23 years ago our plane crash-landed onto an airfield in Cancun Mexico. At the end of our week long vacation, we had taken a little puddle jumper from Cozumel to Cancun where we had planned to get on a jetliner headed for home. The aircraft was small but full, with only about 45 passengers total. As we loaded the plane, a cute girl in a short mini skirt loading planecoerced her way onto our sold out flight. Without a seat, the pilots found her a place to sit right in between them on a crate in the cockpit. Blame it on the lack of flight restrictions in Mexico or the pilots trying to impress a cute girl – either way, we all felt a little uneasy about the situation.

View of CockpitDuring our 15 minute flight, we all had a full visual of the situation up front. Cute girl flirting with pilots and young pilots trying to impress all added up to an unlevel horizon and an incorrect angle for the descent causing the landing gear to buckle upon impact. It’s hard to explain the thoughts rushing through your head as you slide down a runway on the belly of a plane unsure if you might be flipping end over end and into a ball of flames any second. I thought about our 3-year-old son at home, the baby that I was almost three months pregnant with, regrets for not having a will and trepidation about whether our impending deaths would be quick and painless.

There wasn’t a fire despite all the smoke, and we eventually came to a stop without flipping end over end. While all passengers were in a panicked daze, no one was injured. The small Cancun airport was shut down for 5 hours as they surveyed the situation and cleaned up the broken aircraft, and 12 hours later we landed back at home. A simple thing like lack of focus led to a disastrous situation.

To this day I still have flashbacks when I get on a plane. When the turbulence gets rough, I often take a knuckle-white grip on the arm rests.

A friend recently shared something he heard on a plane, and it immediately made me handle the planethink of this experience. As his airplane was preparing for taking off, the pilot got on the intercom and warned of possible turbulence during the flight, but then in a reassuring voice said: “We can handle it and so can the plane.”

We are each sent to earth with the equipment and abilities we need to endure the turbulence of life.  A downward spiral can feel a little terrifying and even discouraging, but if we can hold steady and remember we were built to handle the turbulence we might be able to get a glimpse of hope shining in the distance. We all have times when we need to hope for something better. When we need to cling to a promise of good things to come. “Hope on. Journey on.” [1]

Just like the pilots on our commuter flight we can each become distracted by “things” that keep us from accomplishing our purpose. For those who are struggling with turbulence keep your eye focused on what is important, avoid the distractions the world may flaunt in your view.  As we rely on the steadying power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement for each of us, we will find hope as we wait for calmer days.

How do you handle the turbulence in your life?

We Can Handle the Turbluence and So Can the Plane


References:
Holland, Jeffrey R. (2017) Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng

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11 thoughts on “We Can Handle Turbulance and So Can the Plane”

  1. I have traveled my whole life and luckily never experienced anything like you did. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been. I love that despite that one bad flight you still fly.

  2. Wow!! Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine going through that. I get a little worried when we hit bad turbulence, but I also know there’s not a thing I can do about it, and just have to have faith that the pilots will get us through it

    1. It was pretty scary! When you handle the turbulence in your own life you can have faith in God to help pull you through. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. “We can handle it, and so can the plane” – I already know that that phrase is going to be so helpful to me on future flights when I start feeling that anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Thank you for sharing this story!!

  4. Oh my! I’ve grown up being pretty anxious about flying in an airplane and I think that experience would seal the deal for me. But I love your perspective and attitude – trusting in your faith and logic to continue traveling. Next time I hit some turbulence – on or off the ground – I’ll have to remember that God made me good/strong/faithful/humble/brave enough to handle whatever comes my way. Thank you!

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