There is a running joke in our family about my husband’s driving. When we are all in the car, we are holding tightly to seatbelts and door handles as he carelessly rounds corners and navigates down the road.
No matter where we are going, it is always like taking a stress test and I pass each time. When we get home, I may say something about his driving to which he always responds, “but did you die?”
He is originally from a big city and I am from the south. I am NEVER in a rush to do ANYTHING. Either I plan out my time so that I am early, or I am at peace with the truth, “I will get there when I get there.” Please do not confuse this with me being late—-I am just unbothered. Well, my husband drives fast and quite frankly, a little loose for my taste. He takes changing lanes opportunities that I would never take. He is not the one that is swerving in and out of lanes, but he is the one that you see through your rear view mirror approaching you rather quickly. For years, I have held tightly to my pearls as he navigates us from one place to another. My biggest fear was that he would someday crash into something or into someone. Then it happened.
We had not even left our house. We were waiting for our youngest son to come out of the house and somehow we ended up in a tree in our front yard. After the collision, I couldn’t move—-not because of the pain, but because my thoughts were racing and remaining still at the same time. The car got banged up. I got a little banged up, but, I didn’t die.
Now this is no way a message about driving all willy-nilly. However, it is a lesson that I am still learning. When I got up this morning and began reading my devotional, I had to go back a day or two because I had not gone into my office and had missed a few days of the book (365 Daily Devotionals: He Restores My Soul, Worthyinspired.com) The message for that day was, “Fear Factors.” The background text was, II Chronicles 20:15. To sum up the message: fear is a weapon that is used by the enemy but it is never about what is happening in that “now moment.” Fear is always based in what has happened and what could happen. One line says, “…replace your fears with His peace,” and another urges us to, “ask Him to help you sift what’s rational from what’s irrational.”
Replays from past trauma can be so real! They, coupled with our amazing minds, can even create memories of future trauma that is based on something that never really happened. It is that same flexible ability that, although created to make innovations, can literally destroy a person’s present and future. We get so stuck on what “could-a might-a maybe-a” that we lose sight of what really “is-a”. And, based off of our irrationalities, we make decisions and declarations that change and challenge the trajectory of our futures.
So, as I was reading, I was thinking about all of the bad stuff (bad adjectives, bad) that had happened to me (spoiler: a lot!) and then I heard God say, “but did you die?” No matter how real a fear is, once you face it there are only two realties—-you either died or you lived. And, since I am blogging, I reckon that I lived.
I was all excited about that until I heard God ask, yet AGAIN, “but did you die?” Whew Chile! This Southern girl did NOT like that! After sitting and listening, I realized that He was really asking me to let my fears——the things that made me—-to let them and her die so that I could truly walk according to the original design for my life. This place of high altitude and speed, with its unpredictability needs me to be able to trust Him as he drives and guides me into what is coming next. I can’t get distracted by what’s on the road because he may just take me clear off it! High places require a different type of breathing and we must adjust! Having the faith to fly is one thing, but now He is preparing me to SOAR (and you ain’t never seen an eagle with a rear view mirror)!
Bad things happen. Unexplainable things happen. Life happens, but only when you resign to die to your fears and your version of yourself will LIFE happen which leads to unexplainable things happening, so when the bad things happen, you can find life. Then when you are asked, “but did you die?” You can be proud to say, “yes, I did.”