Sometimes you just have to Press On

This past weekend, the children and I drove to Mississippi to see James, and my mom, and our new church for Mother’s Day.  (((For those of you who know me and my issues personally… did you catch the fact that the words “I” and “DROVE” and “to Mississippi” were in the same sentence?))) For the rest of you, my sweet online friends, there’s something I guess it’s time for you to know… I hate to drive.  That’s right. I said it. Hi. My name is Jennifer. And I hate to drive.  I have a terrible sense of direction, and am prone to the fear of wrecks, especially when turning left.  I will happily drive an entire block, if necessary, in order to avoid turning left.  On top of that, I avoid driving in the rain and the dark at all costs.  I prefer to drive only on nice, sunny, blue-sky-cloudless days.  I know… I have issues.

But… I missed my husband and my mom so I did what any good wife and daughter would do… I prayed a lot, packed the car, checked the kids out of school, and drove to MS.  Seriously – I’ve only done this twice before in my entire life.  It was a banner day. The sun was shining, the sky was clear, and we had a wonderful trip.  All glory to the Lord and a lot of thanks to Gloria  – my GPS – who, besides Jesus, my salvation, James, my children and my family, was the best gift I’ve ever received!  (I love how she tells me when to change lanes, when to turn, when to exit, and when to continue on so many miles. Since I’m not really adventurous or independent, I don’t mind taking directions from her at all!)

We planned on staying through the weekend and returning on Monday.  But along with Monday morning, came rain.  As it passed through MS and into TN, it seemed that we would drive right along with the weather.  Kind of like the rain cloud that hovered over Eeyore.  Normally I would have considered staying at my Mom’s one more day.  But both children were arleady missing Monday’s school, and we needed to get Nathan back by 3pm for the 1st day of Sping Football practice… so I really didn’t have that choice.  On Monday, giving in to fear was not an option.

I’ve been doing battle with fear a lot lately, and by God’s strength and grace, I’m winning more often than losing these days!  So before I handed myself over to fear, I started quoting Philippians 4:13 and 2 Timothy 1:7 and praying for strength.  We ate our breakfast, packed up our car and were just about ready to leave when Abigail noticed that my front left tire looked a little low.  I never even think about noticing those things. 

My sweet mom called a local tire place and arranged for us to have it checked before we left town. What a blessing…because the tire had a nail in it.  We could have had a flat tire – in the rain – somewhere between there and here – and who knows what would have happened.  But we didn’t.  God miraculously went before us, revealed the need, and helped us take care of it.  When we stopped back by my moms before we left town, she hugged me and said, “See, God took care of you then, and He’s going to take care of you the whole way home.”  She was so right!

Actually, because of the tire incident and the often blinding rain, I felt closer to the Lord than I did while driving in the beautiful sunny weather.  Hmmm… sounds like a familiar life lesson…

As we were driving through Memphis, the rain was so blinding that I could hardly see the car in front of me.  The children were watching a movie (with headphones) and I had some soft worship music going, and was having an intimate time with the Lord when I noticed that many cars had pulled to the side to wait out the rain.  I asked the Lord what I should do, and I {almost audibly} heard Him say to me, “Keep pressing through.  Keep going.  Focus on what is in front of you.  Don’t try to pass anyone.  Just keep presssing through this storm.”

So that’s just what I did.  I drove.  I pressed through the blinding rain, focusing my eyes on the tail lights of the car in front of me, and kept going.  And as I was pressing through that literal storm, the Lord gave me a beautiful example of what He wants from me in the present circumstances of my own life.

Sometimes, God calls us to pull over and wait out the storm.  When we do that, we get to rest safely for a while until the weather clears enough for us to get back on the road.  Those are special seasons in our lives.

But sometimes, God calls us to press through the storm.  To keep on keeping on.  To NOT look around and be dismayed (Isa. 41:10), but to keep putting one foot in front of the other (or to keep one foot on the gas pedal, as in my case), and to keep moving forward.  The way may be slow and slippery, but if the Lord calls us to press on, He will help us keep going! 

Seasons of pressing on are just as special in the make up of our lives.  In fact, they may be more precious that the seasons of rest because these seasons of pressing on build something in us that seasons of rest just don’t give us.  They build Trust, Confidence in God, Practice in Obedience, a Sharp Eye, an Alert Mind, and a Desperation for the Help of the Lord.  We need Him, seek Him, and He is found by us.  He shows UP and shows OFF all He desires to do in and through us as we keep pressing on.

