I had just bought a car. A beautiful, white car that was all mine. I was convinced that this car would get me to drive. This car would motivate me, because then I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted! I was way excited. The first day I drove it, it did everything perfectly. It was so much nicer than the big, clunky van I’d been driving. It ran much smoother, and fit me better. The next day, I decided to drive it to work. But I also happened to be late for work that day. Confidence overthrew me since I had driven it the day before without any problems, and all I was really focused on was getting to work on time.
Instead of hitting reverse, I hit drive. I was ready to cruise on out of there! Bad idea. When I found myself going forward rather than the backward I had anticipated, I panicked. Despite my dad in the passenger seat beside me loudly yelling, “Stop! Stop, STOP!” I pondered what I should do. Switch gears like I should have done in the first place? Turn the wheel? Before I could decide, I watched my niece’s little pink playhouse that I had been heading towards crumple in on itself. I heard a terrible crunching underneath the car, and realized it was my niece’s plastic wagon. Finally, the impulse hit me. Brake.
I came out of that car like a chastised dog. My dad didn’t say anything at first as he surveyed the damage. “You got a dent and long black scratch right there. I’ll drive it later to see if it’s still running okay. Get in the van, let’s go.”
I swallowed back my tears, dejected. I still had to get to work, I was still running late-actually, later, now-and my brand new car was now damaged goods. I couldn’t believe how idiotic I’d been. Really? Forgetting to put it in reverse? How stupid could you get? The day after I’d bought it, and I’d already crashed it? I was humiliated and heartbroken. What I’d feared all this time, had finally happened. I had thought I was finally ready to drive! Ready to act like the actual grown up I was. Instead, the car had shown me up.
I’ve had a really, really, hard time getting into the car since. I demolished my niece’s playhouse. I dented my car. I could have hurt me or my dad. How can I find the courage when I know the same thing could happen again?
Luckily, both my parents were so forgiving and cool about the whole thing. On the way to work my dad actually said, “You know, I was looking for an excuse to tear down that playhouse anyway, but Mom wouldn’t let me. Now I can.” I could only nod through my tears. He even prayed with me, asking that God would restore my confidence, give me a good day, and help me to forgive myself. My mom gave me a huge hug when I came home, and secretly (she thought) demanded my sisters not to tease me about it.
Unfortunately, my niece hasn’t been so forgiving. It’s been at least three months since then, and just the other day she walked up to me and said, “Why did you break my house?” Poor girl, I didn’t have an answer for her. I tried telling her it was an accident, but she just walked away shaking her head.
But now that it’s been a little while, I can see some of the humor in it. I demolished a five-year- old’s playhouse. What kind of monster am I? My niece’s wagon is hysterical. Although it’s kind of crumpled looking, it still has three of the four wheels. The fourth is barely hanging on, so it wobbles, creaks, and rocks when you pull it. Still, my niece won’t give up on it. What must the neighbors think when she goes around with this pitiful excuse of a wagon rocking and creaking behind her? With my indecisive nature, I actually thought about all my options for rectifying the situation before I finally listened to the frantic (did I mention loud?) hint my dad was giving me. Duh. Brake.
But even though I can kind of look at it as somewhat humorous, it makes me wonder if I really can drive, and what’s wrong with me that I find it so difficult. I hate failing. And I’m afraid I’ll fail again.
So these are the fears I face every time I get behind the wheel. It’s the thing I struggle against every time I think about even getting into a car. Hopefully now you understand a little bit more about this fear, but mainly I told you to ask for your prayers. This is one I can’t overcome on my own. I’ve tried. I will get this fear conquered, but it’s going to take a bit of a journey to get there with this one. I’m asking for your support and prayers. I’m laying down my pride, because I honestly need help. That’s hard for me to say, but I’d be lying if I said anything else.
Well, that’s all for now. But if I may, a word of advice: white cars and pink playhouses don’t mix.