Air travel is a big part of our lives. Toffer always has to fly when he’s going out to the field for work. If our family wants to go more than a few hours away we almost have to fly to get there. Car travel in Asia just isn’t the same as it is in the western world. A number of things have happened this year that could make us turn in our frequent flyer cards and walk away from flying and the life we live, but we’ve chosen to still get on the plane.
Not long after Daniel was born flight MH370 disappeared and it’s still not been found. Actually being in Southeast Asia while the whole thing unfolded was rather surreal. About that time Toffer was making plans to come back to the US for a conference and training in April. My flesh ached to say “DON’T GO!” but my heart knew he needed to go. He made his reservations as planned so he could still get on the plane.
A few weeks after that we were all traveling as a family and we had the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. Considering I was on my first flight at 7 weeks old and have flown all over the world, that’s saying something. It was scary and I honestly thought the plane might go down. We made it through the flight, landed, spent a few days at our destination, and went back to the airport. All of us were nervous, but we still got on the plane.
A week after that terrifying plane ride Toffer’s trip to the US was upon us. I had four little boys, 5, 3, 2, and 6 weeks old at home with me and once again my flesh cried out “DON’T GO!” while my mouth said, “Go. I love you! Don’t do anything stupid!” Had I known what would happen while he was gone I would not have encouraged him to go, but I didn’t know Samuel would get so very, very sick. I didn’t know I would get sick. I didn’t know. So Toffer still got on the plane.
I was a bundle of nerves for the next couple trips Toffer took. I didn’t want him to go. I didn’t want to have to make the phone calls again that I made to him that week Samuel was in the hospital. I didn’t want to go through something like that alone again. But I had to choose to put my doubts and fears and reservations aside and Toffer still got on the plane.
Then mid-June came and we were informed we would be leaving our Asian home much sooner than planned. The next few weeks went by in a flurry of packing, planning, and good-byes. It was July and we were on a flight we didn’t want to take. We were getting on a plane to take us away from a place that had become home not knowing if we would ever live there again. We still don’t know for sure. We had a very uncertain future and we still got on the plane.
We spent a week in Bangkok with some of our teammates after leaving our Asian home. Part way through that week MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine. That didn’t exactly bring up peaceful feelings for us, especially given that one of our flights to the US was over several countries that aren’t known for their stability. But we had our tickets and we had to come back to the US, so we still got on the plane.
About six weeks after our return to the US Toffer was going to return to Asia for a trip that was planned prior to finding out we were leaving Asia early. He was finishing a project he had worked on for over a year and needed to be the one to go. The last time he went to the other side of the world things went very poorly at home. I honestly had nightmares about what could happen this time. I had very conflicted feelings about him getting on that plane, going to the other side of the world, leaving us behind. I’ll also be completely honest and say I was also a wee bit jealous he was getting to go to Asia when the rest of us weren’t, but that’s a different issue. Regardless of my feelings and what I wanted, I knew he needed to go. I knew the project he was finishing was important and he had people depending on him. He still got on the plane.
This week once again a tragedy has struck an Asian airline, one we’ve flown, as have millions of other people trying to get to get from Point A to Point B without breaking the bank. We could easily be scared off at this point. We could choose never to get on an airplane again. We could choose a different life, but we’re not going to. Our lives are mere dust to begin with. We are mere mortals walking the earth as God calls us to walk. He has called us to walk our steps in Asia right now. And that brings with it all kinds of perceived risk. What I find more risky than flying airlines with fatal crashes this year or having my husband travel to the ends of the earth is not following God’s plan. Too many other mortals walking this earth have never heard about God’s love for them, the truth of who He is and what He has done for them. It’s too risky to sit by while they walk around oblivious. So we take the risks. We still get on the plane.