Some days being and acting like an adult is easier than other days. Today was a hard day to be adulty.
We are traveling back from a long vacation and I went to bed last night with a fever and had a hard time sleeping because of the semi trucks rushing by on the road outside all night. I think I am fighting the cold-type-thingy that went through our company on vacation. Woke up, hit the road and a couple hours into our trip, this happened on the trailer (the one we are getting ready to trade in and need in good shape). A melted, exploded wheel bearing. By the time we noticed people waving and honking at us and pulled over, the wheel bearing and tire fell off in a plume of smoke. I had no idea what this meant and was scared to ask Cowboy if it was fixable so for the first half hour I took care of kids and dogs and brought him water while he tried to sort out what needed to be done.
I had three worried little people looking to me to see how they should react to this and I did not feel like being the one that had to be level-headed and calm. Nope, not at ALL. I think I mumbled something like, “this is an adventure!” but inside I was feeling so sorry for myself and Cowboy. It was hot and we were in an unfamiliar place far from home with no idea where to look for help or parts or if this was fixable.
In the meantime, a charming woman came over to chew Cowboy out for selling dogs out of the back of our truck (we have an enclosed bed and leave the rear sliding window open so they can get air on the drive but when we stopped we opened the back of the truck). He had to convince her that we are on a family vacation and we love our dogs. If she’d taken a minute to observe she might have seen a family traveling from out of state with a missing wheel. People!
I grabbed the kids’ hands, instructed them to not let go, and started the trek toward a Chik-fil-a sign in the near distance. I sat down inside once we got our food and was trying really hard to hold back tears. I know it’s not good to let emotions do whatever they feel like but dangit, I really wanted to let them loose today. I didn’t feel good, we were stranded 4 hours from home, and had no idea how to go about getting the parts and help we needed.
I looked over at one of my children, the one who misses nothing when it comes to how people are feeling, and saw the worry in her eyes and knew I had to divert.
“What are you thankful for?” I asked worry-eyes.
“That we are all safe.”
I turned to the next child. “What are you thankful for?”
“Chicken nuggets… and that we are all safe.”
We went around the table and by the end of our thanksgiving, I could feel the tension start to lift a little. Darnit, we did have a lot to be thankful for. Too much to warrant clinging to my pity party for one. While the kids went to play in the indoor playground, I checked my phone and saw I’d just gotten a text from a friend:
“Girl, you are seated with Christ.”
The overly-emotional two-year old part of me wanted to say, ” what does that even mean?” But I knew she was right and as I sat there with all the high school students on their lunch break, I started to take it apart.
Seated with Christ. God’s daughter. Loved. Strong. Capable. Even when I don’t feel like it.
Seated with Christ. An overcomer, even if I wasn’t choosing it in this situation yet. Victorious. Above the circumstances.
Seated with Christ. Full of the raising from the dead power of the Holy Spirit, the fruits of that Spirit, and with every promise of God to me still true – even if it felt like a bad day.
After a few minutes I didn’t feel the need to hold on to the pity party anymore. I have realized that every time I can step back and disengage myself emotionally from something and choose thanks or choose to exalt what is good and true, my attitude changes. My entire outlook on life changes. Every time I can get to a place of worship instead of worry, everything changes. Every single time. And the cool thing is, I ALWAYS have the ability to choose to do that. I always have the choice to rise above it by choosing to focus on what is true and who God is and who I am in Him.
I used to not ever get the viruses or colds my family did. I never got fevers. I had a few doctors tell me my immune system wasn’t strong enough to mount enough of a response to bacteria/viruses to produce a fever. Now, my body is functioning like the rest of my family’s I’m still standing against this cold but part of me is giving thanks that I’m capable of getting one.
We are all safe. That broken bearing could have caused a lot more damage than it did! The wheel could have fallen off on the freeway and posed a major threat to not just us but those around us – but it didn’t!
There was a Chik-fil-a close by so we had air conditioning and food. We were able to find all the parts we need and it looks like this is fixable. We had money for all that we needed. We had internet and got connected to who we needed to get connected to.
And to make up for humane woman, an elderly man stopped and tried to help Cowboy for a while and then offered to take him anywhere he needed. I looked at this sweet old man in his suspenders and loafers and was a little concerned about him getting up under a camper in the heat and at the same time touched that he offered to help Cowboy. We ended up thanking him and telling him we would just unhook the truck and stay together. God bless him!
The enemy likes to make anything hard seem SO big and so desperate and so all about me – me – me. Look up! Look up and see what you do have. Where is the blessing in it? I’m not saying to be passive about what the enemy sends your way and think everything is from God and for his glory. The enemy will steal whatever we let him and I believe we always have to be on guard (even when we feel like laying down and throwing a fit). I’m saying that what the enemy meant for evil can be used against him when we focus on what is true and start praising God in the midst of it. I’m thankful for my kids sharing what they are thankful for and forcing me to voice what I’m thankful for, for Cowboy who works so diligently to take care of us, for my friend’s timely text, for the right hookups to get what we needed to get on the road again, and for selfless people who stop what they are doing to help someone else.
Now that we are FINALLY on the road again, I can look back and see it as adventure and laugh at Humane Lady. Selling dogs out of our truck?! Lady, c’mon!