White Knuckle Prayer

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Boy, do I have a story for you.

I had one of those “my-life-flashed-before-my-eyes” moments for the second time in my life last week.

The first, was when I witnessed my mom have a stroke. To say that episode was traumatic would be the understatement of the year. Watching my dad carry my lifeless mother — Marissa Cooper style — into the emergency room, that does something to you.

But this most recent experience last week was on a flight back into New York from Ohio.

Now, before I begin, allow me to set the stage quickly.

First: I am in zero way, shape, or form a “skiddish flier.” I’ve been flying since I was an infant, and I love it. I’m not afraid of heights. Heck, I’m one of those weirdos that actually enjoys turbulence.

And secondly — this flight was during that freak pop-up Nor’Easter that pummeled the east coast last Wednesday night with 50 mph winds. Yeah — I was flying in that.

Our flight was delayed for 3 hours, waiting for the weather to clear. And it never did, but they decided that, it was 11pm, they had to get the flight out, so we took off knowing full well that we were flying into a major storm.

The beginning of the flight was fine, but once we got into the New York area, conditions deteriorated, rapidly.

We tried to make the initial descent, only to have to come back up above the storm and circle for 45 minutes, because it was too windy and gusty. Laguardia Airport wasn’t letting anyone land. Meanwhile, our plane was being effortlessly tossed in the wind, slanting this way and that, up and then a huge drop.

Finally, after an hour of circling — and it being after 1am — they decided to go for the landing.

When I say it was terrifying, I mean — terrifying. The plane was dead silent — you could literally feel everyone holding their breath and gripping the armrests. All you could hear was the howling wind and the constant creaking of the plane as it took on the pounding wind.

You could feel the plane itself being blown this way and that, being shifted through the air, and then the pilot trying to correct and get it back level and on course.

It was the longest, most horrifying 20 minutes of my life as we fought mother nature back to the ground.

I mean, there were moments when I thought that this was it for me. I was literally preparing my heart to meet God. And it was at this moment, that my life flashed before my eyes, and I saw all the moments and milestones I had yet to experience.

During those paralyzing 20 minutes, I was praying prayers of desperation. It was literally the only thing I could do to stay sane. Pleading, begging, desperately willing God to just let the plane land safely. Please God. Please God.

Well, spoiler alert, we did land safely, by the grace of God. And when we did, the entire plane collectively let out an audible sigh of relief, and in fact, literally everyone erupted into “Thank-God-we-didn’t-die” applause. Myself included, and I am not a “plane clapper.”

Fast forward to a few days later, it’s Sunday now, and I was sitting at Mass, and I realized something:

My prayer life needs a lot of work.

I realized that my “white-knuckle prayer” on the plane that evening — it was really the first genuine prayer I’ve had in a while. At least, the first one with any real emotion attached.

And that really convicted me.

Why did it take a near-death-experience for me to reach out to God?

Prayer is something that, I guess you could say, doesn’t come easily for me. Because it involves opening my heart. Becoming vulnerable. Inviting honesty. Taking a hard look in the mirror of self-evaluation and a sobering reality check. And that’s — uncomfortable. For a lot of reasons.

I think sometimes we’d rather live in ignorant bliss than come to a hard stop and look truth in the face.

But also, to pray is to invite a relationship. It involves opening up my heart to receive His love. And that is particularly hard.

Sitting in church that night, here’s what I got — and take this from a girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing, and is just trying to figure things out one day at a time:

God just wants to be close to me. He’s my Father – truly. And so He just wants to be part of my life. He wants a relationship.

I don’t want to be the type of daughter that just contacts Him when I need something, or for Him to…I don’t know…save my life and make a plane land safely. He’s not a cosmic vending machine.

No. I need to start making the effort to invite Him into my daily life. Saying good morning. Thanking Him for the tremendous blessings — big and small — that I have grown accustomed to taking for granted. I need to acknowledge my shortcomings, and apologize for the times when I chose the wrong course of action.

I need to share with Him my joys and my fears. My triumphs and areas of work.

And then make an even more concerted effort to listen.

I think there’s so much expectation and complication tied up around how prayer is supposed to look and — perhaps more — how it’s supposed to feel. And as a result, there’s an approach avoidance to it.

It doesn’t need to be that way.

When we show up, even in just the teeniest-tiniest way…God does too.

This week, I’m going to really try to focus on just talking to God like a friend. Because, that’s exactly what He is.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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187 thoughts on “White Knuckle Prayer

  1. Uh. Wow. I have terrible anxiety. So, I would have been totally freaked out if that happened. It’s probably why I don’t fly much. We only pray to God when we’re at our most vulnerable. Believe me. I know. Cancun. And another scary life moment. I’m glad you landed and are okay. Lived to tell a good story.

