I heard all the gasps, moans, groans and sighs of relief. Those of you who know your time is coming...those of you who survived it.
Here's the thing, both Bree and I knew it was a really bad idea for me to be the one to teach her. But, like so often happens in a single parent family (I was also the one who gave Trey "the talk), there is no one else.
It's my body language you see. I don't have a facade. I can't put on a calm face. I can't play poker. Every emotion I feel, you see loud and clear. If my eyes are the windows to my soul, my face is the billboard of my feelings.
So every time we get in the car, I'm perfectly aware of the fact I am putting my life into her hands and her ability to maneuver our Buick. I do my best to keep my voice calm as we go along and then spend about an hour after we are done convincing her the grimace was in no way an indicator of how well she did.
She's actually doing pretty well. I'm just gripping the handle...you know...to give my hands something to do.
I am not good at not being in control. I don't like it. It scares me.
And I realize that it scares pretty much every body but I know for a fact that it scares some people more than others. I think I fall at the extreme end of control freak in the "others" category.
Lately, every time I wake up, the feeling is similar to when I get into the passenger seat as Bree adjusts the steering wheel and turns the ignition. Actually, there is more panic involved. It looks something like...
Thanks for the illustration Facebook.
The kid in the front? No, not the blond wearing braces...the one hanging on for dear life! Yea.
Let's face it, life is always out of control...but generally speaking we have enough norms in place to feel like we have at least a semblance of control. But...not at the moment. I'm not only jobless...I'm purposeless. I have no idea what's next or what to do. I'm just...lost. And when the "Now Hiring" sign at McDonald's is relevant to my life...I start to panic.
The other day I was listening to worship music in the hopes of dispelling the funk I've found myself in...one of my favorites came on and I sang along "I give my life to follow, everything I believe in, now I surrender..."
The words suddenly caught in my throat. Before when I sang those words I threw my hands up in the air, lifting my voice like it was an anthem, my heart swelling with everything I was willing to surrender to follow Jesus and the purpose He had given me. But this time, this time it was different...my hands wanted to scramble to take back all the things I've lost over the summer. I started wondering what I was supposed to be following, how much more did I have to surrender???
And Jesus quietly asked, "Do you trust me?"
And I said "yes"
And He said "Follow me"
And I asked "Where?"
And He didn't answer.
So, here we are. I am in the passenger seat. And, forgive the cheesy analogy, but Jesus has taken the wheel. Right now I don't know that "follow me" means we are going anywhere. I think today it means that when I want to panic over rent, "service engine soon" lights, emails that thank me for my resume and praise my skills but ultimately say "no", and what comes next that I choose to accept the peace He is offering instead. Tomorrow, it might mean I do something else or tomorrow maybe He actually gives me a sense of direction.
I'm not going to lie. I'm scared. I'm starting to panic. I have seriously struggled with depression the last few weeks. The other night, a sleepless one, I lay in bed and thought "I don't want to be here" The thought surprised me. I poked it to see if I meant I didn't want to be in Newnan (a vacation to Savannah would be nice) but I actually meant Here. I didn't want to die, I just didn't want to be. I didn't have the energy or strength to pick up the pieces and try again. It seemed like, even if I did, in ten years it would all fall to pieces anyway (I seem to be on a schedule). I stayed in that place for two days and today woke up with a renewed sense of strength, an awareness of His presence, and the willingness to try again. I thought it was the job opportunity I've heard about but even the "no" I got hasn't affected the mood. So whatever the stronghold, He has broken through it. Actually, my first thought when I realized I felt better today was something like "So, the pity party is over is it?" I'm pretty sure He smiled.
When I get in the car with Bree, I have to trust that she has control. It isn't easy. She's young. Inexperienced. And, let's be real, there are some dumb drivers in the world! But when it comes to trusting Jesus. To knowing He has control. It's different. And possibly harder. But it's what I've got and I don't know any other way to get through this.