Victory! The morning sun was shining brightly. I had my Starbucks nonfat Cinnamon Dolce Latte in the cupholder and my 12-year-old daughter singing a Taylor Swift song, and I was driving her to an out-of-town soccer game. Me. The mom afraid to drive on freeways.
If you’ve been following along on my blog, I’ve spent the last year taking steps to overcome my fear of driving.
And this was a big step for me!
Freedom. I noticed all the cities I was passing that I could drive to now. Oh, the places I could go. Dr. Seuss was right about that one!
I couldn’t help but enjoy the freedom of releasing myself from the prison of fear that I had kept myself in for so long.
The overwhelming feeling of driving past my fears and leaving behind all the wasted years of avoiding unknown places caused a wave of emotion to wash over me.
Tears of victory, releasing my control and trusting God with my deepest fears. I couldn’t hold them back.
This was the beauty on the other side of fear! This was it!
My 12-year-old daughter began to video tape me on her phone with her reporter like commentary…
“Valerie Murray facing her fears on the highway…. We’re on our way to Atwater for my soccer game. Would you like to say anything mom—any encouraging words?”
“Encouraging words for those who want to face their fears?”
“You just have to do it. You have to be determined. You have to want to do it or you won’t do it.”
And I want to.
Why do I want to?
Because I don’t want to pass my fears onto my children.
Because I don’t want fear controlling my decision making.
Because I want to exercise my trust and faith in God by letting go.
Because I want to be a confident driver.
Because I’m tired of relying on other people to take my children where they need to be.
I want to teach my children to have the courage and to do things in life they may feel uncomfortable with but will help them grow. By my example.
I thought following all the steps to face my fear would help me have victory over fearful feelings. I was fully prepared for the drive. My GPS was set. Directions were typed and printed. Bible verses to counteract fear, memorized.
For a moment I thought, is it really going to be this easy? The night before, I was terrified…my hands literally shaking at the thought of not knowing where I was going or how I would get home, you know that panicked feeling?
But soon enough the obstacles came and so did the panic.
A cop with lights and sirens sped, and thankfully, passed me. Whew! Two large garbage bags flew across the freeway and right over my windshield. A dead animal on the road. I’m not even kidding.
And then guess what? Fog! That beautiful, sunshiny morning disappeared and suddenly I hit a wall. Of fog.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that there are two things worse than driving on the freeway for me. Driving on the freeway at night and driving on the freeway in fog—or both!
And then on the drive home, my worst case scenario played out. The GPS was wrong! It was telling me to go another way to get onto the freeway that didn’t match the directions I printed out.
My husband’s words repeated in my mind.
“Just trust the GPS. Just trust the GPS.”
And I did. I followed it in circles as the robot lady kept telling me to turn right and as soon as I turned right…she told me to make a u-turn.
How do I get on the freeway to get home?
I had to remember to think positively.
Remember there’s always a plan B. Don’t panic. I won’t be lost forever. The GPS will most likely take me to the freeway if I go another way long enough.
I guess since I was facing my fear I thought God would bless me with smooth sailing. But instead, he sent obstacles my way, the very ones I’m afraid of, to show me that I would still be ok. That he would take care of me. No matter what.
Perhaps so I could say instead, “Just trust in God, just trust in God,” versus “just trust the GPS.”
Surely, God knows the way home.
Trusting in God doesn’t mean that I will never get in an accident or get lost. But it does mean that no matter what happens, I choose to believe He is in control. Not accidents.
When I’m lost He’ll help me find my way home…and He will be WITH me when I’m lost.
He nudges us in order for us to learn that we can overcome every obstacle that tries to scare us back into avoidance mode.
And you know what? I’m glad he does that.
I made it home safely and learned to get around those feared obstacles.
Sure, the obstacles in life can feel scary. But we don’t have to live our lives trying to avoid them.
Don’t be afraid to face the obstacles. When you face them, you learn to go around them. You learn how to overcome!
How about you? What obstacles has the Lord helped you go through in your fight against fear? I would love for you to share in the comments.
Friends, I want to help others to see the beauty on the other side of fear as well! If you know anyone who struggles with fear and anxiety, would you pass this along to them?
If you struggle with the fear of driving to unknown places—stay tuned because I will be sharing some practical ways to ease driving fear. You are not alone! Just read some of the comments in this post and you’ll see that many people struggle in this area.
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