  2. I was on a flight from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to Surabaya Indonesia (An Air Asia flight from Surabaya to Singapore had crashed a year earlier) and we hit turbulence so fierce that all the Muslim women on the flight started Chanting “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be the word, God). There was an Indonesian Muslim woman next to me, (We bonded earlier as I helped her fill out her customs and Immigration papers on the plane as she might have been illiterate), and she moved to grab my hand during the turbulence, where it is forbidden to touch a man who is not your Husband in Islam. I smiled and I held her hand to comfort her.

    I smiled at her and told her it would be no problem in her language. My logical brain wasn’t scared, I have had patients who are experienced Pilots and they explained what would have to happen to have a plane crash, but I was concerned for her and the rest of the women. The men were standing in the aisles ignoring the flight attendants calls for them to sit :-).

    Your story reminded me of my experience and how we often look for God in the moments of fear and not in the everyday life, and I say that as a bad Catholic 🙂 .

    This longing crosses all faiths, I suppose.

    1. Oh my gosh that sounds terrifying!!! Wow sounds like you were a blessing to your seat mate. So glad you got down safely!!! Hugs and love xox

  3. I AM one of those skiddish flyers. I flew to Jacksonville, FL with my family over new years last year, we were on one of those little puddle-jumpers, and boy. I like to say that pilot was a great evangelist–he had everyone on the flight praying.

    Investing in prayer life is an excellent takeaway from the experience. I ran into a good quote from another blogger I admire, he said, “No prayer is wasted.” No prayer is wasted. I like that a lot. Don’t get me wrong–it doesn’t mean I should be cavalier with my prayer life. But even the little prayers we mutter under our breath count for something. I am tackling my prayer life on two fronts: First, trying to work in those little aspirations into my daily life. When I get frustrated by traffic, I’m trying to say “God Bless you” instead of some other sequence of four letter words. When I am tempted to make a joke at a random strangers expense, I try to find something good in them to praise and bless. Offering graces to people who irritate me is another little way of praying.

    The second approach is that St. Luke’s feast day was on the 18th, and when i converted I selected him as my patron. a little more than 40 days from the 18th is December 1st, advent, so I like to do a Lukes-lent. I’m trying to pray my Rosary every day. So far so good.

    Finally, I wanted to share this little nugget that I discovered recently.
    St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. His story is amazing and you should look him up, but his name is from greek “Christophoros” or “Christ Carrier”. There is a prayer to St. Christopher you can say whenever you travel to ask for his intercession while you’re in transit.

    Dear Saint Christopher,
    protect me today
    in all my travels
    along the road’s way.
    Give your warning sign
    if danger is near
    so that I may stop
    while the path is clear.
    Be at my window
    and direct me through
    when the vision blurs
    From out of the blue.
    Carry me safely
    to my destined place,
    like you carried Christ
    in your close embrace.

    Amen.

    Thank you for this excellent post.
    AMDG
    -Scoot

    1. Oh my gosh I don’t like the puddle jumpers that’s for sure. Oh gosh sounds like a scary experience! I love that quote – never ever wasted!! Thanks so much for sharing that beautiful prayer!! Big hugs to you xox

  4. I would have been puking and possibly crying. The slightest turbulence makes me feel pukey. Thankful your pilots were skilled, both God and the one in the plane. But it’s always a good thing when something makes us get closer to Him.

    1. Haha yeah some people were!! Yeah, both pilots were working overtime that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks Paula!! Yeah it was pretty scary. Yes! Bigger picture for sure! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  5. The joys of flying. While enroute from Reykjavik to Baltimore, the plane made a massive lift throwing everything everywhere. We then had to land in a driving storm in Baltimore. That is why I enjoy trains and cars. Thank you for sharing, and I hope your mom gets well.

      1. ✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨✨💛✨🥰✨💛✨

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes! Just a little good morning gets the day off on the right foot! Hugs and love xox

  6. As you were sharing this new growth (out of the terrifying experience) I kept thinking of a NYC based ministry called Communion with God ministries with Mark Virkler. First, I want you to know I am so thankful you are alive, you made it down. And second, everyone knows how to pray from the foxhole. But yes, the Lord wants and seeks intimacy with us. So, I’m glad this experience called to you and connected you to that calling anew. Through midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, 10/23, all ten sessions of Mark’s course on hearing God’s voice are available simultaneously in exchange for your email address: https://go.cluschoolofthespirit.com/4-keys-event-registration

    Perhaps others would be interested as well.

