“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NIV)
Last time we talked, I was explaining the background behind why I was so scared of winter driving. I had just finished explaining how God had given me a choice: Trust Him with our safety and travel to the concert or play it safe like always and stay home. Because God had just finished showing me for eight months how trustworthy He was, I took the leap of faith and trusted God and my husband (in that order) and we ended up having a great time on our mini vacation with God blessing each part.
But that’s not the end. It wasn’t until months later (mid-January) when God opened my eyes enough to pay attention and realize I was completely healed! It started with Awana that particular Monday night. God told me last fall that I was to participate in Awana with our two sons and He has blessed that decision a hundred times over. I jokingly told Bill when I started in the fall that he would have to drive me back and forth on the nights that the weather was bad because otherwise I wouldn’t be going. He willingly agreed because he’s that awesome. However, since that conversation, he has gotten a promotion at work and with that comes more responsibility. He now has to drive into work early on the days it snows to supervise the “snow crew,” and I knew that meant he would be leaving very early on Tuesday morning. I didn’t want him having to get out and drive me home at 8 PM the night before, so I decided to wear my big girl pants instead.
While I wasn’t enthused about the drive there or back (it had already started snowing before we left), I went anyway – out of obedience to God and commitment to our church. I didn’t notice it that night, but instead of my usual “staring out of the window to see how badly the snow was coming down, stressing out, being distracted and generally panicking, I didn’t think much about the weather and focused instead on the kids and Awana itself. While driving home, I didn’t have the death grip that was my normal MO. I’m not sure I could say I completely enjoyed myself, but I did joke around with the boys and get home without shaking or having stroke level blood pressure readings. I really didn’t think much about it except to pass it off as, “I guess it wasn’t as bad out there as I thought.”
The next morning when I kissed Bill goodbye and locked the door behind him, I realized I had peace. It had snowed quite a bit during the night and was still snowing heavily as he drove off, yet I had peace. Not the begging and pleading I used to do with God when he would go off to work, but instead a simple, “Please keep a hedge of protection around my family, today, Lord, and bring us all back home safely together tonight,” our usual daily prayer. The kids had a snow day and while I was glad not to have to go out in the freezing cold, I realized I carried that peace with me all day long.
That’s when I thought, “Is this how a normal person feels when it snows? Still cautious, but not petrified. Peaceful. Able to look and see the beauty of the snow whether staying indoors or driving around. I realized I liked the feeling of normal… of freedom!
As I was sharing this praise with a friend, it was only then I realized how the enemy had led me to believe a lie that fateful night many years ago which paralyzed me for 18 years. That semi that I ended up mere inches from its grill? I’d always believed God had miraculously stopped it from hitting me, putting me in the victim role. I had feared it because of its ability to kill me. Last week when reliving the reason for my fear, I realized something different: What if God had sent that semi to protect me… not to hit me but to shield me and my tiny car from all others behind it until I could safely turn around and start driving again?”
It was amazing what a different perspective did for me. Instead of believing I was all alone on the highway with no cell phone and God miraculously stopped the truck, now I realized it could have been God sent the truck to keep me safe from all others behind it. While I may never know exactly what happened, changing my viewpoint helped me see the “incident” from a different perspective.
As I’ve learned to trust God in other areas of my life these past two years, He has been working on setting me free in all areas of my life. He doesn’t just care about one or two issues or problems. I can never be too needy, too broken, too messed up for God to patiently help me learn to walk in freedom and become more like Him. As I love to say, what God’s willing to do for me, my friend, He’s waiting to do for you too. You just have to ask!
© Cheri Swalwell 2016