Those first several hours of our drive to the top of Idaho’s panhandle our attention focused on my mother-in-law’s surgery. Nearly to Oregon when the final word reached us that she was out of surgery with the prospect of healing better than when the procedure began left around thirteen hours to count our blessings. Our eventful transition continued to echo along the drive to our new home, though these events we could take in stride, mostly.
Familiarity and Comfort
The nature of our move shifted my posture towards God. When you accept you’re dependent on God and take the time to ask, “What now Lord?” or my frequent, “Wonder how You’re going to solve this problem God” life changes. It’s easier to balance the weight of this world with the hope of our Sovereign Father and that’s what I did as I timidly drove my husband’s new-to-him truck and towed a trailer.
The mover’s words continued through my head, “Take turns wide and never- NEVER- put yourself in a position that means you’ll need to back up.” White-knuckled the first portion of the drive my comfort and confidence grew. Then it happened.
We drove through Weed, California and I realized I didn’t have enough gas to get the truck to the next town. Familiar with the drive from our prayer road trip (God ties it all together) I recalled a 76 gas station with gas pumps I believed I could maneuver through. I didn’t think anything of the fact my husband and daughter continued to drive past us until I pulled beside the pump.
A pregnant woman at the pump ahead of me gave me a driver’s once over. She took one look at me, another at the trailer’s wheel and another scoffing glance at me as if to say, “Good luck getting out of that Blondie.”
I noticed the situation the moment I began to curve the truck beside the pump. I attempted to correct my turn but a nice Lexus at the neighboring pump prevented me from widening my turn. While I pumped the gas I contemplated how to get out of the mess. A series of turns, micro adjustments to my steering wheel and reverse contortions began but you know it’s time to stop when you feel a thump.
I cringed and wondered how much damage I’d caused my husband’s truck. The tenderness of my teenage years returned as I shamefully climbed out of the truck to look at the damage.
Nothing! Not an ounce of damage to the truck or trailer but I noticed the trailer’s rear wheel completely hung-up on the pump’s curb. No way to escape backing up. I wondered if I should seek the help of a more experienced stranger but decided I needed to work through it (remember how much I hate asking for help). When I nearly crashed into the pump itself my world imploded.
Fear and should ran to my side bringing tears I struggled to hold behind my eyelids for the sake of my son. It’s okay to make attempts in life, but sometimes you have to cut loses before something worse happens. So I did. In true damsel in distress form I called my husband but our connection wasn’t the best so I reassured him, “We’ll catch up with you.”
Friends with Words
Words help, especially when they’re truth packed. When our kids bring problems my way I calmly respond with, “Every problem has a solution.” My son sat in the back seat, he watched his mom intently through the process. After my husband and I ended our call I realized I had an apprentice with me.
“Well, I always tell you and your sister every problem has a solution and that we must stay calm when problems come up. This problem has a solution and we’ll figure it out.” Then God and I had a short conversation that included some pleading on my behalf. I resumed the micro turns and reverses verbally coaching myself through the entire process, “You CAN do this”, “It’s going to work out”, “Just a little more, don’t give up”…
Then it happened, we were free!
I released the pent-up tears now mixed with relief and thanked God for the help. Problems are a promise in life but we have a choice with how we respond. Finally I managed to respond instead of react.
More importantly, the experience reminded me how God corrects and mends all our circumstances EVEN THOSE WE CAUSE. I made a mistake but God helped me through it. Time and again this is my story, this is my song and I will praise Him.
We can live a different life when we keep our perspective on God. When we focus on God we can respond in a way otherwise impossible for our temperaments. This moment was a win, but I’m looking for God to continue the overhaul in many other areas of my life. What I’m learning through this process is preparing me for where He wants to lead me.
How about you? Are you tracking with God or digging in your heals? Trust me, it’s painful to keep the focus on God, but wow is it an incredible life! Give it a try and live in wonder!