    Thanks for writing. Thanks for sharing your real life.
    Brian

    1. Oh wow that’s awesome – thanks for passing his info along. Sounds great! Thanks for your kind words 🙂 will def check that out. Hugs and love xox

  7. As a fellow Christian I also think sometimes it takes a thing like your white knuckle ride to remind us to keep praying to God, I like you am not one for prayer. I hope your father is recovering from his stroke 😉

    1. Hi Kenneth! I think you’re right about that – those moments remind us! BTW – I just read your emails a few minutes ago!! The post sounds awesome and I can’t wait to read the fully post tomorrow on your blog!! THANK YOU for such a nice write up!! (Sorry my inbox is a mess and I’m only just now getting through it!) Have a great night. Hugs and love xox

  8. Prayer is hard sometimes. We do not learn to pray. I have Christians ask about teaching to pray, people who have been attending church nearly all of their lives. For me, I have to remember not to think of prayers as a chore, or it will be like dusting, something I get to eventually. I have a bad habit of trying to pray while still in bed but I keep drifting off and i know that is bad. So you are not alone. I concentrate on His promises and thank Him for being faithful.

    1. You’re right about that – haha like dusting, that made me chuckle. But you’re so right about that. Concentrate on his promises! Hugs and love xox

  9. Wow Caralyn, I was tense just reading your words! I’m so glad you and everyone landed safely. I was watching that storm on The Weather Channel actually, looked like one powerful storm. Flying doesn’t scare me either, He is in charge. Turbulence? It can be scary! But these aircraft are built to handle these stresses… 😎❤️

    1. Thanks so much John! Oh my gosh it was so tense. Holy cow. That’s my thought process too about the turbulence – He ‘s in charge!!! Hugs and love xox

  10. This is so relevant to the verse I read this morning: “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4). It’s scary to think about how fragile we are, but we belong to a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father! So glad you got to NY safe 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that! I absolutely love that verse. But you’re right – a wonderful loving Dad!! Hugs and love xox

  11. Well said C- I’m so glad you are OK and even more glad that you have been so convicted. This is a great sharing of your heart that makes people like me evaluate things. We can all use a turn of the microscope on our prayer and missionary life from time to time. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much!! Yeah it was a terrifying experience. I was grateful to have my feet on the ground. Glad this made you think!! Hugs and love xox

  12. Be thankful the airlines have trained pilots and well built planes. The only thing that bugs me is the excessive security measures due to the 9/11 tragedy. Really sad that made flying scary to many people.

    But as for the flying itself, most of it is normal and non threatening. Read on the news that one plane dropped 30,000 ft in a few seconds. Turns out there was a loss of oxygen/cabin pressure, according to a sensor so the pilot had to drop the plane far enough in a few seconds to restore that loss so the occupants wouldn’t be in any danger.

    Sure dropping 30,000 ft in a few seconds may feel like the plane has lost control and had people freak out but the pilots had complete control. Of course a notification would be nice to know so they know there is a problem that the pilot is correcting so it doesnt seem abrupt.

    Anyway high crazy winds that is preventing a plane from landing, well from what I’ve read they generally have to wait for a momentary calm to try to get the plane to land. The pilots know whether its safe to land the plane and knowing when to wait. Eventually they’ll get the plane to land, its just a matter of when the wind will let up.

    1. You’re so right about that. Grateful for that pilots skill that night. Especially that he was so alert so late at night. Oh my gosh that’s terrifying!! Thanks for stopping by. Have a great night! 🥰 Hugs and love xox

      1. Yeah, people say that flying is the safest way to travel.. I’m more worried of being enclosed with a bunch of panicking people than the turbulence, especially after hearing about that 30,000 ft drop. Last time I took a train from Chicago to Yuma, Arizona.

      2. Lol its 3 days. I didn’t try the food mostly because I had snacks and well for some reason when I travel I eat pretty light. Next time I’m going to drive, though I need a new car first. The worst is wearing the same clothes and I didnt pack properly so I could just carry a change of clothes in my backpack. Anyway riding the train was fun either way.

      3. Still – three days on a train is a long time! an adventure for sure!

  13. Nothing like a moment or two (or three or four, etc) to remind us of our mortality…and how thin the line can be between this life and the next. What helps me is Centering Prayer, a Christian form of meditation, for sure in the morning and again in the evening. Peace ~

    1. You’re so right about that Bill. It puts everything into perspective. Ooh centering prayer – love that. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  14. While everyone here has expressed how intense your experience was, I’d like not to repeat them. I just want to say; I like you insight Caralyn!
    Everyone struggles with prayer; some more than others, but everyone does. I am glad for the work God has done, is doing and will be doing in you.

