My story is about disappointment . . . and hope. Of fear . . . and faith.
On May 30, 2007, my children and I watched their dad, my husband, take off in his plane to go to work. As a naval aviator and federal air marshal, he traveled often, and this plane allowed him to be home sooner. As he took off, though, the engine failed, and the plane crashed into the hill in the distance. I fell to my knees crying out, “Please, God! I am not ready!”
The sheriff who came to me to deliver the news that I already knew turned out to be my former next-door neighbor and a minister at a local church. He prayed with me. Friends showed up almost immediately with food and began cleaning my home. Over the next several weeks, I was also blessed to have a friend handle the legal matters and other friends help with my four children. Two school communities poured out their prayers and love, and they donated money to my family until financial matters were settled.
At a point when certain important paperwork had to be postmarked, I was praying in the bank elevator. I wanted the process to go smoothly because I was tired and afraid of what lay ahead. The woman at the bank said she usually did not come to this particular building, but she felt as if she had “a divine mission” to fulfill. When she overheard me on the phone, she knew God had sent her to pray with me.
A message on the Christian radio station I listen to said, “If you think you cannot go one more step, know that God is there to carry you.” I heard this just moments after I had pulled my car over and spoken aloud those exact words—“I can’t go one more step.”
Time after time, in the most difficult moments of my grief, God has blessed me so vividly that all I could do was praise him. He has been my strength from the moment the plane hit the hillside to this very moment that I write these words. It is true . . . God will carry you through.