Fellowship Of Christian Airline Personnel

Anticipated or Unanticipated Events in Our Lives | In the Jetstream

Anticipated …

It was my first month of flying as a flight attendant on a flight from Albuquerque NM to Dallas/Ft.Worth TX around 10 p.m. At takeoff, we heard a very loud bang. Our Captain immediately rang our Purser (the flight attendant in charge) and communicated the situation at hand. Our Captain circled the airport control tower a few times to see if we needed to return for an emergency landing. The control tower did not observe anything unusual so cleared us to continue our flight to Dallas/Ft.Worth. Our flight attendant training included preparation for emergency landings. Because we had time during the remainder of our flight to prepare for an emergency landing, what could have been an unanticipated emergency landing turned into a well-planned anticipated landing.

We followed the checklist in our manual to prepare the passengers for a safe landing. One item on our checklist is the silent review, which helps flight attendants recall exits, emergency equipment location and use, the passengers who could assist, as well as passengers needing special assistance.

I would silently review the list from my jump seat during every takeoff. In addition to the points in the manual, I would include a prayer for God’s protection and for me to be salt and light on the flight to my fellow crew members and passengers.

These Bible scriptures flooded my mind and give me peace and comfort:

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who says to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’ ”
Isaiah 41:13 ESV

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV

Unanticipated …

My mother was an active and a mostly healthy 83-year-old. On December 24, 2021, she went to the ER with less than 60% breathing capacity. On oxygen with a cannula in her nose and an oxygen mask, she went to be with our Lord just days later.

We sang worship songs and prayed holding my mother’s hands as she died. I prayed:

Lord, I marvel that the hands stretched across the breadth of the cross can tenderly embrace me in my hour of need. How I need the touch of Your nail-scarred hands at this moment.

Additional thoughts and prayers to my faithful God:

No matter how bleak our outlook, no matter how depressed our spirit, no matter how impossible our circumstance, we can enjoy the peace-bringing touch of our Savior’s hand. Like John the Apostle, we fall before You in worship, adoration, and praise.

In all my work. In all my family. In the deepest corners of my soul. Touch me with Your presence.

I related my mother’s unanticipated emergency to the life of my father. My father died seven months before mother. The last twenty years of his life he struggled with heart issues, diabetes, neuropathy, and leukemia. Then colon cancer took his life.
We watched my father graciously, without complaint, live through his life doctoring and surviving one challenging health issue after another. Through the years we anticipated his passing. He blessed our family despite his many different diseases. We wondered how one could live with so many complications. My father knew his Lord and Savior and was ready.

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with
today’s strength – carrying two days at once.
It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.
Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow,
It empties today of its strength.
Corrie ten Boom

Matthew 6:34 (NIV) reminds us: “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

In anticipatory grief we grieve differently while our dying loved ones are living. We grieved for our father for twenty years. My father’s passing was anticipated.

Hebrews 2:18 (NLT) also reminds us: “Since He himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.”

Thank you, Jesus, for taking on human flesh and sharing human pain so that we may find sincere hope in You during our anticipated and unanticipated events in our lives.

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