Beth and I decided to drive back early.
Our She Speaks conference ended late on Saturday evening and we had every intention of leaving early the next day. But we were jazzed on Jesus and more than ready to squeeze our families blue …. surely we would be high as a kites through the mountains of Ashville, North Carolina. We knew it would be a late drive, but put two moms in a car, away from their collective count of six kids and it doesn’t matter if it is 12:30 day or night, we would have no lack of conversation or entertainment.
With our dreams packed back in our bags, off to Knoxville we drove. Now, at this point I should tell you that I am a B+ driver. Steady. Conservative. And very conscientious. The only reason I don’t score a solid A is my reaction to rain and large diesels. Never once did I think to check the weather.
We were excited to be back home and rain wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Our minds were set. We were leaving after Lysa Terkeurst wrapped up her final keynote.
About two hours in, Map Quest veered us off to an eerily long bypass through the mountains of North Carolina. We triple checked our phones to our papers and felt we were not mistaken. And we weren’t. But still we held to the reassurance that maybe God rerouted Map Quest for us. Taking us a safer route to avoid catastrophe elsewhere. If it wasn’t for this semi-comforting thought, I’d have sworn it… we were lost.
Maybe ten miles down the dark and quiet path of bypass 74, sprinkles of rain began to tap my windshield. My heart sunk, knowing this may be an indication of what was inevitably ahead. The mist turned to drops and the drops turned to quarters. And my windshield became completely blurred by blinding sheets of rain.
I really didn’t want Beth to know I was all but wettin’ my pants. Remember, I am a B+ driver. At this point, I was a bit thankful we were in the middle of no where. Diesels didn’t even know how to find this road.
There is one thing about rain like that…. when you are in the pitch-black mountains of North Carolina, at midnight, on an obscure where-the-heck-am-I bypass, in gushing rain, you can not, no way, see what is ahead. There are no lights. There are no signs. There are hardly any cars, and the only thing you have to guide you are teeny-tiny reflection dots in the middle of the road.
That’s it. Dots. And Jesus.
My hands white knuckled to the wheel, I drove forward, leaning into and whispering rather aggravated prayers to the Lord. Reminding myself of his Word…
The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? I will remain confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
Don’t you know I was stressing the last six words. In the land of the living.
God is our light. Yes, but sometimes the bright lights work on the interstate of life. And sometimes they don’t. Sometimes sheets of rain pour on the windshield and we can’t see but five feet in front of us. All is dark around. No signs to direct our way. No way of knowing where we are going or for that matter, even if we are in the right place, at all. Life will turn us on a bypass, won’t it? We aren’t sure if we’ve misread directions or if the Lord intercepted the plan we thought best only to protect us. Throwing us a bit off course. And even though the hardest rain may come, we can do nothing but grip, white-knuckled to the wheel and lean in … looking hard at the five feet of road in front of us. And remind ourselves of His unfailing Truth …
Lord, You are my light. You are my salvation. I will not be afraid. You are my light. You are my salvation. I will not be afraid.
Because sister, you will see the goodness of the Lord. The rain will stop. Your brights will work again. The roads will look familiar. Or maybe not. But either way, you can remain confident of the goodness of the Lord.
We did make it home from She Speaks at 1:30 in the morning. And don’t you know this girl is still recovering from those long days and late nights, but every waking minute was worth it. But one of the loudest Words I received this weekend was on bypass 74 in middle-of-no-where, North Carolina.
Today, do you find yourself on the unfamiliar by-pass of life? White-knuckled to the wheel, wishing you could just see some sign of life or familiarity? You will my friend. Hang on. But untill then, remember He doesn’t always need us to see long distance. Keep following His light on your path. Follow the reflectors of His Word. Don’t lose sight of middle of the road. Drive straight. And I believe that you shall look upon the goodness of the Lord.
In the land of the living.