A Flight that Changed My Life

October 21, 2019

When Susan realized she had taken God’s goodness for granted, her prayer of thanksgiving turned to a prayer for forgiveness.

By Susan Anderson

I

t was another white-knuckle flight. My short vacation had come to an end, I was on my way home to Portland, and I was terrified because I knew if the plane went down, I was not ready to meet my Maker.

From my birth, my parents brought me to the Apostolic Faith Church, and I heard many testimonies and sermons. However, I did not appreciate what I heard, and when I was in my twenties, everything seemed too tame to me. I wanted more excitement, and I got my wish. For thirty years I was gone from the church and from my hometown of Portland.

For the most part, my life was pretty good. It was interesting and fun, and there was some excitement. The Lord did not convict my heart, and I just went along my way. When I was in trouble or sick, I would call on the Lord, and He always answered my prayers. Then, during the last few years of that time, I became full of misery and heartache, and had some fear. I wanted out of the life situation I was in, but there seemed to be no way.

For about a year, I prayed every day and sometimes many times a day to be out of that situation, and God answered. There was a pleasant and easy transition, and I ended up back in Portland with a nice place to live and a good job.

I thought about living back in Portland and how God had answered that prayer for me. He showed me just how much He loved me in spite of my not even thinking about Him. I realized that He had been watching over me for many years, though I hadn’t paid attention.

Then, after a vacation in Idaho, I was on that flight back home to Portland. Even though I was terrified of flying, it had never caused me to pray about giving my heart to God or even for a safe flight. I always just wanted to be done with the trip and safe on solid ground again. However, this day was different. As the plane gained altitude, I began looking out the window. It was a sunny day, and the sky was so blue and beautiful. The crops down in the fields were different colors. It was amazing how pretty everything was, and I started thanking God for eyes that could enjoy all of that beauty. I thought about living back in Portland and how God had answered that prayer for me. He showed me just how much He loved me in spite of my not even thinking about Him. I realized that He had been watching over me for many years, though I hadn’t paid attention.

That prayer of thanksgiving turned into a silent prayer for forgiveness. I told God I was sorry for everything I had done wrong, and also for everything that I should have done and didn’t do. In just a few seconds a warm peace came all through my body. I knew I had been forgiven. It didn’t matter anymore what happened to the airplane. If it went down, in my mind I could see myself shooting right up to Heaven. The fear of flying was immediately gone. When I opened my eyes, I had the most beautiful view of Mount Hood with the sun shining down on it, and that became my spiritual landmark.

My life has been different since that day. God has given me a purpose and changed my whole outlook.

My life has been different since that day. God has given me a purpose and changed my whole outlook. He has cared for me and given me many opportunities to serve Him, especially through music. I enjoy playing my violin in the music programs of the church including its orchestra. One of the most fun things is to play old hymns with musicians who can play them after just the mention of a song title. It is such a joy and pleasure.

God shows His love to me in many ways. One example was some time back, when my daughter was living across the street from me. She came to my house most mornings for coffee before she went to work. One day she was in the house for about two minutes, and when she went back outside, her car was going down the driveway. She put her hand on it, thinking maybe she had not put on the brake, when all of a sudden it took off. Someone had stolen it.

A few hours after I took her to work, I noticed a man with a bicycle looking at her house. I went across the street and asked if I could help. He said, “I got this driver’s license and was looking to return it.” When I looked, it was my daughter’s. He told me he had found it near a red car on a street that was not far away. I decided to go look, but stopped first and prayed, “God, she needs that car, and could You just lead me to where it is?” When I got to the place, there was no red car, but I drove just a little further, and there it was! We checked with the police, and seven hours after it was taken from the driveway, we had the car back. That was a real answer to prayer.

These mornings I wake up with a song in my heart. I am so happy to be a Christian, and I thank God for all His blessings. Now when I have the opportunity to take an airplane flight, there are no white knuckles—in fact, I love flying! The scenery is so beautiful, and the sound of the engine roaring and then being pushed back in my seat at take off is exciting! Most of all, I have the blessed assurance that if the plane crashes, it will just be a quick trip to Heaven. Joyful flying is just one of the many benefits of being a Christian. And whenever I see Mount Hood, it reminds me of that day—the day I was forgiven!

About the author

Susan Anderson attends the Apostolic Faith Church in Portland, Oregon, where she plays her violin in the orchestra and various ensembles.