    1. Hi Eri! Thanks so much!! Yeah, it is very personal and everyone is on their own journey. Thanks for such kind words. Hugs and love xox

  15. It’s easy to pray during peril. It’s sooooooo hard to pray during the joys and good times!

    I love “The Shack”‘s portrayal of God as “Mama” because that is how we treat things. When we are having fun we push our mama’s to the side and enjoy life, even when she’s telling us we’re being stupid, but let us mess up, let us hurt, let us become scared and what do we cry out in the night? “MAMA!!!!”

    God is our Father, but He loves us like a mother. And thank goodness he does!

    1. You’re right about that. Oh that was such a great movie! Yes!! Thank goodness He does! Hugs and love xox

  16. I’m surprised about how you feel about prayer. The way you write, I’d have thought otherwise! Prayer is an ongoing conversation with God. I do it throughout the day, even the bathroom is as a good a place as any for it. I don’t have to get on my knees, or pick a time or quiet place for it. I often pray in the middle of a conversation with another person, for that person. The words are all mine, just a good old conversation with the one who made me.

    Some people text or talk to others to share what’s happening inside or outside themselves all day long. I save it to share with God. Definitely takes significantly more introversion.

    1. Thank you for your kind words – haha in the bathroom! Love it. Yeah – I go through spells and right now my prayer life could use work. I love that you save that chatter for Him. That’s so powerful! Hugs and love xox

      1. I save most of it for him because when I would share with others, I would almost invariably feel unsupported, even when it was good news. I always find that keeping important things between me and him is what builds me up. Then I focus on actions instead of purposelessly talking with people.

  17. It’s quite normal to have times “in the desert.” Those are the times we are reminded how important it is to come back to Jesus. Many blessings to you, Caralyn!

    1. Thanks so much for this encouragement Amy. You’re absolutely right – come back to Jesus. So so important. Big hugs and blessings to you!!! Xox

  18. We sometimes hear the phrase, “He/She doesn’t have a prayer!” Well, that’s not true. Jesus gave us a prayer–the Lord’s Prayer, when He taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:9-13). I sometimes use it as an outline of prayer. I sometimes pray it from memory, I sometimes pray extemporaneous prayers, and sometimes I too pray “white knucke prayers”. Blessings to you.

    1. You’re so right Harry! He taught us how to pray!! I actually said the Lord’s Prayer on the plane that night. Over and over. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  19. Yes, this has been His big message to me lately and it is huge. God wants a relationship with us. That is the most important thing. He wants us to cherish Him like we wish the one we love cherishes us. It is so cool. And yes, for us that involves constant conversation with Him- in words or stillness- and Bible reading. Sharing our day with Him, our beloved. What a beautiful thought!! Love you as always. XO 😄 ❤

    1. Thank you so much Tonya! You’re so right! He wants a relationship! I love what you said – in words or stillness — what a powerful powerful statement. So glad you stopped by! Have a great night! Hugs and love xox

  20. I so laughed with the comment ‘He’s not a vending machine’ 😀
    We tend to think we have everything under control…until we don’t. I too will hold my hand up for that one. But like you I realised that when I discovered that self love, I needed to live it. And in doing so understand life from a whole new level.
    One cannot give love truly, unless one is at that level. How can we give something we do not understand because we have never experienced it.
    Love ourselves by facing and experiencing those inner fears, and in there also is that gift of unconditional love. It is in experiencing our worst that we see and understand our best 💜
    Great post dear lady, may your ‘flights’ ever take you closer to that inner love 💜

    1. Hi Mark! Oh thanks so much! I’m so glad this resonated with you. You really hit on some powerful points there. It is a gift of unconditional love. Big hugs to you xox

  21. That was a beautifully written honest post. We’ve all had moments where we caught ourselves up short. God is so wonderfully patient with us. So glad you landed safely and can tell others about your experience!

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much Amy 🙂 you’re so right – He is so patient. What a comforting thought. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  22. I doubt there is a better way to begin your day than with a skyward thank you 🙏🏽

    What a terrible experience, thanks be to God and love to you and your family.

