just as easily as He could have my whole family that Christmas Eve, but it wasn't our time. Nothing else can explain it.

That knowledge has enriched my life in ways you'll never know and led me to do crazy things you wouldn't believe, and I'm so thankful for that.

Auntie Mame said, "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death," and that line has landed me in more hot water than I'd like to admit. But it sure has been a fun road. And now I'm thrilled to be doing this:

There's so much fear surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. Thank you to my friends who have chosen not to impart on me their horror stories. But through it all, I've felt physically solid, calm, and happy and, as a result, hale and hearty. Again, the only explanation that I have is faith. I fully expect the Peachick to make an ordinary, run-of-the-mill landing into this world, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that if a one-in-a-billion freak accident should occur, God will be there and will take care of us in His own way through our incredible medical team's skill and other factors about which we might never know.

What would YOU do if you weren't afraid?

Baron photo courtesy of Raytheon, poster photo courtesy of Wikipedia.


Jolene said...

God has also blessed you with a gift of words and the ability to put them in writing. Loved the story and love the 3d's of peachick. Jolene


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