In June of 2004 I had an opportunity to go skydiving with the 101st Airborne Division for the Week of the Eagle Media appreciation. I was not the first choice, but because a writers’ daughter didn’t want her to take the risk, I was able to go in her place. Once I arrived at the FortCampbell airbase, it began to rain, we waited around for the pilot to decide if it was safe to dive the skies. After two other media outlets were successful in their flight and descent, it was finally my turn. Boy was I excited and a little scared too; but my confidence was in the Lord and the experience of the man I would be attached to. His name was Matthew Cline and he was a professional. I trusted that he knew what he was doing because he was showing me what to do. He demonstrated how I would hold on to the reigns of the parachute and how to guide it left and right. He showed me where to put my hands and feet when we are exiting the plane. He told me he would do the hard stuff like, jumping off, counting the free fall oh, and pulling the parachute at the right moment. The flight team provided the clothes for me to wear, the goggles, gloves, helmet, the clips that would hold us together and most of all the Chinook. I didn’t have anything of my own except my willingness to attach myself to the one who had everything.
The Chinook traveled in a circular pattern until we were 13 thousand feet high, we leveled out and began to get into position. This is where I was well aware of the danger and excitement. I didn’t want it to end because I may never get this opportunity again in my life. My heart was beating super fast, my palms were sweaty and not sure what was going to happen. Matthew Cline stood behind me and clipped us together, this is called tandem. He was so close to me that I could feel him breathing. It was a great thing because I matched his breathing and became calm. I followed him to the edge of the opening on the platform as I put my head back, feet up, and hands on my straps, He jumped and I went with him. It was the feeling of Uh Oh….. Then it was too late…we were OUT THERE. It was very loud and the pressure of falling was pushing on my body like a rock. There was an army photographer falling at the same speed as we were and he swung around in front of us and took video and pictures. Smiling like a big dummy caused air to fill my mouth and I couldn’t get it closed. It still makes me laugh when I think about it. After 54 seconds of free falling, the parachute opens, my feet fly up in my line of sight and it becomes totally quiet. There was such peace and quiet, beauty, serene and somewhat holy… a feeling came over me that felt sacred, a realization that very few people have seen this. I could only think of Jesus and how much He loves me. It was an unbelievable experience, and the Lord reminded me of how the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
I took these girls in jail on a journey with me through the viewing of this video of me skydiving, but Christ, at the time went skydiving as me. It’s a picture of how we have nothing to bring, but our willingness to be attached to Him as He does everything. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” it says in Jude 24.
Rhema word came tonight, except Linda Parks and I was the only ones who could make it. A deputy came in the room to tell us it was storming outside and if there was anyone of us who had windows down on our cars, we needed to close them. A little while after that the lights blinked as if they were going out. A lady in the front row whispers to me, “I am afraid of the dark.” I whispered back, “everything is in the same place in the dark as it is in the light.” She pointed to the Good Book and said “Is that in the Bible?” She just made me laugh. We always have a good time in the Lord at jail and are thankful to the Lord and that He showed me how to use a real life experience to demonstrate His Love toward us when we can do nothing by ourselves.
Written by Tracey