    1. A skyward thank you! Yes!! Thanks friend – yes very grateful everything was okay! Hugs and love xox

  23. On December 21, 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie Scotland by a bomb. My wife and I flew out of London the next day on Pan Am flight 103. When we landed in Detroit, all the passengers applauded. I immediately thought of this when you mentioned the applause after your flight. I have often thought about what would’ve happened if we had booked our flight a day earlier. Every day is a gift from God. You are so right that we should praise God daily in fervent prayer, seeking deeper relationship with him. As you mention, God is not a cosmic vending machine. We should desire to be closer to him each day. Thanks for this post and reminding me to praise God for each day.

    1. Oh my gosh that is so so terrifying. I’m so glad you guys were okay and scheduled it for the 22nd!! You’re right – seeking deeper relationship. Glad you stopped by and thanks for sharing your story. Hugs and love xox

  24. I think there are subtle reminders about the miracle of life all over (perhaps a little pack of birds just flies up under a bush right beside you, their own family in a way, and it catches your eye)… and then there is the not so subtle, like your flight literally shaking you up. we are always failing, we get sucked up into life no matter how we try not too, and that’s fine, the reminders of the divine are everywhere… subtle and otherwise.

    1. I think you’re so right about that, David! Those reminders are all around us – big and small!!! hugs xox

  25. I’ve spent half of my working time in Asia on a flight or land transport to various appointments. The scariest was a flight from Davao South Philippines across the Pacific in a small plane with a strong head wind, the only means of communication in a blind communication spot was through a flight of a Malaysian Airlines commercial jet high above us. Then just in sight of the closest airport on Borneo at dusk they turned off the runway lights and ordered us to fly over. We hit a thunder storm over Mt Kinabalu and were thrown around the sky. Did we pray? You bet we did between anxious looks at the almost empty fuel gauge! Flying into the mountains in Irian Jaya with narrow passes sometimes covered in clouds gets your attention too. 🙂 Flying into Washington during a heavy snow storm and going around in circles for ages waiting for clearance gets the juices flowing so I know what you mean! My wife would certainly do the white knuckle stuff but I figure the Lord knows when my time is up and am happy with his decision when it comes.

    1. Hi Ian, thank you so much for sharing that — oh my gosh that sounds like it was absolutely terrifying. Yikes — you’ve had quite a few white knuckle episodes! That’s a great perspective to remember that He is in control! hugs xo

    1. OOOOH GOSH — going to change that right now!!!! PRIME PANTRY!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahah

  26. My dear Caralyn,

    I believe in such dangerous moments we put off the close of being an actor that we, unfortunately, too often pretend to be in our lives, with changing mask on, depending on the situations – but in such moments: we cannot but be genuine to ourselves and when our prayer is coming from our heart in those situations – God surely will hear it – we all have to learn to be more genuine, more real to ourselves and others and especially in front of God who sits in us and knows even every thought of us – do we perform a theatre or are we real…

    I remember that once I took the boat from Danmark to Island and we came into a very strong storm, waves reached about a height of 10 meters, we all were in our cabins and even there you had to hold yourself tight to a small handle that you do not roll over the bed. The boat was shaking like anything in all directions and I also thought that’s it – I was constantly absorbed in a kind of prayer for over 7 hours and felt much relieved when the storm faded away. The first thing you do after it is to thank God.

    Maybe such incidences remind us where we really stand… through this, we can also become more humble since it shows us that nothing is in our hand, but in His hands and that it is important to live in the moment in deep gratitude, since in every second there may be the end…

    Thank you, my friend 🙂
    All the best, love and light to you
    Didi

    1. Thank you so much Didi — you’re so right — God definitely hears it. Oh my gosh that sounds like a terrifying episode. Holy cow. I’m glad you guys were okay! That must have been so scary. You’re right – where we really stand. so glad you stopped by. hugs xox

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much Andrew! OOh – i will definitely check out his PDF — thanks for passing it along! have a great day! hugs xo

  27. Thank God you arrived safely dear. Ill also add that prayer is also asking God what meal should i cook today? What dress should i wear today? Lord, I’m really having a hard time choosing where to visit today… Because all this reveals our intimacy with him. He wants us to tell him everything and anything happening in our lives even though he already knows. Because that is the kind of relationship he wants from us. To not just work for him but to walk with him. Love you.

    1. Thank you sweet friend – that’s great insight too!! because you’re right- it reveals our intimacy with Him. hugs xox

  28. Good morning on this beautiful day – I thought your title ‘White Knuckle Prayer’ was perfect. Spot on description of how a lot of life is.😱🙏💝
    BTW I so wish I could return to posts easily. You liked my comment ‘feet of clay’ in response to a post of yours a few days back; I just wanted to say it comes from Daniel 2: 31-2. I could hardly take the credit!!
    Have a terrific Tuesday X

  29. O my,

    I held my breath as I followed the tale. My heart raced.

