As the second phase of UPT started, I knew that more of my time would be spent studying and preparing for flights and that life would get more challenging. And such has been the case. Glory to God for challenging phases of life!
This past Thursday I hooked (failed) a flight. I took it as a really hard blow because my previous flight with the same IP (Instructor Pilot) had gone quite well. My mind never seemed to catch up to the aircraft during the entire flight, and my performance on most of the maneuvers was less that impressive. On top of that, the failure meant that I was put on hold for the rest of training until I could fly again with that IP, which wouldn't be until the following Tuesday because of the flying schedule. That meant I would have a few more written tests hanging over my head waiting for me if I passed the flight the next Tuesday. Needless to say, I was quite down-hearted, especially because three hooked flight in a row means I am sent to an evaluation flight (which could eliminate me from Pilot Training altogether).
My first reaction was a feeling of hopelessness. I didn't feel like there was anything I could do about fixing the things that went wrong - I was just wasn't on my "A-game". When I came home, I shared the events of the day with Kamaya, who was very encouraging and reminded me of the Lord's Faithfulness. With her encouragement, I went into the prayer room and spent some time before the Lord in prayer. During my conversation with the Lord, I felt Him telling me, "This is the smallest of waves, and you run to me like the Apostles did on the boat, in despair asking if I care if they parish? Of course I care for you! And Love you. Know that these waves that you are feeling are yet small in comparison to the waves that are to come. Have Faith in me. Know that I will not let you sink. I Love you." These words had a comforting, yet uneasing affect on me. I stopped worrying as much about my hooked ride, but was a little concerned about bigger waves.
The weekend passed, and much studying was done. Monday came and went, throughout which even more studying was done. I thought for sure I'd be able to rock this next flight and steer clear of a potential pilot training elimination ride. I began to rely a little too much on myself...and unfortunately the ride did not go as I expected. In fact, it went worse than the first. My initial reaction: I felt a slight anger with God and began to wonder if the time I spent in prayer that morning and the night before could have been better used studying for the flight. To exacerbate my already upset mood, I was prevented from getting lunch because of the inspection that was going on. My friends reassured me that everything would be alright, though, and I just pressed on with studying for the next exam that was coming up, as well as studying for the next day's flight (which, if hooked, would result in me doing an elimination ride). It was difficult to concentrate, though, with the previous ride's events looming over my head, threatening to repeat themselves one more time to end my short-lived career as a pilot.
When I got home I studied some more - Kamaya was at a nurses' meeting at the hospital. When she came home, however, she reminded me of what the Lord had told me the previous week. She reminded me that the Lord would be faithful to us no matter what, and that He only allows things to happen in our lives if they are for our good. She reminded me that the enemy is constantly wanting to separate us from God in whatever way he can - whether it's causing us to give up on the path the Lord has laid before us, or whether it's causing us to lean upon our own intelligence and skills, throwing aside God's role in our lives. That's when I realized how I had fallen for the enemy's trap earlier that day when I had questioned the value of spending time with God. I ask the Lord's forgiveness, put aside my study materials for the night (it was already quite late), said prayers with Kamaya, and went to bed, resting in the Lord's grace, peace, and hope. Glory to God for His goodness.