Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trust isn’t Safe

I didn’t remember how to get to the airport. Mainly because someone always takes me and picks me up whenever I fly. It is very rare that friends and family venture away from the East Coast to visit me in Arkansas. I never needed to know how to get to the airport on my own before. 
I needed to know Monday morning though. 
“Easy enough”, I thought, “I’ll just use my GPS in my car”. But I was still nervous about finding this small, country airport. 
My sense of direction is bad. 
I get lost. A lot.
Even with my GPS. 
I can’t blame the navigation system because I don’t listen to it. For some reason, I tend to believe that I know a better way to my destination. So, I ignore the GPS voice, telling me that I’m going the wrong way. Or worse yet, I turn it off. 
Usually, I wander around for quite some time before I realize that I’m lost. In defeat, I let the GPS “recalculate” to find how far off course I had gotten myself. I let the voice guide me back to the right road until I think, “I’ve got it this time”. Then I pursue my own way again. 
The result is that I frequently get lost and show up to my destination frazzled and late. And sometimes, I never make it at all. 
You can imagine my sudden fear then when my GPS wouldn’t turn on at 5 a.m. monday morning when I needed to get to the airport. I was packed and ready to pull out of the driveway, but I didn’t know where to go. 
So in the early morning hours, I begged in prayer, “God, please, please, please let this thing work!”. Somewhere, deep within me, came the reply, “But you don’t listen to the GPS anyway. What good would it do you?”. 
I pleaded with more prayer. 
“God, I’ll listen today! Please let this work. I need some direction. I have no clue where to go!”. 
Then a lightbulb went off in my head. My iphone! Of course! My iphone had a navigation app! Sitting in my car, I put the airport name into my iphone and waited for some kind of guidance. 
As I was waiting, my car’s GPS lit up. It was working now! I let out a quick, “Thank you, God!” and hit the “Airport” button anxiously awaiting the voice to direct me. 
I happily listened as I pulled out of the driveway and out of the subdivision. 
Until I made it to the highway. 
Then it happened. My distrust in the GPS began to creep into my mind. 
“No, no, no. That can’t  be right!”, I said to the voice on the system, “I’m supposed to go North! I remember that I went North...”. My words were interrupted by the voice telling me to turn. And I didn’t like that. 
“Maybe it just needs to recalculate”, I thought. After all, my GPS is used to recalculating. So, I ignored the first turn to go South. And the next turn after that. And the next. Until, I was faced with no other option than to break the law. 
I picked up my iphone, while driving down the winding country road, and typed in the airport name again. “Maybe this thing will work better”, were my thoughts. 
It didn’t work any better. I got the same directions as the voice. 
I had to listen. So, I turned my car south. 
I thought that both the GPS and the iphone were messing up now. I thought that maybe they were directing me to some other airport. Nothing about the directions made sense to me. I double checked the airport address on both systems.
Yes, it was the right airport. 
“Goodness woman”, I thought to myself, “You live in Arkansas now. This isn’t like Florida where there are major airports all over the place. Of course it’s the right airport!”. 
I continued to drive down the dark interstate, nervous that I was going the wrong way. Afraid that I was going to get lost and miss my flight. I didn’t trust the voice on the GPS at all, but I had no other options. I didn’t know any other way. 
“This can’t be right!”, my thoughts screamed, “There are no signs!!! Don’t airports have signs?!?!!?” 
Hmmmmm. Maybe not small country airports. Maybe not airports that have one baggage claim and one terminal. 
Yet as I continued to drive the miles, sure enough, a tiny green sign appeared in my view. It directed me to turn right for the airport, just as the GPS voice had predicted moments before. 
I realized how foolish I had been in my own thinking. How I had been so sure that I needed to go north because that is all I could recall from driving to the airport a few years ago with my ex-fiance. I had failed to remember that I was coming from a different direction than last time. How did I forget that important detail? 
In 2007, I had lived in a college town about 45 minutes south of where I now call “home”. Of course, I was supposed to go north to get to the airport then, but I’m in another place now. I’m coming from a different direction. 
And someone else was with me last time I made this trip. Now, it’s just me...and the GPS voice. I can’t depend on the person next to me for directions because he left last year. I’m on my own now. I have to listen to the GPS. I have to trust that it will get me to the right place...at the right time. 
I see many little town signs as I proceed carefully through the winding country, relying on the voice to show me the way. I drive through a handful of these small communities, boasting populations of 800 or less. One particular town name catches my eye and I do a double take. 
“Healing Springs”. 
The word, “healing”, calls out to me every time I see or hear it. Maybe because I pray for healing day and night. I pray to be free from the pain of this disease. I plead with God, begging Him to repair the damage inside. 

