Every time I drive, I smile. One simple reason why; I like to drive.
My favorite time to drive is when the sun is going down, especially when all clouds are absent. I’ll never forget one certain drive in 1986, a few weeks after I turned nineteen. It was from Seattle, WA all the way down to California with a one night motel stay on the way. That drive forever holds a spot in my heart. Why? I was by myself. Repeat after me; Marianne was crazy.
It took place a few weeks after a phone call with an older friend of mine in California. My book – God and My Pillow – holds part of that conversation.
As months went on, church was still great, and I was getting closer to the people there. But besides that, nothing kept me from taking the offer Debbie, an older friend of mine in California, made.
“Oh, Debbie, I really don’t feel like wasting time with such useless classes. Plus, home here with Mom and Dad sure isn’t full of fun,” Plus, here in town, my sister Janis’s five-year-old daughter, Brenda, was very ill and it was questionable how long she had to live. Perhaps only a few months.
“Well, you could come stay with me for a while and see what happens,” Debbie said. “I’d love to help. It would be cool, us sharing my apartment.”
The phone cord kept me from bouncing on my bed. “Hey, I love that idea! Why not?” We discussed how to make it work and how, after finding a job, I’d then help pay the rent. Perfect plan!
I felt mature enough (as I bet most nineteen year olds do) to leave home, and got all excited thinking about the possibilities. My parents were not so gung-ho, but being that I was nineteen, they couldn’t stop me and, thankfully, they trusted me.
I can’t believe it. My last night at home. I’m sure it’ll all go fine. It has to go fine. Weird leaving Seattle, but I can’t wait to see what it’s like living in California. Hope I find some cool place to work. Maybe cuter guys are there, too. Wonder how nervous I might get being on my own to find a church. Glad I’m all packed so I can start driving first thing in the morning. Pretty sure I have that big map in the car already. (Yep, no cell phone Google Map back then.)
God, please help me know what I’m doing.
God, gas, and a bag of chips: check. Map, clothes, toothbrush, Bible, oh, and, of course, my pillow: check. Goodbye, house, goodbye, Mom and Dad. Goodbye, you little town of Normandy Park. Hello, new world!
That is just a small taste of what took place at nineteen years old. Oh, I’m sorry. I mean nineteen years young, as I began that trip that changed my life.
Before sharing a few things I’ve learned from that time, I want to ask how are you with driving? Are you like me, glad when your foot is on the gas while your hands are holding that steering wheel? Or, do you prefer to just kick back on the passenger side? Either way, can you recall a past drive when you were daring yet scared? Let’s see if you learned what I learned.
1- We need to face fears.
We all need to face fears and keep looking ahead. Doing all we can to kick that worry under the rug is a must. Marianne Rather-Scared Petersen became my name weeks before that trip. Not so much of the driving, but the ‘what-if’s that began forming a growing spot in my thoughts. I wish I knew then as much as I know now, some thirty-three years later.
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it. – C. JoyBell C
2- Facing fears help you grow up.
Understanding what you’ll be facing just might cause you to think a bit deeper than you ever have. That’s good! I believe that’s called ‘Growing Up’.
In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did. ~Cassandra Clare
3 – Facing fears helps faith in God grow.
Seeing your need to include Him in all you do, peace inside will be felt. Was I still nervous, yes. Still a bit scared, yes. That bag of chips, a cooler filled with pop and food, along with the map close by sure helped, but knowing I wasn’t totally alone secure me. Even though I enjoyed driving, I knew I needed God, the perfect driver, right along side me.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Psalm 16:3
Can you think of a lesson you learned on that nice long drive? Share it here, even if it’s just how happy you were when you saw those few perfect words; Rest Area.