Since pressing through the storm on Monday, the strangest thing has happened… I’m driving around town with more confidence than I’ve ever had in my entire life.  I’m pulling out in traffic and actually turning left – and at night – and I’m doing it without that constant sick feeling in the pit of my stomach!   I’m even pulling into parking spaces with much more boldness and authority!  Can somebody give me an A men!?

I know that my driving “issues” may seem ridiculous to some to many ok… to most of you, but I hope you can see past the silly example to the truth of what I’m trying to say.  My family is in a season of pressing through the storm, not resting during it.  Many around us are in that same season.  You may be too.  And if you are, I want to encourage you to do what the Lord instructed me to do during a day that could have been filled with panic and fear: Keep pressing on!  Keep pressing through!  Keep going. Focus on what is in front of you. Don’t try to pass anyone. Just keep presssing through this storm!

In pressing through that storm, the Lord equipped me, strengthened me, and helped me conquer a group of fears that have held me back for way too long!  My family, friends, and I are all the better for it.  The same will be true for you.  If God calls you to Press On, you CAN do it!  You can do it with His Strength and Presence that strengthes you!  I know you can do it… because that’s just what His Word tells us.

Do you need to Press On today?  I’m praying for you right now, thanking God for His Strength and Victory He will pour over you as He leads you to press on…

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.”  Isaiah 41:10 (Amp)

I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”  2 Timothy 1:7 (Amp)
About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. This gave me chill bumps! I'm pressing on! Thanks for those rear-lights leading the way 🙂

    Praying for you guys to sell your house. It is a beautiful home.

  2. Alexis AKA MOM says:

    I'm not much of a long distance driver and so understand where you were coming from. What a beautiful way to reflect and find the joy in the life lesson.

  3. Melanie Redd says:

    Pressing on is good… but next time you DRIVE through Memphis, you need to stop off at my place!

    We are still living in seminary housing just by I-40!

    Proud of you for pressing on, but sad to have missed you passing through!

    Mel

  4. Tales From My Empty Nest says:

    What a wonderful post. God certainly was with you and has grown you through this adventure. Your faith has certainly been strengthened. Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

  5. Jennifer,

    I am new to your blog and have been touched by this post today. Like you I am pressing on in this season and this spoke durrectly to my heart! I thank the Lord for using you and for your obedience to so eloquently pouring out your heart and being vulnerable enough to share your fear!

    I look forward to knowing you more!

    Love and Blessings!

  6. Beautiful post. I've read more than one reference to this post today as I've browsed through blogland…and God has used it in many ways. Your pressing through the storm has not only encouraged – and empowered – you but has been the drive to keep others pressing on….even when the storm winds are howling. What a blessing your blog is…..

    So glad you made it home safely – and had the weekend with your family!!

  7. Jennifer, I am inspired! I love this post!!!

    You see, I really can relate. I do not like to drive. It is an easy avoidance for me because we are a one car family, and my husband and I go everywhere together.

    But, I love the way the Lord spoke to you! What an awesome word! He is so good and so faithful!

    You have blessed me this evening!

    Much love,

    Andrea

  8. Great thoughts, I do not have a fear of driving, I lived on a ranch 1 hour from a town for many years, but I have certainly had to push through some hard trials and I too came out the other side much stronger than I went into them. Praise God for His strength and power that carries us when we can not stand at all.

  9. Debbie..
    beautiful!
    my fear is BRIDGES…
    but with help from above,
    I've white-knuckled across many..
    and arrived safely at the other end..
    and yep, my confidence has gained momentum after the first crossing so many eons ago!
    warmest hugs..
    Loui♥

  10. Smelling Coffee says:

    Debbie, I'm so glad the Lord used this, and I just can't imagine driving the LA freeways… yet…

    😉 Jennifer

  11. Great job, I am proud of you and what our Father is teaching us. I love you!!! James

  12. I just can't tell you how much this post blessed me…I feel like you may have written it just for me…I have many trials I am pressing through right now and this is JUST the very message I feel the Lord is telling me. Just keep going and I will see you through. I am glad you made your trip and enjoyed your time with your family. Many years ago I made a BIG move and the only way I was going to be able to stay connected and not feel like I was in the middle of nowhere was to drive the California freeways. If you have ever driven one I need say no more. I didn't do freeways at the time. Today I don't think twice. I even do the LA freeways…even scarier. God is soo good and soo faithful. Thank you soo much for sharing this. I am going to use your verse from Isiah in my post today if I get the chance to even write it, haha…Have a wonderful day. HUGS, Debbie

  13. I struggle with fear too (and driving is one of them), but, like you, I find that just going ahead and doing things (prayerfully, of course) is the best way to work through them. You go girl!