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The plane lumbered down the runway, rattling, gathering speed, then lifting its nose into the air. I watched the earth grow smaller and smaller as we rose higher— the San Francisco Bay becoming a sliver of blue as we headed east. It would be a five-hour flight—time to focus on the problems now present in my life. I wrote them down as bullet points and scribbled ideas under them, pondering the merit of each possible solution. Somewhere over Colorado, we entered into the clouds, the plane buffeted by unseen winds. I pulled the seatbelt tighter across my waist and did my best to distract myself from the bumpy ride.

The captain’s voice came over the intercom, announcing that a flight change to a higher altitude had been requested; we’d be out of the rough air soon. In a few minutes, we broke through the clouds and once again, flew smoothly in the blue sky.

No longer uncomfortable, my mind returned to solving my problems.

“Rise above them,” God whispered.

I looked out the window at the sun shining brightly. “I’m not a plane. I don’t have wings. I’ll need your help,” I prayed.

“My love will lift you up,” God answered.

I looked over my list again. Forgiveness, acceptance, and grace—would solve them all.

“Lift me up,” I whispered. “I’m ready to rise.” I folded the list and tucked it into the storage pocket In the seat. I’d throw it away when the flight attendant came by for trash. I settled deeper into my seat to relax and enjoy the rest of the flight.


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