It was kind of ironic, because the day before I had just written about how well things were going (catch it here: http://wp.me/p132LV-gQ.) For the most part, I wasn’t really scared. Like I said, I’m starting to get more comfortable and familiar with the car. I no longer have panic attacks about which side the brake and gas are on. I was a little nervous, but doing relatively well. I wasn’t in the mood to drive, but I rarely am. I’m not really sure I know what happened. We were in town, so I was definitely overwhelmed. We needed to stop by the post office, so my dad was going to show me where to turn. My mind was buzzing with a million things: where was the turn? What about that car behind me? Was I going too slow, having too many jerky movements? What if they were getting annoyed with me?
I missed the turn and had to go around for another shot at it. I was flustered with how uncertain and indecisive my movements had been. I came to a stop sign and dutifully stopped. I checked both ways and started out. As I started to turn, I saw a car coming. But for some reason, I thought it would be okay. For some reason, I didn’t realize that our paths would inevitably cross if one of us didn’t do something. Luckily for me, the oncoming car saw me and slowed. I didn’t realize anything bad could have happened until my dad said something. It wasn’t like an almost-collision or anything where either of us had to swerve or stomp on the brakes, but had the car been going any faster or not seen me, it might have been. After I realized what I’d done, I burst into tears and told my dad I didn’t want to drive anymore. And I didn’t. My dad drove us home while I hiccupped back sobs.
I wasn’t really sad. I was more angry and frustrated with myself. All the old doubts came back. What if I couldn’t learn how to drive? Why was it so hard for me? Once again, I could have hurt my dad, the other driver, myself, or my car. I shouldn’t even be allowed on the roads with how many stupid mistakes I make! That was just it: it was stupid. I had to have my dad tell me something really bad could have happened when I popped out into that intersection? I couldn’t figure that out for myself? It just wasn’t a good feeling. It’s not like driving is some kind of special talent. It’s supposed to come naturally. Which makes me wonder: what’s wrong with me?
I decided to quit driving for the day because 1) Tears make for blurry vision. 2) I was obviously not thinking clearly enough to be safe on the roads. 3) My mindset just wasn’t right. I didn’t want to drive. I was done for the day.
But then I felt guilty because I’d stopped driving and acted like a child. In essence, wasn’t I quitting? Was it important I got back at it right away? Would I be allowing the devil a win if I just gave up and went home? Would I be letting people down? But I just couldn’t. My emotions were stretched thin, and my mind was stubbornly telling me, “You’re done.” It took me a while to calm down, and it was one of the more discouraging trips I’ve had, feeling like I was right back where I started.
But I couldn’t leave it there. I’ve determined I’m going to learn how to drive, and this is the year my fear is going down. I am not a quitter, I was not going to let the devil win, and I know God is on my side. It wouldn’t be a battle if everything came easy. From the moment I said I was done driving, I meant I was done driving for the day. Not forever. I’d been hit, but I was not out for the count.
So I decided to go driving again on Sunday. I didn’t want my two-days-a-week streak to end, and I knew the longer I let it sit, the more afraid I would grow and the harder it would get to go driving again. It was hard, but I knew I needed a better drive to get my confidence back. I couldn’t-and didn’t want-to let my mind rest on a failure. The only way to get rid of a failure is to come up with a success! So I prayed for a better day of driving and set out again. This time, the drive went extremely well! God filled my heart and spirit with the peace only He can give, and I was only nervous when we first started out. We drove a lot in town again, and thankfully it was a lot more peaceful and less stressful.
Not much happened of significance, yet everything that happened was significant. There’s a song by Superchick that goes like this: “I have everything to lose, by not getting up to fight, I might get used to giving up, so I am showing up tonight.” I’d already won by refusing to quit. By getting back out there and having it go well, I proved the devil wrong. It meant I could succeed. That having failed drives isn’t all I am capable of. I am also capable of successes.
The war isn’t over yet and I’m gonna have to keep fighting, but I’ll call this most recent battle a victory. No person is immune from mistakes; it’s what you do with them that matters.
So whatever battle you’re fighting, whatever fear you’re facing, whatever defeat you’re feeling: you’ve already won. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ who gives you the strength, and you can do this! You are capable of more than failures. You are also capable of successes. All you have to do to prove that to yourself is get up and try again, which is exactly the reason the devil is trying so hard to keep you down. If you get back up, you’ve shown straight through his lie that said you couldn’t.
Get back up when every voice is telling you to stay down. If you do, you’ll realize something: it was always possible for you to stand.
You are capable of successes. And that’s more than a “Fear Tip.” That’s a God-given truth.
Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:24.)
This marks three weeks I have gone driving regularly, and I plan to go two days this week as well. Who knows? I might even make it three.