The time I experienced a deathly fear...

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Sunday, July 08, 2018

Do you have a deathly fear?
I've heard people say many times that if something (insert deathly fear) like that were to happen to them they don't know what they would do or how they would survive.
I use to say that all the time too.
Until...

It was a few years ago and I was leaving the Caribbean and my family for Sydney, Australia. I was going to Bible College. I was extremely happy and nervous at the same time. It was the first time travelling by myself and the first time I'd be living in a new country. 
I love airports so making the trek from Trinidad to Miami to Chicago to L.A to Sydney (yes that many airports, amazing right?! ;)) was an adventure I couldn't wait to embark upon.
All my flights were good until I reached Los Angeles. I boarded the Jumbo Jet and took my seat toward the back of the plane; the seat next to me was free so I anticipated a very restful fourteen hour flight. My window view allowed me to see the entire left side of the wing. It was so big!
I remember taking off and just as the front of the plane began to lift, I saw a couple balls of spark come from the engine. It's hard to explain, it wasn't an obvious ball of spark, it was like tiny, spaced-out, Christmas lights wrapped in a ball.
Silly me thought I was seeing things so I didn't bother to say anything. I was going to enjoy this flight. I was living the dream.
I got preoccupied with a movie and didn't look out the window until maybe a couple hours later. And there they were again. 
They were about minutes apart - these ball-like sparks - and to me they kept getting bigger. Now I was worried. There was an ugly feeling in my stomach. I turned around to ask the only guy sitting behind me if he's seeing what I'm seeing.
We both peered out our windows. He confirmed it, I wasn't seeing things.
What on earth was happening, these things only happen in movies.
We signalled the flight attendant and informed her that there was something coming out of the engine that definitely shouldn't be. Would you believe that when she looked out the window, it stopped a bit? We assured her we weren't both crazy, so she looked some more and sure enough - whoosh there was one. So off to cock pit she went.
Meanwhile, everyone was asleep or watching a movie. The cabin was dim and the chatter was low. Everyone, except maybe the row in front and obviously behind me as far I knew, were clueless.
One of the pilots came to see for himself and they decided to turn off that particular engine - we could get there on three. 
I remember thinking to myself, oh my gosh, we've got maybe ten hours to go. Suppose something happens when we're half-way there?

A little time went by but I kept looking out the window. I was surprisingly calm. I knew God was with me, I felt his presence and I wasn't afraid.
But then I saw it... 
The engine that was shut off suddenly glowed red! Some part of the engine was on fire! I can't remember who I told exactly but I just remember saying, “it's glowing, it's glowing!” Now I was panicking. Hello, I've seen the movies!

One of my greatest fears is being stranded in deep water and worse stranded at night! You can never tell what’s swimming under you because it’s so deep you can’t see! That freaks me out! And here I am over thousands of feet of water.
But the panic quickly went away and peace returned. I remember saying under my breadth, “Lord, if something happens and I die, I know I'll be with you”.

I seriously thought about meeting Jesus. I thought about how it would feel to see him face to face and what heaven would look like. I thought about how it would feel to die but still I wasn't scared, at all! No word of a lie.
The flight attendant updated us that we would be turning around and heading back to L.A. The pilot informed the rest of the passengers over the intercom that we would be turning around and that we’d have to dump most of the fuel so we'd be able to land properly. I stared out the window as hundreds of gallons of fuel were being spewed into the air.
If I had imagined this situation without ever experiencing it, it would have been much different in my mind. I would have probably said things like, "Dear God, please don't let that ever happen to me, I would be so scared!" or "Ohh heck no, I would so faint or pee my pants!”

I can't remember reading or watching a movie. I think I just sat there and prayed in my mind and talked to God.
Maybe it helped that mostly everyone was asleep and that the majority of the flight had no clue as to what had taken place. I imagine things would have been much different had it been the middle of the day and everyone was awake. And then again, would I even have seen the sparks in the daylight? I have a feeling things would have really turned out different if the flight was during the day.
I made my peace with God. I placed the situation entirely in His hands and trusted Him. Never once was I overwhelmed with fear but rather overcome with peace. This was a situation that could warrant panic and doubt because I had no idea what was going to happen but it was totally opposite. It was supernatural. How do I know? Because I've been in situations since, that were much less intense and dangerous and the feeling of fear was much greater.
You see when you’re in a situation where you have no control or it scares the heebie-jeebies out of you, you would tend to think the worse and imagine the worse but God can totally intervene and give  you a sense of calm and trust and of course peace that whatever happens it will be ok. There is nothing God can’t do. 
So what did I learn from this experience? That God is with me always and when I think that there are things I would  never be able to handle, it’s not true. With God I can get through anything. There is such a thing as supernatural peace! I believe it with all my being! If I were to become stranded in the deep sea, no land in sight and thousands of feet of water under me (I shudder at the thought!) I believe I can get through that too. I believe there is a grace (God’s strength) for each difficult situation in our lives.
We don’t have to live in fear (2 Tim 1:7), we can live with a trust (Prov 3:5-6) that no matter what life may bring God is always with us and will always take care of us. 
We touched down in L.A a few hours later and the airline proceeded to get us shuttled over to the Hilton that wasn't too far away. The next morning we had another go at it and I did not hesitate once to get on another plane (miracle!), it was as though what happened the day before was just a dream.
4 comments on "The time I experienced a deathly fear..."
  1. Wow, that is quite an experience, almost like God allowing you to confront your fear head on to conquer it, or at least stay grounded in the knowledge of "I am with you..." Thank you for sharing. He certainly seems to have used you as His eyes to signal the crew and you may have possibly saved many lives!

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    1. Hello Sita! Yes since that I'm more aware that I'm never alone :) God is good! Thank you for reading!

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  2. Wow, what an experience. It seems to me that the entire thing was probably orchestrated as the first of many moments God would reveal himself to you in difficult times. What a way to start a long journey and a new chapter in your life... an earmark! Lovely read!

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    1. Thanks Aims! It was so crazy since it was my first time traveling alone lol... my family freaked out! LOL Thank you for reading!

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