Airplane Thinking {Personal}

As I get on the 707 
Ridin' high I got tears in my eyes 
You know you got to go through hell 
Before you get to heaven 

steve miller | jet airliner

I'm still trying to figure out what it is that happens when us humans get on planes.
We start getting all deep and thoughtful;
looking out a plane window ignites some of our most inspiring thinking!
We're so cute.

The last few days I've had some serious airplane time:
Sunday was 10+ hours of flying (Baltimore, to Newark, to Seattle, to Vancouver.)
Tuesday was wonderfully only about 6 hours (Vancouver to Chicago to Washington DC)
and then yesterday was Baltimore to Tampa (felt like a walk to the bathroom! so quick!).

You know what that means?
And lots of water from a tiny plastic cup.
And lots of hiding my phone from the flight attendants so I can take pictures during take-off.

I did have a mini airplane revelation about myself, though.
It might be a little cheesy,
or cliche',
but at the moment I was sitting there it seemed ridiculously profound.

Here it goes (don't laugh):
During life I like to see what's going on.
I like my familiar world.
"Hey look! There's my highway. I know this place."
I'm comfortable,
I feel safe,
I feel somewhat in control.
Then the impending grey clouds creep.
This, well, is when I start to react.
"What they hey! Get out of here! I can't see!"
Fear creeps in,
thoughts swirl.
"Maybe it'll just stay like this.
This isn't TOO bad.
I can still kind of see."
I find my comfort and safety in my ability to "see."
And before long,
I'm in the throes of "zero visibility."
I literally wouldn't know if I was going up or down or sideways.
It's confusing in complete grey.
I freak out.
I want to go back.
I want to see my highway again.
This is ugly.
I don't like it here.
It's dark.
And I don't like turbulence. 
It makes my stomach turn in sick knots.
This is the worst.
By the time a "new" scene comes,
I don't even notice the beauty,
because I'm just SO RELIEVED to be out of the grey.
It's easy for me to miss the process that just happened.
The leaving behind the old, the comfortable, the familiar,
being tossed into storms clouds
with the purpose of taking me somewhere new.
PhotobucketDespite my doubting + freak-out-ing,
the new place is always so stunning.
The horizon of two skies meet,
brilliant marbled blue on top,
golden kissed air spun to make miles of puff underneath,
greet each other with colorful strokes of light.
It's beyond breath-taking.
The sun has been shining all this time. 
And this new place has been here all this time,
I just couldn't see.

In a very literal sense,
I had to go through the storm clouds to see this new glorious stage.
I had to go far away from my highway,
my world,
my safety net.

This particular beauty isn't there!
It's somewhere else!
When the time comes to go,
I must embrace the going.

When clouds are thick and awful,
I must choose to believe this is only part of the ride.

New is coming,
this won't last!
I'm going to fly above the clouds and see the sun.
And it's going to be better then what was left behind.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight.
The old has passed away; 
behold, the new has come. 
All this is from God."
 2 cor 5 | verses 7, 17 + 18


  1. Hey Kristen!!!:) In August, I am going to be flying up your way to attend the Worship God conference with my husband. Your post is timely, because over the course of the last week or so, my husband has been walking me through my fear of flying (we're going to fly). Your pictures, although lovely, made me kind of nauseous, but your words are very encouraging!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!! Great, great perspective!!!

  2. Wow. This is an AWESOME post, Kristen!!! I totally feel that way sometimes. =)

  3. I really like this post. And I don't think it sounds cliche! :)

  4. I love your thoughts! And, these are the best from-the-airplane photos I've ever seen.

  5. airplanes. sky. flying. beauty. oh man. fav post. <3 you!

  6. Anonymous24.3.11

    Kristen! I've stalked your blog and facebook for ages now...and finally am brave enough to comment: this blog post has been such a blessing. It is TOTALLY what I needed to read today. What I needed to read these past few months. Thank you for sharing it! And thanks for blogging- you're such an inspiration and I admire how you always point us to the Lord. Love, your sister in Christ.

  7. Isn't it wonderful the way God reminds us of His promises? I had a very similar experience when I flew by myself for the first time. I was 16. Dad and Mom were able to be with me until I boarded. When they called my group number, I was so concentrated on getting in line and doing everything right, I didn't really look into Dad and Mom's eyes when I quickly hugged them goodbye. I got on the plane, a lady helped me put my suitcase in the above compartment (I never can do it myself. lol), I got in my seat, and I was set. But then the reality set in that I didn't have a friend on the plane, not even an acquaintance. I felt alone. I wanted off. Once again, I felt alone. Tears started coming to my eyes...and then...we rose above the clouds and I was able to see the beautiful tops of them! It was the most beautiful scene I had ever seen in the sky. It looked like a carpet of cotton and I knew God was reminding me of His presence in my heart. HE was with me!! I was NOT alone!! And then I wanted to cry tears of joy!! It was a very emotional flight. I told everyone about it once I got to my destination :D. God is so good :).

  8. I've never flown - although I'd really like to. So I can't relate. :(

  9. oh man. seriously. this is EXACTLY what i needed to hear. thank you so very much :)

  10. Such beautiful words :)

  11. Airbus winglets :-)

  12. I like flying in large planes and turbulence is fun if I'm not trying to do something at the time, although many roller coasters make me feel ill. It's "planes" that ultralights that would make me nervous, as I don't like heights and falling.
    I still want to get some "above teh clouds" photos like you did, Kristen; they look very pretty. :)

  13. we are so cute. and you just wrote a blog post about what i have been thinking for about 10 years of riding on planes. wow.


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