The fact that I pocketed bacon and a Belle dress at the airport spoke volumes of how I’ve grown into motherhood, and how often I have traveled with Summer.
Though she has been on 30 something flights, this was Summer’s first flight during which she was keenly aware of her surroundings, the airplane, and the purpose of the trip. She announced to most people, “I going to da beach!” with excitement, and continued to entertain many with her zealous approach to traveling.
With her princess roller board in tow, she charged the gate with excitement. She had developed so much cognitively since the last flight, that this seemed to be a whole different experience.
I rolled Samuel through the terminal, watching my happy girl skip along. She and Ryan share the sweetest bond, and they played all sorts of games while we awaited our flight.
After boarding, we set up all the systems for airborne chaos management within the first few minutes. This time, Summer had her own seat, which was a new (and very expensive) development in our Hudson travel escapades.
We took off, and Summer carefully watched as we lifted off the ground. She immediately began coloring and engaging in whatever activity we sat before her.
The flight attendant came on the intercom and announced that the flight would experience a great deal of turbulence, and asked that we keep our seats for the majority of the flight.
Summer jumped up and onto her daddy’s lap and they began to watch a movie. Soon, the turbulence set in. I was curious to see how she would respond, so I paid close attention to her expressions.
There truly is nothing worse than seeing the look of panic cover the face of your child. As the bumps began, her expression quickly changed from pleasant to one of worry. I wanted to reach out and touch her. I wanted to assure her that we were okay. But, she didn’t look to me.
Instead, she turned and looked at the face of her daddy.
Ryan smiled and exclaimed “weeee,” while we bumped along, as if he was riding a roller coaster. The tension in Summer’s body visibly melted away as she saw her daddy confidently having fun. She cupped his face and took in his countenance as we were jarred around. She began to giggle and join in her father’s playful noises. His confidence and peace was contagious.
When life gets bumpy, it can become so tempting to look out of the window at the potential fall. Instead of relying on evidence or science, we rely on our emotions. Instead of beholding the countenance of our Father, we look to our right and our left, and absorb the feelings of anxiety or panic that surround us. I can’t help but assume, if we truly observe the face of our Father during these moments of struggle, we would “soar on the wings of eagles,” as the Scriptures say. We would approach life’s challenges with a sanctified and unshakable confidence. We would know rest and peace when the world knows fear and chaos.
My prayer is as the bumps of life come along, whether it be political, economical, or relational, that I would not look out the window or to other passengers joining me on this ride called life.
My prayer is that I would instead behold my Father’s face, and take on His countenance as I lean into friendship with Him. Surely He is not shaken by the turbulence we endure. Thank you, all knowing and good Father, for offering us peace, confidence, and joy when life gets turbulent.