Same Storm, Different Planes

This past weekend, I experienced the worst turbulence while flying in 17 years – screams and all. A story…

Taking off and flying to New Orleans was SUPER smooth. But as we get closer to landing, the pilot comes on and tells the crew to prepare for landing early, and everyone needs to stay seated and fasten their seatbelt to prepare for a rough landing. Ooohhhkkkaayy!! Trays put away & trash collected, and everyone’s seated. Then the pilot comes back on to say they’ve been asked to circle for a while because the storm is pretty bad.

The last time I was in a plane that did this was 11 years ago trying to land in Tokyo. We circled for 10 minutes then diverted to a different airport. This time, 20 minutes have gone by and we’re still circling. Thanks to wifi I’m updating family to let them know I’m still in the air. Not sure if we’ll be able to land or have to divert to another airport. (I’m wondering how much extra fuel is on the plane). People on the ground are messaging the group I’m meeting and saying the storm is really bad & there are weather alerts (thunder, lightning, the works). Crazy thing is it didn’t look that bad from our view because we were flying above the storm.

So after 40 minutes of circling, the pilot said we’ve been cleared to land. Yalllllll flying above the storm is VERY different than going through the “safe” part of the storm. This plane shook, rolled, dropped more than any plane I’ve ever been in. People screamed in fear, and I asked the girl next to me if she wants to hold hands. I can laugh about it now, but there’s nothing like a possible disaster to bring people together lol.

As we were flying through, the view completely changed. It got super dark and shaky. Then you could see the pouring rain/storm that wasn’t visible at all when we were circling.

It took a while for my nerves to come back down after that experience. But in the midst of it, I said “I’m gonna write about this.” 😆 Grateful to have made it safely to New Orleans. The pilot said we flew in between storm cells. If that was the “clear”, I don’t wanna know what flying through the actual storm is like.

But a message landed in my spirit while in that experience. Have you ever gotten close to your desired destination (literally or a goal), but you’re suddenly stuck in a holding pattern? Maybe God can see the storm at your destination, and even though it doesn’t look that bad from your perspective, God’s like “nah, it’s not safe to approach yet. Sit up here away/above the storm for a while, so I can make a clearer path for you.” I mean God’s view is a lot bigger/clearer than mine right?!

Also, unless someone is on the same plane (literal airplane or the same geometric plane/level metaphorically), they can’t see what you see. The people on the ground saw and felt the storm in a way I couldn’t because even though I was in the same area, I was on a different plane/level. Imagine if I just text them back to say the storm isn’t that bad! God sees those on the ground experiencing the storm, those in the plane flying above the storm, and those taking the journey through the storm, and doesn’t dismiss any of us. People’s perspectives and experiences can be very real, but on the outside (or above) we may not understand what they’re experiencing, so our judgments or advice could be completely off.

Think about being in the same storm, but in/on different planes as it relates to the pandemic, recession, and the political leaders who we keep voting for and have never experienced the storm of 90% of people, but we think they’re representing us. Their view from 30,000 feet is that your storm isn’t that bad.

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