    I can imagine the horror.

    Thank God no one passed on out of shock. The news would feature on the headline.

    Now, my breathing is stable. And I laughed loud at, “Thank-God-we-didn’t-die applause.

    Thank God you didn’t die.

    I’ve never flown. Flight cost is quite expensive here. Or should I admit I’m afraid of “up there?”😁

    Prayer struggles come to all. Shared that on my blog severally.

    But we can come out of the rut with the help of the Holy Ghost.

    These days, I pray with a friend via WhatsApp calls. It helps a great deal having someone hold you accountable as you seek the face of the Father.

    Cheers to life.

    God bless you.

    1. oh gosh, thank you so much for your kind words – yeah it was quite the terrifying experience! You’re right – God has given us a Helper to guide us in our prayer. That’s such a great idea! hugs x

  30. Like you, I’ve been flying since I was six months old. As a child and teenager, I loved flying – It represented seeing my grandparents in Florida, going abroad to Russia, going to Europe with my high school classmates, studying the museums of Paris with my art class in college.

    As I’ve gotten older, I don’t fly as frequently. I don’t travel much for work. I’ve been on a total of two plane trips since my honeymoon in 2015.

    I could tell I was definitely anxious when I flew to Florida in August. I was nervous about so many things. I had resigned from my job of nearly seven years. I was getting ready to start my new job after Labor Day. I was visiting my grandpa for the first time in nearly four years, and he was recovering from his second cataract surgery.

    The trip down was smoother than the trip back. In the grand scheme of things, both sets of flights were good and relatively uneventful. However, the day left to go back home to Virginia, I felt horrible. It was the beginning of my typical sinus issues. Hurricane Dorian had its eye on Florida. Coupled with my persistent anxiety, I prayed the entire time. On the flight from Tampa to Baltimore, there was enough turbulence that made me use the airsick bag for the very first time. I was thoroughly embarrassed for 30 seconds, but then I felt much better. The sweet older couple next to me asked me if I needed anything. My stomach felt calm. I started to relax for the first time in about five days. It was like God looking down and saying to me, “I’ve got this. You’re okay. I’ve got this.”

    My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. I’ve been saying it on repeat since August 13, 2019, the day I resigned from my long-term job. And it’s really helped.

    1. Hi Laura Beth! oh my goodness, flying in a hurricane — that is so terrifying!! I’m so glad everything was okay! Isn’t that the truth? When we remember that He has everything under control, we can relax. Oh, I love Jeremiah 29:11 — thanks for reminding me that – i needed to hear that this morning. so glad you stopped by 🙂 big big hugs to you friend xxoxoxox

    1. thank you so much Brad! I’m so glad this hit home with you 🙂 yes! never ceasing! hugs xo

  31. The one thing that Christians aren’t supposed to fear is death. Why? Because Christ defeated death when he rose up from the grave.
    However that never stops human nature from raising its head every now and then. We’re conditioned for fear; myself included. I have things that I’m afraid of.
    Its always amazing that in those moments of fear and desperation when you know there is literally nothing that you can do, that you immediately call on God.
    I’m sure that if you look back to the incident Caralyn, I’m sure that you weren’t the only one praying. Even the atheists can’t help but pray in that instant. You know how I know?…
    Remember a testimony given a preacher in New Orleans. He’s been in two crashes and says at that moment, you never hear anyone call out Buddha, or Mohammed or anything like that… It’s either Jesus or God… Haha..
    I guess even the strongest unbeliever can’t help call on God on the moments of desperation.

    You are correct though. It is interesting that we often see ourselves the most sincerely trying to communicate with our creator, when we feel or fear the worst. It’s sad really.
    God doesn’t need prayers from a book. I think the best portrayal of God in a movie was in the movie Bruce Almighty, where God (Morgan Freeman) teaches Jim Carey’s character how to pray. Its speaking from the heart and knowing that He is listening; no matter when or where.

