Driving Lessons

Foggy roads in Memphis

Daddy’s advice for driving in inclement weather was to drive through it. Stopping would accomplish but driving on would eventually bring you through it. And this is what I saw him do until one drive in the early morning hours before dawn. We were driving from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Oklahoma City. Snow started to fall. Big, round puffs falling fast toward the windshield against a backdrop of pitch. Daddy pulled the car to the side of the road and stopped. I remember him getting out of the car to clear his head. The falling snow blowing fast against the car against that ink black sky had him disoriented. He couldn’t see clearly, think clearly and he knew to stop.

Here it’s the rain. Rain coming so hard you can barely see the front end of your car. But I keep going. We may be moving slow, creeping along, maybe even with flashers on but we keep moving forward. Our vision is obscured but we are not disoriented from it. Hampered, slowed, challenged, but we can go on.

It hasn’t been rain or snow around here but grief. Grief is pouring down and darkening the way of people I know both near and far. It clouds their vision and impairs the senses. And when it isn’t grief it’s the past. And if it’s not the past it’s addiction and relapse. Or it’s…….Was it Roseanne Rosanna Danna that use to say “it’s always something”?

And it makes me ask how big is my heart? Surely it’s bigger than what I ever knew because I hold these burdens, prayers, friends, questions, all I hold in my heart. It’s all I can do, it seems. I have no answers for when the pain will pass, when the cloud of grief will lighten, when the past will fade from view. I don’t know. So I hold them in my heart, close where it’s warm and the place God knows. God knows. I tell them often He knows but that’s not what is wanted. How do you tell one to wait, it will get better? It’s hard, so hard. I want to believe for them. At least until the light dawns to push through their clouds.

Do I tell them to keep driving through the storm? Or is it time to pull over and rest?

There was a storm on the sea tossing the small boat violently about. Jesus was on the boat sleeping through the storm. The others, experienced on the water, were fearful of their destruction. They woke Jesus calling for him to help. And he did. He calmed the storm. With his words, his breath went across the sea and the winds stopped, the waves calmed. They were saved. It’s the only answer I know. Jesus.

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About Deborah Hudson

I serve in ministry alongside my husband. We are currently working in the recovery community as administrators of a residential program for men who have lost their way in life, many due to substance abuse issues. This program is called an Adult Rehabilitation Center under the direction of The Salvation Army. My husband and I are officers in this organization and as such, ordained ministers. I have two grown children and one delightful granddaughter. I'm also learning to deal with the effects of dementia as my mother is caught in the mire of this disease. I drink too much Pepsi and sing too loud in my car. I blog about my life. Life among people in recovery, life as a journeyer, life unexpected. My life has the typical messiness of the day to day and in the midst of the mess of me is grace. View all posts by Deborah Hudson

7 responses to “Driving Lessons

  • Melissa Cryder

    Oh sweet Debby. Truly, you are wonderful for holding us in your heart. You speak to me … and others. I want to rest. I wonder if you can have rest too. I hope so. It is a gift to have “heart” and it is a “heavy load” as well?? I’m feeling overwhelmed too at times. I feel like i’m taking on new illnesses just because i can empathize or identify with EVERYONE to some extent or another. I’m glad you have God to put a wee bit of a partition between the entire burden of grief and storms and Grace. xoxo melis

  • Heidi

    Debby– Wow. Brought tears to my eyes. I am praying for a break in the storms for you. I’m so happy to be able to keep in touch through blogging again. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, OK?

    I dearly love that last quote. I believe it to be true. How’s His child doing now? We’re a privileged few that get to see your heart. Whether is rain or snow OR the past or grief, you have a lot of difficult roads to navigate.Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Debby

      Thank you, Heidi. I feel like every time I write a new blog post I’m reaching out and many of you answer. It has become a therapeutic way for me to work through things, even though a bit “public”.

      My heart is heavy for a friend. You may recall me writing some months ago about another friend passing away. The widower has been hit full force with the grief that has blind-sided him. It’s heart breaking to see one go through this. We feel inadequate in to help, support. Please pray for him and those of us surrounding him at this time. Your faithfulness is an encouragement to me, and others I’m sure.

  • Lou

    I like your photo of Memphis. I’ve been carrying my camera everywhere, and having fun with it.

    In the hospital, I see spouses of 65-70 years together sitting by the bedside of their “other half”. But really at that point it’s not an other half anymore, but like a limb..or an organ. They don’t want to live, don’t know how to live, without that vital part. It’s sad, but beautiful at the same time, to know that kind of love. I think many events of life have a bittersweet quality. I hope your friend finds a way to deal with the grief. Probably just listening, and I feel you are a good listener, is adequate for now.

    • Debby

      Thanks, Lou. My son actually took that picture. It’s his thing we do. He texts me pictures of sunsets/sunrises, snow, the fog, when the trees bloom. I like having those “things” :) I hope you’ll be sharing some pictures that you’re taking. The guys pretty much believe my camera is attached to me and since I use my iPhone camera so much….well.

      I can’t begin to imagine what you see in the hospital. It must be daunting at times. But yes, bittersweet, I know. Good word for it. Thanks always, for your contribution here!

  • katharinetrauger

    Oh, Debby, it is hard, isn’t it! Sometimes it is the hardest thing we’re ever called on to do.
    But I think you know more than anyone when you need to stop and when you need to keep going. Just drag your dad’s good sense out of your pocket and put it to good use. Then you’ll know what and when . . .
    And I’m so glad he was not the stubborn kind who sticks to a motto, even when it might lead to disaster! ;-)

    • Debby

      Katharine, I wonder if our parents know what they’re really teaching us? And what are our children learning from our “lessons”. Oh, my, too much thinking again! You know what I mean and it does give pause. Daddy was a stubborn man, alright, but not a stupid one :)

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