Yesterday afternoon, I drove my husband and I to a pre-determined spot to return my "grand-dog" to her owners--my youngest son and his wife, who had just returned with her parents from a cruise in the Gulf. We met my sweet son in a restaurant parking lot so I wouldn't have to drive the whole 2 hours to his house and back again.
Driving has been an issue with me because I can get turned around so quickly--not even a map helps! It is truly ironic that I have had to be the driver in my family for many years due to my husband's eye disability. However, I was much more confident driving in the years before I began to have panic attacks. After 2002, I lost what little sense of direction I had and began to panic if I had to drive some distance from my home. Later, I learned to pray Scripture and lean heavily on my God each time I drove somewhere. Still, I could get easily turned around, and the stress of driving was often overwhelming.
We bought a Garmin in 2008 and that really helped. It was comforting to know that if there was a detour, the Garmin wouldn't get turned around, and that no matter where I went, I could always get back home. On the way back home yesterday, I was feeling pretty good about myself. We had gone through a small shower and I had not panicked. I had remembered where the restaurant was and had enjoyed the drive there.
About 30 minutes into our ride home, I noticed the sky in front of us had turned to a deep blue, and I saw many headlights from cars heading toward us. I told my husband that it looked like we were going to drive right into some bad weather, and ten minutes later, we were caught in another shower. I slowed down and concentrated on seeing the white lines of the freeway ahead of me, but there was alot of water on the freeway. I noticed a car in front of me had its hazard lights turned on, and I focused on those to stay in my lane. We exited that shower, and I breathed a sigh of relief, but after about 5 miles, we entered another one--this one much worse. The sky had darkened even more, rain was pelting the car, and I could barely make out the road, much less my lane. It seemed as if "the bottom dropped out", as my mother used to say, and all of it on us. I turned on my hazard lights and slowed down to a crawl.
Immediately, my mind went to work. I recalled what my husband's doctor had said the week before. He told us he had driven in bad weather the day before my husband's appointment (on the same freeway we were now on), and that cars had hydroplaned and that there was a 4-car pile-up. Suddenly, I could visualize our car hydroplaning, or worse, another car hydroplaning into us. I felt my stomach tighten and anxiety began to rear its ugly head. I could barely see in front of me and kept checking my rearview mirror, worried the cars behind me wouldn't see us and would run into us.
I was getting really tense and anxious when all of a sudden my mind turned to the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat while the disciples were wrestling with a terrific storm. He was sleeping, my mind told me, because He knew they were in no danger because He was with them. No matter how it looked, they were safe in His care. And so were we--even now, in this storm. I can't describe the immediate sense of relief I felt. I turned up the volume on my cd (for some reason we always turn down the volume when driving gets serious) and began singing along with Chris Tomlin, glorifying God from a grateful heart. After a few minutes, we drove out of the rain and into the sunshine.
This is how I always want to live. This is how I am meant to live. Not tensed up and fearful, but believing God in the middle of my circumstances. I give Him the glory today for using a storm yesterday to teach me once more to trust Him no matter what I have to go through.