    With Christmas around the corner, I think we can all agree that God is the real Santa..
    “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows if you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.. ” Haha.. 😉

    Have a great day Caralyn. Awesome post.. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. That is such a powerful reminder. Thank you friend. Speaking from the heart and knowing that He is listening — i love that 🙂 so glad you stopped by! hugs xo

    1. Oh my gosh – so terrifying, Ted! and i love that – a convo with God! talking and listening – amen! hugs xo

  32. Miss Caralyn,
    You are a well loved daughter of God who has done great things for you, with you, in you. I’m going to encourage you to go to Reconciliation/Confession as part of this renewing your relationship with Jesus. Let the peace of Jesus guard your heart and mind through the grace of this beautiful Sacrament, that will help you in the vulnerability with God. <3

    1. Thank you so much Teri – that is such a beautiful suggestion – Confession is such a gift that we were given!!! i appreciate that, Teri. i really should. hugs oxoxo

      1. You’re quite welcome. I went for the first time in a while a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of the beauty of this Sacrament, the vulnerability before our Lord who loves us so very much and wants for us to be healed. You do know this is a very unique way Miss Caralyn. <3

      2. 🙂 You’re right – vulnerability is always the birthplace of lots of good things — love, relationships, forgiveness, etc. hugs xox

  33. Now you know what it’s like to die. Same as living, a sigh of relief. I don’t think you lack a prayer life, but your faith is certainly questionable.

      1. When we break on through to the other side—BAM! What a rush! I’m sure the game gets us every time. Possibly the only game in the universe to entertain infinite beings—a moment in time of not knowing.

    1. oh wow, what a powerful quote, Ed. Thank you for that incredible reminder. So so true. hugsxox

  34. Thanks be to God for safe landings! I know your story will encourage others as it has me. God has been showing me a lot about my prayer life, too. He has used the dire circumstances of several people I love to bring me to my knees. You’re right, he just wants to spend time with us. Isn’t that amazing? The God of the universe loves me, wants time with me, and is my father. Wow!

    1. Thank you Bonnie! Yes! Thanks be to God!!!! so glad this resonated with you. amen — He just wants to spend time with us! what a powerful truth! hugs xox

  35. One of my brothers in Christ said just last night, “I’m great at praying for others but I rarely pray for myself.” I think all Christians need to pray for strength, faith, contentment, etc. in ourselves (as well as for others). God doesn’t mind His children praying for personal blessings because, being the Good Father He is, He loves us.

    1. That’s really true, Rollie. And amen – He loves us, and wants us to live abundantly 🙂 hugs xo

    1. Thanks so much David! i’ll have to check that out! thanks for passing it along! hugs ox

  36. This was fun to read as I am about to board a plane! I find myself in a similar spot regarding prayer time. Thanks for reminding me that no matter how “together” we think we are, or others are, that we still need to be still and know. To foster that connection. And wow, do things improve when I remember that! Thanks for your vulnerability!

    1. Thank you so much!! haha oh gosh! sorry about that! amen – be still and know – that’s one of the best little one liners from the Bible!! big hugs to you xox

  37. Well said. One picture of Jesus is where he is standing at the door, knocking. Of course, one realizes that the door opens inwards. It is only as we choose to open the door that real communication can begin. God bless you on your journey!

    1. Thank you so much Mary Lou! amen to that – when we open the door, we can begin that beautiful communication!! 🙂 thank you for that powerful visual! big hugs xo

  38. Excellent post! I’m glad all is well, in more ways than one 😉 Just remember that He already knows, before you bring it to Him. He delights in you & the conversation.

    1. Thank you so much, A! I’m so glad this resonated with you! that is such a powerful truth — He already knows!! big hugs to you xox

  39. I think prayer is something most struggle with. Our church has now started a time of prayer on Monday nights from 6 to 7. We have a “prayer wall” where we are encouraging people to list any prayer requests they might have – and trying to encourage prayer – not only for ourselves but for our church, our community, our nation.

    1. Oh wow that’s so cool that your church is doing that!! I love that idea!! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  40. Thank goodness you’re okay!! Abd I hope your mum is making a speedy recovery. Wishing you a great week from here 🙂

    1. Thanks Maz! Yeah it was a nerve wracking experience for sure. Thanks so much 🙂 same! Hope you’re having a great week! Hugs and love xox

  41. You described your experience so well, I felt as if I’d experienced your plane saga right alongside you. God is good and I’m glad to hear you are safe.
    If you or any of your readers are looking for a book to help you build a meaningful and consistent prayer life, may I recommend Petitions From My Heart by Carol E Hind? It’s available at Amazon.

