I love to drive. Long drives alone are the best for now- but maybe not always. There’s something freeing about being in the car with or without the music blasting in the background on the wide open road. Windows down, just me and my car and Jesus. There are few moments in life when I can think and dream uninterrupted by the noise of daily life and routine. Driving, for me, is one of those moments. Sometimes it takes my mind a while to shift gears from thinking about all of the “must do’s” and get into the thankful “have done’s” or hopeful “want to do’s.” Driving around town wouldn’t necessarily be considered a chance to “think” so I let my mind wander and pray on trips that take at least 20 minutes….usually. On the way to my parent’s house to wash my car that had not been washed in nearly a year (another story for another day….) I started thinking about all that I’ve accomplished in 27 years. (And let me be clear- it’s not just what I’ve accomplished, but certainly what God has accomplished through me.) In the last 6 years, God has exploded some pretty amazing things in my life- I mean like He literally BLEW UP Kindall’s plans and put His in place of them. It is only a 4-minute drive from my house to their house, so I find it quite funny that the flood gate of deep thoughts broke when it did. In just 4 minutes it got so real. I was pretty close to having church right there in the car. It was so hard to let all of what I wanted go, but so worth the struggle. I really found Kindall when the dust settled. Today I am someone I never thought I’d become….27, single, full of life and purpose and a sense of peace that God has it all under control when I clearly don’t. I’ve seen places and done things I never dreamed I could see and do. What a fun journey this is!
And so as I drove that 4-minute drive yesterday I thought about all of this. I mean the thoughts came flooding in. I thought about how much I’d prayed for my future and for God to show me His plans. I still pray for this life- often. I don’t think the best has come yet, but y’all- it’s been so good so far. I’m really thankful to be able to look back and see this story unfold. I’m so grateful now for the hard times, the times when it literally took everything I had to take even the tiniest step of faith. And this motivates me to move on and become more like Jesus.
How am I doing that? I’m glad you asked. I’m choosing everyday to make it the greatest. Even in the mundane, the struggle, the frustration, the crazy, the demands, and all of the stuff in between, I’m trying to see Jesus and follow Him. I don’t always get it right, but I’m trying. On that short drive yesterday, I was reminded that I have such an incredible influence on the people in my circle- my people. I get to be a part of the lives of my students in a closer way than just knowing their name- I get to really know them. Their likes and dislikes, their little quirks are all well known to me. And when I feel like they’re making my hair turn gray, I’m reminded to see the beauty (and ridiculous humor) in all of it. I get to help kids and dear friends discover that they can make beautiful music. I get to lead by example a fantastic group of young men and women of whom I am so proud of every Wednesday night at church. I get to open the doors of my home and share meals, laughs, tears, and dreams with strong girls- girls that will become leaders and warriors for Jesus. My oh my how a 4-minute drive can change things! So as I finally had the opportunity to exhale from my stressful, high maintenance go of a week, I found that it takes only a short time for God to put my mind right back where it needs to be. He adjusted my focus and gave me a new perspective on this life I get to lead.
So what about you? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to think and wander and pray? What has God done in your life? How are you letting your life lead others?
Jesus, thank you for meeting me on that 4-minute drive. I can’t help but celebrate what you’ve done in my own life and expect that you’re going to do more with me and through me. Allow me not to miss you in all of the noise, but to search for you first before I rely on my own abilities to get me through. Give me the patience to wait for your best and never ever settle for mediocrity or familiarity simply because it’s comfortable and safe. Thank you for my daily dose of grace and the peace that comes from knowing my life is held safe in your hands. Amen.