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Flying Without Fear

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Ps. 34:4, NIV.

I was terrified of flying. But the day my husband announced he had signed up for flying lessons, I made a decision to overcome my fear. I figured that if I could learn how to fly, then maybe I wouldn’t be so frightened.

As it turned out, I loved flying. I liked it so well that I became a flight instructor and taught for several years.

Then one day I was hired to pick up an aerial photographer, fly him to the White Mountains to photograph some land, and then meet a real-estate agent in Quemado, New Mexico, which had a short dirt landing strip known for crosswinds.

I landed without problems, but when I started to take off, I was not able to get the air speed I had planned. At the end of the runway I added some flaps to hop a fence and tried to stay low because of power lines, but a wing tip caught, and we cartwheeled and crashed upside down. I suffered a concussion, but thankfully my passenger climbed out unhurt.

Not only was I terribly embarrassed about the accident; I was now terrified of flying. The crash had shattered my confidence. But I had students who needed to complete their training, so I couldn’t walk away. The worst part was that because of the accident I once again had to go through the licensing procedure of flying a plane with an examiner.

The stress was so great that while waiting for the examiner I had a panic attack. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. My heart raced and my body tensed until I could hardly breathe. My chest felt as if someone was sitting on it. So stressed out that I couldn’t function properly, I had to force myself into the plane. But somehow I passed.

Fear makes one vulnerable to distress and disability. But there are many things you can’t control in life that you just have to trust the Lord to get you through. I’ve learned that you have to face the fear, walk through it, and get on the other side of it. God is helping me through this one, and I will fly again—without fear.

Fear can be debilitating. But with God’s help you can walk through your fear and “fly” again.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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