Driving in the UK has been a real "trip" for me! LOL This week has been no exception….Tuesday I was light-hearted knowing that my commute would be a bit easier, because my lessons scheduled were in a lower congestion area, WRONG! I had a huge diversion on a dual carriageway (two-lane road). Traffic was literally at a standstill, I have faced congestion before MANY TIMES but this was different, unusual for this road. The tom-tom (SAT nav) keeps posted the time of arrival, and I kept watching the minutes tick by as we sat there and barely moved. So many kept turning around, this is a curious sight to behold, backing up and turning around in the lane you are in. This was a clue to me, maybe I need to turn around too, but this is the only way I’m familiar with, I don’t have time to spare going on a discovery of new sights and roads, but when the fire brigade (fire truck) came by and we all scrambled to make room for them to pass, I thought well, I must do the inevitable, turn around in the lane, there must be an incident (accident of some sort) ahead, so I called my hubby and cried on his shoulder, at least at this point I was calmer than usual, all I could think of, I can just make it, and not miss all three lesson, even one lesson missed would be a twenty pound loss for the night!
So my hubby encouraged me to turn around and he went online at home and guided me on an alternative route because the tom-tom would probably keep directing me to this road. Off I went, at first it was okay, then the my mobile kept cutting off Jonathan, and now is not the time for my mobile to fail, desperately trying to stay in contact with him, I kept forging ahead, then I was on this road, the back road of roads, room for one car to pass, literally one lane, but cars were still trying to pass, you just pull off to this little place in the hedge, and these hedges are 12 or 14 feet high!!! I was comforted that a little car was in front of me, so I just stuck real close, well, by now, I knew I was going to be late, and miss the first lesson, I’m freaking out but so thankful it is not dark. I have been through that before, I call it my Stephen King experience of driving on England’s roads at night, in the fog, no one on the road but me, low on petro (gas), around 11:00 at night, and soooooo scary, now that time I was crying and telling the Lord I can’t do this…..I just wanted to stop, and quit, and of all lanes, that one was called Honey Lane, not sweet to me at the time, the road was even wet, all I could think of was flooding, which was happening that time of year. I ended up on this road because I took the wrong turn, and I followed the tom-tom, and it was just guiding me the quickest route, not matter what road, even a rural road, this road even had a one car pass bridge! I was so scared, the fog literally just appeared when I turned down this road, so frightening! I was not calm on the mobile this time with my hubby, he found my location on Google and told me just keep driving, so white knuckled fingers on the steering wheel, I kept on……Finally the road just dumped onto the Motorway, lights, cars and the road home, at last.
Back to my original story……winding and curving I was on my way, just waiting for a familiar road, just like life, we depend on the Lord to guide us even when we can’t see ahead. This is when faith develops, knowing that God Almighty will carry us through the good and bad times. I don’t like not being able to see what’s ahead, even when a lorry (truck) is front of me, I want to get around it so I can see. So when I’m driving and I can’t find my way, lost and desperate, stomach hurting because I’m scared, I pray, but am I really learning, grasping the situation is in someone’s hands, the safest hands in all the earth, my Father’s. It reminds me of my little boy, Josiah, when I leave for work and he kisses me goodbye, he tells me "hope God puts a shield over you." Well, that night that I had my Stephen King driving experience, I remembered Josiah’s prayer over me, and I was comforted that out of my child’s mouth was a prayer that God heard, and He did put a shield over me that night. How soon I forget of the power of God. Increase my faith, oh Lord, don’t let me forget "faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence (proving) of things not seen." Heb. 11:1 I know God has protected me so many times, from cars with road rage, pulling around me, cutting me off, someone banging on my car with their fist when at a light, and cars hooting (honking) at me when in Central London, at the round-abouts. 🙂
And me just driving, on the wrong side, trying to sort out the roads, learning to pay attention to the road sign, especially the white diamond on the road, I found out later what that meant the hard way, it means don’t enter, no wonder the driver in the opposite car was looking at me strange, so when I turn I look for that blessed blue arrow and the absence of the white diamond! I must remember that God has assured to me, a hope that He will never leave me, and many times proved to me a safety in Him that I could not always see, until later.
I know people ask why do I drive when I could take the train? I have contemplated this many times, well, I may take the train, but I would still need to take a bus to my different lessons, and that could take 30 minutes to an hour, so tom-tom in hand I go with a prayer on my heart and I can arrive at my destination with a cushion of time for travel unless an incident occurs, and I have to miss because of a diversion. It is so funny that I just live 18 miles from Central London, and my lessons I have blocked together according to location and it takes an hour and 30 minutes average to get to my first lesson, so crazy! Sometimes it takes 15 minutes just to go 5 miles! The roads are not straight, so many turns! So I have to plan and leave accordingly! Which has been good for me!!?? Can’t be tardy! It has taken me almost a year to learn the system, and I’m still learning but, I can actually drive home without the tom-tom; I still turn it on if I take the wrong turn. I could not have made it without "Bonnie", my tom-tom, she is our second one, "Beatrice" died on us a couple of weeks ago. LOL I know some prefer maps but I’m one that has seen the benefit of gadgets and like then and not paper and pages to turn while driving, even better when you can buy them heavily reduced!!
My students are really precious to me, God has supplied every one of them, and I can see how God has been "faithful to me." Last Tuesday arriving at my last lesson, road weary and a bit stressed, this little three year old girl, answered the door, she asked me,”Can I give you a huddle?" I did not quite understand her, and she asked me again, then I asked, “do you mean a hug?" She nodded, I thought that was so sweet it just made my day, her mummy told me that she had waited up for me to give me a kiss, but I’m really glad she gave me a "huddle". I much prefer hugs to kisses! Do you think a "huddle", is a cuddle with a hug? At the end of the day, God is still with me, as He was with me in the beginning of the day, how can I help but love Him, and serve him until my dying day?
As I drove home, listening to, "Be Still, My soul", the one phrase really meant a lot to me, "To guide the future as He has the past". My faith is growing and it takes experiences to see the power of God at work. I drove home with a greater appreciation for the God I serve, and I could not help but to smile because He sent a "huddle" my way after a stressful day.