“You’re gonna have to turn around.”
“You said to keep going…”
“No, I said to turn that way, right before you passed the turn.”
“No, you didn’t tell me until after I passed it.”
That was probably the fifth time we had this conversation, driving my old pickup truck down the dark, dim-lit, Ohio country roads at 1:30 in the morning. I was driving- Joseph was too exhausted from a long day of work to drive the what-should-have-been 1 and a half hour trip back home from our friend’s house. While I was behind the wheel, my husband was squinting his eyes at his bright phone screen, trying to figure out which way we were supposed to go to reach the highway.
Oh, yes, by the way…. I was not planning on starting out my brand new, second blog post this way. No, I was planning for a more cool, collected intro into my life, full of kind words and sweet details about my married life. But instead, I’m recounting a small road trip we took in the dead of night, in an old Chevy truck, the pair of us tired, irritable, and not quite feeling the newly-wed love one might assume we are constantly basking in. However… this is what life is about. It’s not always bliss and romance, as much as we would love it to be. Even at a grand total of nearly 10 months, Joseph and I are sometimes ready to scratch one another’s eyeballs out (thankfully we haven’t actually done that yet). So here I am, writing a pretty realistic blog post about my previous night of adventure. But, this tale isn’t about me and Joseph through our trip- it’s about what I learned while he drifted off to sleep, and I drove nearly two hours with only a CD and my own conscience to keep my company- and what it took for me to get us home without ending up in Mississippi.
If one knows me well enough, they know I have the sense of direction of a 3 year old. Basically, none. Without a GPS (or my husband), I would simply drive in circles until someone came along and rescued me. Why is this important? 1) not only did my phone die on the way home on our trip, but Joseph’s was nearly dead as well. 2) I had never drove this road home. I was in unfamiliar territory- the perfect combination for me to get lost!
With this said, that was when my panic started rolling. Not only was I likely to get lost, but Joseph didn’t know the way either! I could feel the sweat starting to bead on my forehead. That’s when I heard it- the still small voice in the back of my mind.
“Do you trust me?”
Oh, that was familiar. My heart sank little- I hadn’t even bothered to pray about our situation. Here I was, fretting my sanity away, and He was right there waiting for me to ask for help. I whispered a quick prayer, asking God to get us home safely. Luckily, Joseph’s phone has just enough power that he was able to direct me to the highway. All I had to do was make sure I stayed on that highway, until I started seeing signs for Columbus. I got this, I remember thinking clearly.
And things went smoothly as we weaved our way through the back roads of the small country towns; until I saw the little orange light pop up next to the fuel meter. Low On Fuel. I gulped loudly, and Joseph looked over at me sharply.
“We need to get gas…”
I heard him sigh deeply; “We’re still a few miles away from the highway and the gas station- you’re going to have to be very careful getting there.”
Again, the panic was returning. Would we make it to the gas station? What if we ran out and stalled out on the highway? What would we do?
“Do you trust me?” I bit my lip nervously- Yes, I trust you Jesus. Please get us to the gas station safely, without running out of gas. Please…
And lo and behold, we found the highway. I kicked it into gear and got us on there, trying not to look at the fuel meter. We managed to make it to the gas station, and filled my truck up nice and full. We were ready to keep moving! Sort of. After my anxiety over the gasoline was edging away, I realized that the entire water bottle I drank no more than an hour earlier was catching up to me. I sighed inwardly, and asked my husband if the gas station was opened inside. He got out and checked- nope. I winced- “There’s a McDonalds over there,” he said, and pointed a little ways away. So off I went, in a little bit of a rush. However, not really to my surprise, Joseph walked up and wiggled the handle to the entrance of the restaurant- it was locked. I stared blankly at the building. Now what?
“Just drive,” my husband instructed. And off we went, back down the highway. Of course by now my anxiety was building again. This was becoming alittle much.
“Do you trust me still?”
God please, help me find a rest area soon. I trust you- but please, help me. As soon as I prayed that, though, I saw a sign- Rest Area 3 Miles.
“Ohhh thank you Jesus,” I remember saying quietly, and hitting the acceleration just little harder.
You might be wondering, “Why is she going over all these silly details about her driving experience at night?” Well, I would like to point out how easily I can get distracted by situations in life. For many of us, it’s easy to look at our current situation, whatever it may be, and use every ounce of our own strength to try and fix the problem. Eventually, though maybe not all of the time, we come to a point where we have to throw our hands up in despair and give up. Why? Because, in our humanity, our self-sufficiency is simply not enough. But, we become used to that throughout our life- if something comes along that is even little overwhelming, we assess it according to our own strength and ability, and if we can’t get through it, oh well. However, that’s not how it supposed to be. We were not created to be able to do everything on our own- from when we were a baby, we relied on our parents for basic living. As we grow into adulthood, we no longer need our parents to survive- but that’s when God comes into the picture. He made us to rely on Him- to have faith in Him. Now how does that correlate to my story above? It was natural for me to look at the stuff happening around me and start fretting because I knew that there was nothing I could do in my own power. But that was when Jesus so softly spoke to me and reminded me that He was there waiting for me to starting using my faith in Him. Once I let go of my own self sufficiency, and let faith take over, that’s when things started falling into place. No, this does not mean that everything we are going through has a miraculous answer to it, and God is not a genie who will answer all of your wishes. But He is a God who loves to care for His children, and will listen when we cry out to Him in our deepest distresses.
When you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, just let go of your self-sufficiency. Let faith take over and let God do the rest for you- He will get you to the gas station, and he will point you in the right direction- He will even help you to find a rest area when you need to…! Just, have faith. And don’t forget- God is always listening for you to just ask.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for, and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
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