The town of Healing Springs passed just as quickly as it came. My thoughts returned to the road ahead as I was twisting and turning through the darkness. It didn’t look like there be could be an airport out here. It didn’t look like there could be anything out here. I kept going though. I kept on trusting that the GPS knew the way. 
Then another sign came into view and the voice told me to follow its direction. As soon as I was guided to turn, a few bright lights appeared. There it was! The “airport”, with its one parking lot and one terminal. 
I shut off the voice on my GPS. I won’t miss my destination now. 
“Where am I supposed to park?”, a logical, yet dumb question to think to myself considering there was only one parking lot. However, multiple signs pointed out, “long term”, “short term”, “economy”, and other parking choices. The arrows looked like they were pointing everywhere to me. Overwhelmed, I got slightly confused. 
“Which one am I supposed to go to? Which ticket do I need to leave my care here?”.
I had never done this alone. 
In fear of turning into the wrong entrance and obtaining the wrong parking ticket, I didn’t turn at all. I kept on driving. I drove past all the parking signs and the little country airport. In the darkness, one little sign popped into my view. 
“PARKING left lane. EXIT right lane”. 
I recognized that the parking sign would circle me back around to the one lot with multiple choices. Yes, despite all my stupidity at 5:45 a.m., I managed to be smart enough to follow the parking sign....cautiously. 
But I still felt lost. 
“God, please don’t let me go the wrong way again”. 
I didn’t hear His voice like I did the GPS, but I felt His peace. It was like He was saying, “Sweetheart, you can’t get lost now. There’s no other way to go, but forward. Everything and everyone around you is gone. All that’s left is your destination. Just circle back around and try again. You won’t miss it. Trust me”. 
Maybe I was just hearing the words that my father would say to me. 
“Trust Me”. How easy those words sound, but how unsafe to my weary heart. 
I drove back around, circling the place I was so afraid of losing. I followed the right parking signs and ignored the other choices. I got my ticket. I parked my car. 
Once inside, I nervously checked myself into one of the only two flights leaving the country airport at that time. I then sat down, waiting for the call to board for NY. 
But then the “Chicago” sign caught my eyes. I was in the wrong spot. 
I laughed to myself, swallowed what little pride I had left, and dragged my stuffed carry-on bag past all the Chicago people waiting in the right place. I found the NY sign about 20 feet later, just as a voice called my name over the speakers, telling me it was time to board. 
I was the last passenger and they were waiting for me. 
As fast as I could, I hauled my bag and my butt to the door where the NY sign stood, only to be stopped by a security guy, asking me where I was going. 
“She’s with us”, came the voice from the NY flight attendant next to the door. She smiled at me and told me to follow the one terminal, “all the way down to the door on the right. Don’t go to the left door. That’s Chicago. Go right and you’ll find the plane you want”. I must have looked as confused as I felt because then she added with assurance, “You can’t miss it, darling”. 
Clearly, this woman did not know me. 
True to her word though, I didn’t miss the “right door”. I couldn’t. The pilot was standing there, holding out his hand to greet me. 
I smiled in thankfulness for the southern hospitality at this small country airport in the middle of nowhere. Thankfulness in my heart for God allowing me to see the bigger picture as I boarded the little aircraft. 
I thanked God for not giving up on me, ever. 
I thanked Him for leading the way when I get myself lost, over and over. 
See, I’ve got you”, I felt the Lord speak to me. Not in the audible way that the GPS voice could, but as a whisper in my heart. 
I’ve had you the whole time. Trust me
Ok, God. It doesn’t feel safe. It doesn’t even feel like the right thing to do. But I will follow your voice. 
I will trust you. 

“But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My feet have closely followed His steps;
I have kept to His way without turning aside”
~Job 23:10-11


  1. This is such a great post. And girl you are not alone. I often distrust my gps thinking that I know the way in this backwards midwest place that I live. Sometimes I am too afraid to post a comment on your post. You are braver than I am-I don't post about my endo pain. But I do know exactly what you are going through. I hope that I can trust God as much as you do one day, I'm just not there yet. Keep on keeping on girl and have a great Thanksgiving!!!

  2. This was such a moving post...your faith is truly beautiful.

  3. I love your new blog design! And my GPS is notorious for getting me even more lost than I already am. lol.

  4. I am HORRIBLE with directions and am forever lost, so I have so been there friend! :)

  5. Thank you so much, ladies. It helps to know I’m not alone in getting lost all the time!