Just a few days ago, I dropped my youngest son, Ian, off at college in Chicago. It was an emotional goodbye following a prayer service that found all of us parents choked up and in tears. Ian walked swiftly down the street waving and yelling goodbye as I snapped photos of him from the car (and yes, holding the steering wheel at the same time). Someone behind me blew his horn. I was apparently going too slow. But I really didn’t care. I wanted one more glimpse of my smiling college student son……
And then I began navigating my way alone through the city of Chicago, trying to follow the directions he had given me to find the correct interstate. There were too many one-way streets, but I only made one wrong turn, eventually finding my way in the right direction AND on the right interstate.
As the sun began to set, my eyes became tired. I don’t see well in the dark, and being in unfamiliar territory with my favorite navigator back at his brand new college dorm, I began to get scared. It had been a long couple of days, hours and hours of driving, unpacking, moving furniture, attending meetings, and now here I was on my way “home” alone….. So many emotions were running through my head and heart.
By the time I went through the 3rd and final toll, I somehow (still have NO IDEA), wound up on the right interstate going in the wrong direction. Eventually, I was able to pull over and found my way BACK on- this time headed in the right direction. I just remember starting to cry, and yelling out to God, “LORD! You KNOW how afraid I am! Now you need to just TURN this I-94 WEST, back into I-94 EAST……. AND PLEASE DO IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!” And suddenly, there was the sign………. I-94 East
And the sign that followed that one, said that there were only 12 more miles to the next rest stop with hotels. And the Lord said, “Get some rest, daughter!” And I obeyed. I didn’t care that there were storms coming in the morning. I’ve learned over the years to hear the Holy Spirit, and when God says rest (to me), He means rest!
And so I did. I spoke with both of my sons and had a good night’s rest, waking up early at 6 a.m. I enjoyed a cup of coffee and hit the road.
Along the way, there were constantly storm clouds in my rear view mirror, but sunny blue skies straight ahead – An absolutely gorgeous day. But, you know every single mirror – the rear view mirror as well as my side view mirrors, were constant reminders of the storm that was chasing me. “I’ll get home before it finds me!” I kept thinking, kind of laughing to myself.
A good friend of mine once said to me, “As you follow Jesus on this earth, you will always be in 1 of 2 places – Either coming out of a storm, or preparing to go into a storm.” During that 5-hour drive, I kept being reminded of that with each glance in the mirror. I thought about how necessary it is to train our ears to hear the Holy Spirit. When He tells me to rest, I must. Rest gives us strength, and prepares us.
I arrived home safely. And then it happened. The storm hit – Not the kind with clouds, though; no, this was a SPIRITUAL storm. I wanted so badly to write about the analogy of storms in our lives with the idea of the rear view mirrors. But almost immediately upon my return, my sometimes lousy self esteemed, over-sensitive, occasional lonely, and wanting to be loved, very broken self, got hit blind-sided with a storm. A very big storm. And THIS storm even left me never, ever, ever, wanting to write another blog…. And I mean…… EVER.
Turns out – I thought I was out-smarting the storm behind me, when I was actually running right straight into a bigger, deadlier one….
I don’t owe anyone an explanation for why I write. But I DO owe God an answer for why I don’t, when He gives me something to write. And He does give me things to write.
And so, I’m resting. Because right now, He says it’s time to rest. I’m in the middle of a HUGE storm. He has promised to get me through it, and I know He will, because He has so many times before. Loud and clear, He has given me some wisdom, some promises, even some words in the night…. But for now, I must just rest. That’s when I hear Him the best.
And after the rest, and after He has healed that wound that left me never, ever wanting to blog again…… I will write…..
I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do! Listen to the words………. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMTND0AUjCs