This cannot be. It seemed like just the other day that I was driving for the very first time. In fact, until I looked in the mirror, I was sure I was still 15 myself. Well, it is sad to say, but 15 was almost 20 years ago. Here I was face to face with my own 15 year old and she was staring at me with a look of excitement and horror all at the same time. We had just left the driver’s license branch, and she was about to take the wheel for the very first time.
As scared as she was – I was even more frightened. Oh God, please help me. I really don’t want to do
this, but with your help, I will be able to get through this too.
Phillippians 4:13 For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Phillippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand
I sure could use that peace of mind right about NOW! As Megan pulled out of the parking lot, she hit the curb. That is when she looked at me and said, “Shouldn’t I be driving in neutral?” My hands went over my face in desperation. “Peace I said Lord, please give me peace! Shouldn’t that have been on a driving test somewhere?” Even through my fear, I allowed her to continue. We drove in circles and then I had her go back to the parking lot.
Continuing on, I drove to a neighborhood where the poor child could practice turning. “Mom, where are the turn signals?” Oh. My. Goodness. Have I taught this child nothing? It was a long hour, but we did it. I only lost my temper a couple of times and I believe only a few people gave us some very unpleasant gestures.
No one ever told me how difficult it was to train your child to drive. This was probably the single most difficult event I had experienced as a parent – and I have had a lot of challenges thrown my way. After all we have survived seizures, behavioral issues, attention problems, the dreaded sex talks, the loss of friendships, moving across the country, medical issues, broken arms, and so much more. BUT THIS BY FAR was the worst.
You know why? Because I have no control over Megan’s driving, and I have to sit and watch her do this on her own. It is frustrating beyond belief and my patience is tested at every moment. Just remembering to breathe is difficult for me. I have to let go of all my anxieties and just let her learn. Learning may entail hitting a few curbs, getting a few mean glares from other drivers, and breaking a few stop sign laws. The key is that she must learn.
I think about my faith life like this. God watches me make these bad choices and big mistakes in life with patience and love. He gently guides me back to His path, and He somehow encourages me even though He knows my choices are scary. He keeps His temper in check (as long as I am not destroying His plan). He just allows my free will to happen, then when I open my heart to his teaching, He shows me His love. There is that AH-HA moment, when I realize I need His strength and His expertise in order to live out my faith. That is when it all clicks into place. At that moment, I finally allow God to take the wheel, and remove my selfish desires from the picture completely. I can breathe.
I know that Megan will learn to drive – someday. So, during this time of learning, I have to find strength to give her the wisdom of driving without screaming. I have to gently nudge her to listen, then to try. After all it is through our mistakes that we actually learn very valid lessons. During this time of Megan’s driving instruction, maybe I will pick up a lesson or two of my own. I might actually learn to use God’s strength to curb my temper and maybe even dish out a little patience. I might actually learn to curb my control issues a little (even a little would be good for me)!
Yes, I will get through this stage in life. The best part is just when I do get through, the next child will be leading me down this same path all over again. That’s how life works. It’s like one giant circle…