Jesus, take the Wheel



I get the feeling God is trying to teach me something.

I have felt this way all year.

This has been the most trying, challenging, exhausting, tear-inducing, fear-inducing year of my life.

We have spent the last 9 months trying to resurface as wave after wave has crashed over us, pushing us back down.

And as I have struggled to regain my footing and make sense of each trial, I have begun to understand the purpose behind the struggle.

This year has been a year of learning to let go, trust God, and give up control…

and obviously I still haven’t learned because, well, here we go again.

I recognize that one of my greatest sins is control and pride. My perceived worth is rooted in my ability to do and manage. I struggle with trusting more in my own management ability over my Heavenly Father’s, and I know that to be true by the complete feeling of panic I have when He leads me down a path I haven’t signed off on.

And the more out of control my life becomes the worse I get.

It seems that the more precarious our stability is as a family the more iron clad my grip on control becomes, certain that if I loosen my hold even a little this already unstable house of cards in going down!

And it is an exhausting way to live.

I find God responding by slowly and deliberately peeling my white-knuckled fingers off the situation as He asks me once again to trust Him.

And the irony in all of this is that I have no reason to trust my plan over His plan. He has proven time and time again that He makes a far better God over my life than I do. He has shown me that His ways are always better and that I can trust in His plan…and yet I continue to battle for control.

Which inevitably leads to “Jesus, take the wheel” moments…

those moments in life when God allows complete powerlessness so as to allow for complete trust and dependence.

It always begins with a tap on the shoulder, followed by a shake and then a shove, and when all efforts are ignored the Lord then lets me fall so that I will reach out for His hands to catch me.

My life has felt incredibly out of control these last few months. In addition to real, hard, heartbreaking trials, we have also been adjusting to the coming waves of change as Grace graduates high school and begins college. All these situations have resulted in sleepless nights and anxiety as I feel my grip of control loosening and the reality that I can’t fix, protect, or ensure anything about the future that is coming hits me.

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And the harder I grip, the more God works on me,

providing experiences and testimony building moments that force me to throw up my hands, trusting that His plan is better than mine, and surrender my control with the simple statement of faith:

“Jesus, take the wheel!”

Now while I have been using that faith statement metaphorically these last few months, this past week it became quite literal and breathtakingly real.

The time had come to register Grace for her fall classes. We had been putting this off due in large part to the unpredictability and instability of our lives right now (and maybe a little of that iron grip issue I was talking about) but we finally committed to make it happen and after breakfast climbed into the van to drive to CCAC.

We were traveling on the turnpike at a good clip, sandwiched between the cement barrier and a tractor trailer going 65 mph in the lane to our right, when I heard a sonic “BOOM.”

My first thought was that there had been an accident just behind us. A quick look in the rearview mirror negated this possibility. My second thought was that the tractor trailer to our right blew a tire.

Within a second or two I knew it wasn’t the tractor trailer, it was us, as I fought to keep control of my van as the shreds of tire ricocheted of the wheel well against the cement barrier.

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It was a true “Jesus, take the wheel” moment.

With strength beyond my own and clarity of mind that was God-driven, I somehow managed to keep the van in the lane, so as to avoid what could have been a fatal collision with a concrete barrier or a speeding semi, and then pull the van over through two lanes of traffic, and off the road without being hit.

Talk about adrenaline!

I could have probably picked up the van and carried it the rest of the way with the amount of adrenaline coursing through my veins.

But, I didn’t.

Instead I called my knight who arrived in his white charger with a spare tire and saved me from a long hike home.

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The force of the tire explosion was evident by the fair amount of damage done by the flying tire pieces, including bent metal around the wheel well and my step’s cover being torn off.

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All was well in the end. We were all safe. The tire was replaced. We made it to registration and Grace locked in her place in the ASL program and eagerly anticipates what promises to be an exciting adventure in the fall.

As for my little “control issue,”

God, your message is coming through strong and clear.

No need for more object lessons.

I surrender.

“Jesus, take the Wheel.”

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