Extra courage right there beside you

I was blinded. I veered off the highway at 30 miles an hour. My passenger yelled “Whoooaaaa!” as she was thrown in her seat.

I loosened my grip on the steering wheel and realized I hadn’t lost my eyesight. I could see!

I blinked hard, zooming in on an old-fashioned wooden dentistry sign only inches from the car. My white panic had left. I turned to Jennifer and stated, “I can’t see in this fog. I can’t drive.” I had lost my courage. I had given up. I was envisioning spending the night in the car until the storm passed.

Jennifer took over driving. She was determined with an inner strength I had never seen before. I looked out the window and was again blinded by the bright headlights reflected in the drizzly fog. There were no street lamps, it was a blind, curved road and she was going at least 45 miles per hour. I kept my eyes open. If this was it, I wanted to live in my last moment.

I glanced at my friend. She was positively grinning. She shared that she was excited by the challenge. Who was this thrillseeker driving my car?

Jennifer responded to my downcast look of failure. “Cindy, you are so brave and you take all the risks in relationships. I have no courage there,” she said. I replied, “Jennifer, I could not have driven any further. I hate to give up. I feel like such a coward.”

As we pulled into the hotel parking lot for our women’s retreat, we looked at each other in a new light of understanding. She has her strengths and I have mine.

I will never forget our potential pajama party at the country dentist’s office in the middle of nowhere. A place where I realized there are no failures in admitting your weaknesses, especially when you have a courageous friend beside you.

On the way home, we passed through those same country roads. We saw beautiful, crashing waves surrounded by large, jagged cliffs. The sun’s kiss was reflected off the water, seagulls were circling above and you could almost taste the salt in the cool fresh air. Even though we were unable to see these things on our drive in, they were always there.

Spiritually speaking, sometimes life’s difficulties are like that horrid fog. We can be blind to our blessings –– our Lord, our spouses, our children, our friends and the many beauties of our lives. We just can’t see them through the fogs of depression, frustration, the very real pains in life or whatever your personal challenges might be.

Giving it all to God, looking past today’s troubles and seeing the beauty in your life, is a much better solution than getting stuck in self-pity, spiritual blindness or a big foggy blanket of stress. This brings freedom, joy, peace and love.

God and His love are always there, surrounding us even when we can’t see him. We don’t have to give up. He truly is our strength in our weakness. There’s nothing wrong with admitting we can’t do it without him. He is the one who gives us courage. Surrender the steering wheel to the most courageous friend of all, the one who is always beside you. Cliffside, waterside, sunscapes, rain and fog, he will take you on an adventurous journey unlike any you have ever known. Whhheee heeeee!

Cindy Jury is a freelance writer and a ministry leader at Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Federal Way. She can be reached at cjury@harborne

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