He sat next to me in the van. The snow had finally come and was covering everything, everywhere, as far as we could see. We would be together, he and I, for hours as we tried to find our way back home. The roads were icy, visibility limited... but it was beautiful.
Driving home from his middle school basketball game, I had to remind myself to make the most of the time we had. It was easy to become frustrated. Easy to lose my focus and fuss about messy driving, completely missing the gift of time I had been given with my boy.
By the time we found the highway, the muscles in my shoulders ached and I was fighting a headache from focusing so hard on the road ahead. I was thrilled to see the snow... but had totally missed what it would do to the roads. Driving slowly, I glanced around and saw many cars in ditches, many spinning out of control. I rolled my shoulders, sat up straighter, and glanced again at my sweet boy.
He was looking out the window, a smile on his face, watching the wonder that was outside. He tilted his head and pointed for me to see the outline of a hawk on the tree nearby.
"Look, momma! Do you see him? He is so majestic there... " he said.
I smiled and nodded, fighting the distraction of the road ahead. I was worried. Would we be able to make the 45 minute drive home? How do I keep us safe? Should we stop or keep pressing forward?
I glanced at him again... the back of his head toward me... and remembered hours and hours of time spent holding him, nursing him, studying the hairs on his head. I remembered him tiny, remembered him running, remembered him jumping through sprinklers with his face lit up in the summer sun.
How do I keep him safe?
"Will it take us long, do you think?" he asked me. "I have homework to do tonight..."
I looked at him again. "Take out your study guide and talk to me about it, bud. Let's work on it out loud."
After digging through his backpack, he finds the sheets and starts talking to me about a test that is coming up soon. I placed my hands firmly on the wheel, sat up straight again and took a quick peek at his seat belt to be sure he was buckled in. Worry washed over me again.
He kicked off a shoe and tilted the chair back a bit, smiling and talking about the class and the test. And then it hit me, all of sudden, that he was not worried at all. He was not stressed by road and the dangerous ice. He was not wondering if we would ever get home. He was calm and peaceful and talking and trusting... even in the midst of such turmoil and tension.
And for a quick minute I could see something clearer... a reminder... a truth... a picture... that comforted me then and comforts me now and reminds me of how life is supposed to be. Because my boy sitting next to me felt totally safe because he trusted me to handle what was happening around us. My boy knew he could do what he needed to do and that someone was keeping him safe.
And maybe you never forget. Sometimes though, I do. Sometimes, I think I have to handle it all... and sometimes I believe that the person who is keeping me safe and watching the road is me.
But, on that snowy and slippery drive home from his game, my son reminded me that if I trust, if I believe, if I release my need to handle it myself, I can relax and remember that The One in control needs be The One who loves me best. I can be free then to do what I need to do knowing that I am safe.
I need to trust Him, to trust God, with my family, my work, my worries, my safety... I need to trust Him to work in and for my life... and trust Him to do it better than I ever could.
And if I do that... if I trust Our God... then I can tilt my head, look carefully about, and see all that is majestic around. His hand of mercy creating beauty in nature, in His people, in my family, in...