Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In My Darkest Hour

It's been a long week for me, full of ups and downs. I had planned on writing an exciting post about how awesome my new car is, and how much God provided for me. Everything was supposed to be perfect, and today was the day I planned to share it with everyone. God always knows what's really going to happen. He has different plans than I have for myself, and He's always giving me opportunities to grow and change for the better.

I've been working a lot on trusting God. It's so easy to know that He has a plan for me, and it's going to be perfect. But what happens when His plan isn't what I had in mind? Can I still trust Him? Do I even want to trust Him?
On Saturday, I spent the entire day driving. We dropped the boys off at my brother's house early in the morning, and started on a trip headed for Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was beautiful weather; the sun was shining, and you could just feel your skin soaking up the rays. I loved it!

We got about half-way to Tulsa, and my car started to act funny. The trip takes four and a half hours of driving along the US-75. This is a undivided highway, so at times the going can get rather slow and tedious. You also have to be prepared to stop in several small towns, and follow their posted speed limits.

During one of our stops, the car started to sputter and die. This is not a comforting thing to have happen when you're on a long road trip, driving your only car, and you have a deadline you must make. The car was able to pick back up and go, but seemed to suffer along the way. We drove it like this for another 30 minutes before we died completely in a parking spot outside a Dairy Queen just north of the Kansas border.

I did some serious praying as Ariel and I took a bathroom break, and Titus tried to work some magic under the hood of our car. We knew the spark plugs needed to be replaced, but there was just no time to get that done right then and there.

As I got back out to the car with Ariel, it still wouldn't start back up. I thought we were going to be in big trouble, but another turn of the key and the ignition started. I prayed the whole way out of Dairy Queen's parking lot, and as we made it back to the main street, the car started working smoothly again.

Here's what we think happened. Before leaving on our trip, we made sure to have the oil changed in our car. For several years now our battery cables have been stripped, so they occasionally can get bumped or loosened. When they changed the oil they must have moved the cable a little. When Titus popped the hood, he jostled it around again, and the battery was secured. Our problem was solved. We didn't have any more car trouble for the rest of the trip.

We did however hit another slight bump in the plans, as we got lost at the Kansas/Oklahoma border, and missed our turn to stay on the US-75 South. It wasn't until we'd been driving for 20 or 30 minutes that I questioned our location and we were able to turn around. That put us further behind schedule.

At 4:30pm, 30 minutes before closing time we pulled into the dealership. We knew the car was for us. Our spirits were high, and it didn't seem like anything would bring them down.

The long drive ahead of us seemed overwhelming, but we were ready to get on the road right away and head home. I'm very thankful that when we were leaving Tulsa, it was still light outside, and everything was visible. I am not fond of driving at nighttime, but sometimes you don't have a choice.

As we made our way through Tulsa, and the next few cities, the darkness was falling, and we were forced to make our way down the undivided highway once again. At the beginning, my anxiety level was so high, and I had to pray constantly just to keep myself calm. I do not enjoy driving in the dark during normal circumstances. I especially didn't enjoy doing it when you can't see 10 feet in front of you.

It was then that God spoke. He showed me a picture, and as I went along He kept revealing more to me. The road is like our life. The darkness that surrounded me is the unknown that is constant. I can shrivel up into my shell, hugging my knees to my chest, scared of the darkness, wondering where God is. Or I can follow the road. There are many times that we have to blindly follow God, when we can't see anything around us except for those few feet right in front of our face. He doesn't always reveal what His plan is, or where the road is going to take a curve, but if we're willing to trust Him, and take it one step at a time, He will get us there.

Often times we take our eyes off of the ground right in front of us, the circumstances that are today, and we look ahead where we think we're going to be, and the fear can come back. We stop focusing on this day, this step, and we start worrying ahead to the future. If you focus too much on the road in the distance you might get off the path that's for right now. This can cause an accident or disaster in your life.


I believe the scariest time is when another car appears to be coming right at you. Their headlights can be blinding, and you can't see your path anymore. All you can see is their light and the trouble it's causing you. It brings you terror. The only way to get through that is to hold on tightly to the steering wheel and believe that the road is before you. You have to step out in faith, and know that you're going to be stepping onto solid ground. God never promised that you wouldn't have obstacles to overcome. He promised us, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

God will show you how much you need to see to get by. The part that I found most comforting was when I had another car to follow. I believe that God sends us people or He speaks words in our lives for the exact moment we need it. There are times when you can be overwhelmed and want to just give up, but then just over the hill, or the curve in the road, He lights the way. He shows you that you aren't alone out there, and there is something to hold onto.

After you've gone several miles down the road, you'll reach a small town that is completely lit up with street lights. It's then that you can catch a glimpse, a bigger picture of what God has in store for you. When you're afraid, and don't feel like you can follow the darkened road any longer, just believe and know that there is something larger and brighter out there. There's a plan for your life, a town at the end of the road completely lit up. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11



As God was speaking all this to me, I was certain I knew exactly why He was showing me it. We had been through a lot in the past several months with our car. There had been many ups and downs, but I believed we were in the town completely lit up with streetlights. I thought we were catching a glimpse of what His plan was.

We have been having some trouble with our new car. It isn't shifting gears smoothly, and I'm afraid the transmission might be going out on it. That's not something you want to be dealing with on a car you just bought less than a week earlier. I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I'm going to trust God to take care of it.

I think He was showing me all this so that I would hold on, and keep taking those steps forward, one foot in front of the other. When He spoke this to me, it was as if I had just come up behind another car, helping to light my way again. I may be afraid of what may or may not happen in the future, but God has guaranteed my next step. And even when the headlights are blinding me, and I can't see the road. I'm going to step out in faith. God is going to guide me to that next city lit up with all the streetlights.
The lyrics to the song, "Believe" by Mainstay are very powerful, and have been running through my mind all day long. When all around me starts to fall and when my faith it seems so small, Even in my darkest hour, I will believe.


I don’t know if I still have the strength to get up again
I don’t know if I can face my own reflection
Jesus, take this heart that feels so cold again and make it new
I hold this hope inside that you’ll never leave me
When all around me starts to fall and when my faith it seems so small
Even in my darkest hour, I will believe
I don’t know how I could turn my back and walk away
All I really want is for your love to hold me
Jesus, take this heart and make it whole again
I know you’ll never leave me

When all around me starts to fall and when my faith it seems so small
Even in my darkest hour, I will believe
Even if the sun begins to fall, even when I feel nothing at all
Even if I’m all alone, I will believe
Even in my darkest hour, I will believe.

Liberty Truck Sales Mounds Oklahoma
http://libertytrucksales.net/
The Rest of the Story:
Tear Down These Walls
The Light In Me
The End

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