Okay, so this is going back a few years, but I wanted to share another one of those amazing times of my life with you. It was just after my thirtieth birthday. You see it was that time of my life when I found myself single, and a mother of two. I worked hard all day, spent my free time with my children, and on an occasional evening went out with the girls. It happened in the late spring, that one of my girlfriends, also a single mother, a widow to be exact, invited me to a ‘single parent’s ‘ group that she had started attending. It was a way to talk about your life and common struggles with others that were going through the same thing. A support network of sorts. Okay, it was a way for us all to meet someone new! And meet someone new is exactly what hap-pened to me. His name was Mark and his wife had run off and left him with their three children. He was a doll with those red freckles all over his cheeks and those stunning green eyes. How could I not be enchanted? He asked if I was a model. I thought he was a genius! So Mark and I started dating. We went skiing, dancing, dining and more. We were doing great until the day he told me he wanted to learn how to skydive. I simply had to go with him, he said. The class was a week long, and then we would jump on a Saturday. Jump? From a plane? Did I understand him right; he wanted me to jump out of a perfectly good plane, as a date? Something was wrong with this picture, but those delightful green eyes tricked me somehow, and I said, “Oh Mark, I’d love to!” I chalk that up to a brief brush with insanity. Summer was beautiful in Washington where we lived. And the day had come for us to go skydiving, now that the classroom, which was the easy part, was done. Jump. From a perfectly good airplane. Green eyes, I just had to keep telling myself how much I loved those emerald green eyes, those cute freckles, and oh damn it, jump out of a perfectly good airplane? For a date? We got out to a small airfield. My children went with us to watch, they were so excited. I laughed nervously. The plane was a small Cessna, it had only one seat in it, and that was for the pilot. Lucky him. He didn’t have to jump out of the plane; he was the only sane one of the bunch. And while there were a dozen or so in our class, I was the only female. I should have known something was up! Our instructor, the Jumpmaster, came up to me and said, “You have to jump first. The rule always is, if there’s a woman in the class, she jumps first. Because if she doesn’t back out, the men can’t back out!” Why didn’t that make me feel any better, I wondered. We got in the small plane. One guy sat on the floor behind the pilot, I sat on the floor beside the pilot, and the Jumpmaster sat on the floor behind me. “Okay,” I thought, “I can do this.” The pilot started the plane and yelled out to us, “Lean forward so we can take off.” I started to laugh, “You’re joking, right?” He looked at me dead serious. “No! Lean forward so we can take off!” I gulped. I leaned forward and placed my head over my knees and asked God to please let me live through this! The plane started to move, we left my stomach somewhere thirty or forty feet back there. Too late, the plane was airborne. After we reached our cruising altitude, the Jumpmaster leaned forward and told me that he was going to open the door next to me, and for me to turn and dangle my legs out of the door, just to get used to it for a moment. Dangle? Dangle my legs out of a plane flying 150+ mph? He pulled the door open, and my body just went on auto pilot since I had left my brain and all logic some few thousand feet below. I let my legs dangle out of the plane. Funny thing that happens when you hang your legs over the edge flying at that speed, they don’t dangle! They get swept sideways rather quickly. And all the breath in my lungs went with them! I gasped trying to breathe! Okay, I’m still alive, I thought. How much worse could it get? The Jumpmaster leaned forward and spoke in my ear again. Damn him! He pointed to the strut that went from the bottom of the plane out to the end of the wing. He told me to reach out, grab a hold of the strut and pull myself out to where it met the wing. Well, logic and brain were somewhere far below, so my body did as he said. I grabbed a hold, inched my way out, and found myself holding onto the strut of the plane, where it met the wing, my body flying parallel to the plane. I wondered what the definition of insanity was? I looked back at the Jumpmaster now in the doorway of the plane, lucky him. He yelled for me to “let go!” I couldn’t actually hear him, but I saw his lips move. At least that’s what I think he said. I sure hope that’s what he said because at that moment, that exact precise moment in time, my fingers let go of that strut, and the plane left me! It just kept flying and I began to fall! No strut, no plane, no Jumpmaster! Thank God for parachutes. I was on a static line, which means it automatically pulled the rip cord after a few seconds and my beautiful parachute opened up. Oh how I loved that parachute, it had not abandoned me like the plane and the Jumpmaster! They say you fall a hundred feet a second. But something miraculous happened just then. My parachute was turned and caught the wind in such a way that it seemed to stand still. I found myself hanging a thousand feet in the air, and in perfect silence. How was this possible? I couldn’t hear the wind, the plane, the beating of my heart. I couldn’t hear anything. Absolute and complete silence. I turned ever so slightly and began to float down. I felt like a gentle feather swaying back and forth in the hand of God on my way to the earth below. Silence. It was so profound. That moment of being there in the sky, alone, silent, I was transformed. I had fallen in love that day. Not with a green-eyed, freckle-faced man, but with God. I felt His touch. I heard Him tell me, ‘It’s okay, I have you now.