Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I hand my B37 boarding pass to the agent at the gate and hesitantly walk onto the already full airplane. Nearly every seat is taken. In the back are a few empty, dreaded middle seats and I quickly make a choice. Standing up, it seems like a n okay one, but as I settle in I am met with regret.

Almost instantly I am squished and touched uncomfortably with four hours looming ahead of me. Ms. aisle seat has no other choice but to move partially into my seat. Mr. window seat tries to respect what little space I have left allowing me to shift my legs when needed.

Two-hundred-forty minutes ahead and an intense grumbling erupts in my heart. My face is brow furrowed and visibly scrunched... I close my eyes and try to push past my present frustration. A simple, single prayer escapes my cluttered thoughts…  “God show me the blessings in this place. “

Nothing came.

I try to force it… thank you God for air travel… thank you for the 40 inches of window and the clouds passing by… thank you for the free diet soda...

But no peace comes to me. I am trapped, anxiety ridden and clinging to only an ounce of sanity and self-control. 

And then a glimpse of His purpose pushes its way to the forefront of my heart… my purpose in this. 

My mind abruptly centers on Ms. aisle seat sleeping soundly next to me and though she is slightly on me I am over-whelmed with a sense of her discomfort. How she must feel. Her frustration. And her anxiety. 

So, I pray for her

And I soon forget all about me. 

Burdened for her my face loosens as my heart softens and I breathe out peace.

My comfort level remains cramped, but my heart suddenly feels free. I am reminded of Paul, persecuted and in chains, yet content in all things… spreading the gospel… serving and loving others for His sake.

And me… what do I have to complain about? 


"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. " 
1 Timothy 2:1



  1. Heidi,
    Clicked over from Eileen's and so glad I did! You have a great place here.

    Have you heard about the book, Praying for Strangers? It is sort of like this post. A woman embarks on a journey to pray for one stranger a day for an entire year, and it changes her in big ways.

    Anyway, off to click around.

  2. Don't you just love the fact that God can place us in a place where we feel totally uncomfortable? He does it with good reasons, we don't know what the reason is but look how the verse about Paul came to your mind. God has a reason for doing things at all times. So often when we feel uncomfortable we think it's wrong and it's not of God doing it. He never promised us it would be easy all the time and that we will be comfortable. Great post!

  3. Heidi, great post. I love flying but could feel the anxiety while reading. Sometimes God puts us in those uncomfortable places to pray for others. What a wonderful blessing that you realized what you were to do and then you found the peace you needed.

  4. This is so good. I flew to Washington last year to visit a friend and I HATE flying, God knows that and put two of the most reassuring people next to me. It still wasn't a great flight but at least they talked to me and made me feel a little better. So glad you made it home safely and God spoke to you even in a cramped airplane love it!

  5. Heidi,

    I hate flying and was squirming in my chair as I was reading this. I love that you were able to forget about yourself to pray for your seat mates. Although many times we don't see the fruit of prayers, God knows who needs them and he puts them in our path.

    Blessings to you Heidi.

  6. How absolutely perfect! Great writing here, and I'm SO impressed that you had presence of mind to pray for those who brought you such discomfort....not so sure I'd do the same. Great post - I'm so glad you shared this!

  7. Praying for others does take our minds off our problems. We can be so wrapped up in self that we forget others are dealing with their own set of problems. Great lesson here, Heidi.

  8. I HATE to's about as close to hell for me that I'll ever experience so I know the feeling. I admire your strength in being able to forget your anxiety as you prayed for someone else!

  9. So good Heidi! Love the title...sometimes you just don't know what He can bring out of a situation. Miss you!

  10. It will be nice to see one day the impact the quick prayers we sent up on behalf of others made. God is working. Always!

  11. Like many of the others Heidi, I'm not a fan of flying either. At 6'5" tall, my legs don't generally fit well in airline seating and I suffer from some claustrophobia as well so... I avoid planes whenever possible.

    What a wonderful lesson you derived from the experience though! I'll be honest, on those rare occasions I'm required to fly I've never thought of praying for those around me. I'll be sure to do that the next time!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  12. Praying for others while on an uncomfortable plane ride. I gotta try this next time.

    Christian Tees