    1. Aw, thank you! yes! I’m so grateful for God’s protection that night. thanks for the recco~ hugs ox

    1. I really have no idea!! But it makes sense, you know? LIke — it’s a literal miracle – i get the sentiment to clap haha

  42. Oh my! I don’t think I’d have survived what was the eventual safe landing. I hate flying and the turbulence which often goes with it. I make myself fly because if I don’t fly then I don’t see the world. I wonder if in some ways this was a test for you as there are always choices during these types of occurrences and you chose to speak to God and obviously felt comforted by it. Many others may have made radically different decisions I.e panic, aggression, etc.I’m very glad you’re still with us 🙂 and I hope your Mom is doing ok – it’s very late here so I’ve not read every comment so I’m sorry if I’m repeating a question you’ve already answered x

    1. Hi Nat! Thank you for your kind words! Yeah, it was pretty terrifying for sure. And thanks for that – my mom, praise God, made a full recovery! We are so grateful! hugs xox

    1. Oh there were definitely lots of people in panics! Myself included! thnaks for stopping by! hugs ox

    1. Thank you, Jeff – yes me too!! and amen – always a good time to work on prayer! hugs xo

  43. I was stunned at the verse you chose for the end of this post! Wow. I’m not sure where God is going (at all!) but it has to be somewhere VERY good. Thank you so much for this confirming “word”, I loved this post! Molly

    1. thank you so much Molly, that’s kind of you to say. Yes! i love that verse so much — it literally changed my life and was the source of my recovery from anorexia. I try to recall it every morning! hugs xo

  44. What a relief making it out okay! God is good all the time!
    My pastors wife went through something similar and shared these powerful words with us. It was along the lines of [I know your plan is bigger than mine. I know this is not where it ends because you have placed a calling on my life to make a change that isn’t stopping on this flight]

    Thanks for sharing!! You have a powerful testimony

    1. thank you so much Michael! Yes, He really is! And wow – what a powerful and comforting thought process. thanks for sharing that — 🙂 hugs xox

    1. Thanks Sophie! Yeah me too – very grateful to have gotten through it. Hugs and love xox

  45. First, I’m glad you got down safely! I’ve had a couple of those. One was bad enough that the grandma next to me shouted the F-bomb and then slapped her hand over her mouth.

    “Don’t worry ma’am. You just said what everyone else was thinking.”

    “Cosmic vending machine.” Perfect!

    Here’s a secret – just between you and me…on your public blog. I’d kept a prayer list since grad school but stopped using it about a year ago. People I’d been praying for I hadn’t seen in a very long time, but I thought it silly to not pray for them anyway. My prayer life now is more like situational. See an ambulance? Pray for their well-being. Suddenly remember all the great things He’s done? Prayer of thanksgiving. Point is, I’m extremely irregular. Maybe this storm was your “return to Jesus” moment.

    “I haven’t heard from Caralyn for a while. I think I’ll slap her plane around a little.”

    I had a close call this week; my “plane” got slapped around a bit too. But here’s the thing; when God “rang” your plane, you answered. I’m sure He was glad you “picked up!” I like your goal to just start talking to Him like a friend. See a beautiful mountain? “Nice work, God!” Feeling lonely in your apartment? Look at the chair; He’s sitting there waiting for you to say something. Talk to Him there, if that helps. Kinda like playing to the camera, right?

    Well, I’ve got to get back to work. I hope you found something useful here. As ever…

    1. Thanks Jeff! Thanks for sharing that – yeah i think Jesus takes irregularity and all. I think us just happy to have us including Him i our lives, no matter the regular ness of it. Hahha slap the plane around – you know you might be into something there. And for that I apologize to my fellow passengers! Hahah oh gosh I’m sorry to hear that you had a close call this week – I hope everything is okay. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers 💛 glad you stopped by Jeff. You always give me great nuggets of wisdom!! Hugs to you and your girls! Xox

      1. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼🙌🏼

  46. God brought your plane with its dedicated crew and grace-filled passengers to safety. Thanks be to God! May you continue to reach out to God with a prayer-filled relationship. He truly desires to have you walking with Him in prayer.

    1. He really did and for that I am so grateful! Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

    1. oh gosh, Tim, thank you so much for taking the time to read it! yes, me too! so grateful to be safe! hugs xo

  47. Thank you for your like on my post “Who’s your Daddy.” I really enjoyed checking out your blog and will follow. I wrote my book because I struggled trying to understand how to build my personal relationship with God. I searched every different church I could think of to learn all I could about God and found out that every church has value in the Kingdom of God. But God is closer to us than our church, He lives within us and He can speak to us at any moment of our life. He has great plans for you and your life. You are already making a positive and Godly impact in people through your blog. My book was written to inform and encourage. God is not through with our nation and needs people like you in His spiritual army. I am proud to call you my sister in Christ and will keep you in my prayers as you travel and share your life.

  48. I am thankful to God for caring for you during your flight. Thank you for writing this honest blog. We have to stay close to the feet of Jesus at all times. You are such a remarkable woman and continue to glorify God.

    1. Thank you Ada, yeah me too! it was a nail biter! thanks for your support and encouragement! means a lot! hugs xo

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