Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Happy To Be Down

Have I ever mentioned that the majority of things that I do somehow go wrong?

Well, this is a relatively new phenomenon-- mostly just during the year 2009. So far this year we've had the eyebrow catastrophe, the devastating haircut, everlasting mono, random aches and pains, blue fingers, a traumatizing ending to my summer job, and the list could go on.

This trip to New York City was just so much fun. I want to tell you about it another time, but for now, while it's fresh on my mind, I will focus on the transportation that I encountered this past week.

The fun began at 5:45am Tuesday morning. We woke up early for our 10:16am flight in Atlanta. We're just driving along, making good timing when suddenly we hear on the radio that a wreck shut the interstate down, and that our best bet would be to get off. So we got off and asked a kind policeman who gave us directions another way, the same way that every other car went! Long story short, we were pulling in the airport at 10:16 and I'm pretty sure we saw our plane fly over us.

The next flight available was at 5:45pm. Bottom line: we had to wait to even check our luggage 3 more hours, then wait 4 hours. We had a good ole' time though.

We people watched and this was my conclusion: most of the time it's more interesting to watch people people watching. Do you get what I'm saying? For example, we watched a soldier and a woman who was most likely homeless and on some kind of drug. She was talking to herself and doing some odd things, but Mars and I really got a kick from watching this soldier who was sitting next to her, trying to figure out what she was saying, with a terrified, confused, humored look on his face.

We proceeded to the terminal where we sat on the ground in the huge hallway next to an outlet. A blind man came up to Mars with his stick and started feeling all over her legs with the stick. Mars sat SILENTLY and just stared at him like a deer in redlights. She said she didn't want to make him feel bad for doing that to a person so she wanted him to think she was a wall.... Really, Mars, Really? He wasn't young. He was experienced. I think he knows the difference between the softness of someone's leg and a wall.

So after much waiting, we got on that Tuesday night 5:45 flight out of the ATL and headed to NYC. We had a smooth flight and arrived at 9:00 and were promptly picked up by Aunt Marian.

Our stay in New York was so fun and I'm telling you about it later when I get my pictures up.

Saturday meant that it was time to go back South. Our flight was originally at 5:00pm, but a snow storm was coming in and so Madre got it moved to 8:35am. We woke at 5:30am and headed to La Guardia airport. We got in traffic at the luggage check, the security point, and then made it to the plane right before take-off.

I was sitting between two strangers, Mars was about 5 rows back. We took off and heard a loud boom and a jolt. Hmmm, wide-eyed, I looked to the guy next to me, "What was that?!" He shrugged. I closed my eyes, heart beating fast. Another jolt. "Oh my gosh." I started breathing hard. We were still pretty low in the air. The stewardess walked quickly down the aisle.

The pilot came on, "We are experiencing engine difficulty and will have to make an emergency landing. They are clearing the runway for us. Fire trucks will be there to meet us, but stay calm."

Ok, so when they tell you to stay calm, obviously there is a problem. Our plane turned sharply and was going downward, which is not normal by the way. It was a horrible feeling as I looked out to see the river and buildings so close to us. I was trying to take deep breaths as the woman next to me was trying to calm me. Thank goodness for that woman!

We landed pretty smoothly for the circumstances, and the pilot came on and said, "Normal landing." That made me more nervous... there was a chance we wouldn't have had a normal landing. Fire trucks drove in with us, which also made me even more nervous.

We had to sit on the runway for quite a while as I sat there terrified that they were going to tell us that they "fixed" the plane and we were going to go back into the air. I'm going to be honest. I was pouring sweat. The thought of going back to the air, plus the thought of riding two more hours with sweat was not even slightly appealing to me, even if staying on the ground meant a later flight.

The stewardess came on and told us to write our name, address, and phone number on an envelope. I had no idea why, and I pretty much thought that we would write our information down so that in case we crashed again, they could call our families. Yeah.... I think I was a little crazy frazzled... who would think they really would do that.

So anyways, we did get to get off of the plane and the envelope was to send us a voucher for another free flight. We had to wait in line for an hour or two in order to find out that we would not be able to fly out that day because a snow storm was coming in, and they weren’t scheduling flights for the next day either, so we would be spending an extra two nights in the NYC.

Our flight was scheduled for Monday morning at 10am. I had two days to fret the upcoming flight that I had to get on in order to be home.

The two days were spent well, and Monday morning came quickly. I was really wanting some Valium, just anything to calm the nerves.

I got onto the plane, and once again I was not sitting next to my sister. My dad called and I couldn’t even talk to him because it was that feeling that I knew if I talked, I would cry. I stuck with the Uhh Huh’s and the Mmm Hmm’s. I got off the phone to read a text from my mother when I almost cried again. But I knew, if I cry, I will make an awkward mess for myself for the rest of the 2 hours. So I held it together.

As soon as we took off, I asked the stewardess for earphones because every single noise was freaking me out. I turned the music on "The Message" XM station up to the max, sat back, and prayed that the plane wouldn’t go down.

I was so scared of landing but as we were circling around, one of my favorite songs came on.

He is jealous for me,

Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree

Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,

And I realize just how beautiful You are,

And how great your affections are for me.

Oh, how He loves us, Oh how He loves us all...

(David Crowder Band)

Anyhow, that song was perfect for me at that moment. It's perfect for any moment, but even more perfect for then

The Almighty God LOVES me. Why would He let anything happen to me that is not good? If this plane was to crash, it would be best, and if this plane was to land safely, that would be best too... Because Jesus loves me. I can't even imagine how great His affections are for me.

He loves me, and He loves you too!

So Merry Christmas! We have received the greatest gift we could ever imagine! Freedom from fear of anything and everything, because the King loves us, and He always takes care of us. He was born in that manger so that he could destroy the devil's work (1 John 3:8), all that could harm us, and we are now free because of His great love for us.

So remember, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3:8). Rejoice that we can be free of fear, even the fear of airplanes crashing, flights being delayed, cookies burning, house fires, hit and run drivers, or armed robbers at the mall. (I'm watching the news.) But none of that can hinder the love God has for us... His Son came to destroy all of this!