A Lesson In Trust

My hands wring sweaty, clamped around the steering wheel, heart beating towards suffocation. A blanket of anxiety drapes over my shoulders, down my legs, as we drive over the Ravenel Bridge into Charleston. I turn to my teenage daughter and tell her to start talking to me. I need a distraction.

“I have this irrational fear honey,” I explain, “it started almost twenty years ago . . .”

“I know Mom,” she interrupts, “you’ve told me about it before.”

She reads the directions I printed out. Knowing what to expect helps the fear diminish, even though I listen to the voice of the GPS.

As we take a left turn to exit the bridge, my nervous laughter breaks the tension and she catches the contagious giggles.

How It All Started

Almost twenty years ago, fear settled over me while behind the wheel of my Toyota Celica on a small bridge in Jackson, Tennessee. H drives behind me, in an un-air-conditioned moving van with all our possessions, his mother sits in the passenger seat.  We were making a cross-country move from Phoenix to Cleveland, Tennessee as newlyweds, entering the season of seminary.

I swerved off the road, overcome with sudden anxiety and nearly escaped a collision with the face of a rocky mountain. H missed the rear of my car by inches.  And even though God continues to move us to islands connected by bridges, I avoid driving over them whenever possible. Until my friend Kelly called to say she is coming to town on a visit from Colorado.

Kelly and I, we’ve been friends for almost twenty years. Before her wedding and our collective five children, we linked arms on the pilgrimage of missionaries to join Youth with a Mission. Five household moves ago, we shared the foundational years of planting our spiritual roots in leadership. The last time we were together our boys slept in infant car seats. I wasn’t about to let crossing a bridge steal this opportunity.

From Fear to Freedom

Sometimes we must revisit the areas of greatest challenge and deepest wounding for the purpose of cultivating deeper trust in Jesus. Because salvation is an ongoing process of learning how to let go and trust. And those who trust become trustworthy.

I want more than anything, for God to know I am trustworthy. So when the enemy of the soul taunts with “We’ve already dealt with this so why are you here again” and “This Jesus stuff doesn’t work” I hold on to trust with a death grip.  Because Jesus, He will save me from myself.

I kicked fear to the curb on a bridge that day and looked trust in the eyes around a café table and pastries with our teens. Today trust is born on a writing journey with a dream. I’m engaged in a stare down I’m planning to win.

If I believe that He holds my life in His hands, then what have I to fear?

Do you struggle with letting go of fear? How do you let go?

This is a re-written post, in case it sounds familiar.

Linking with Ann to count gifts of cool air, rainy days, a good book on the porch, a husband who makes dinner, friends visiting from Asia and Africa, the continual God-incidences here on the blog and for my coach Terry Walling, who lifts my arms when they are weary.

With friends Laura and Michelle too.

This is #29 in the series 31 Days of Letting Go. You can read the collective here. If you are a writer, I invite you to link up any post you’ve written on the theme of letting go in the comments on Friday. Subscribe to receive the series in your inbox or feed by adding your address in the side bar under Follow Redemptions Beauty.