Posted by: karanoel | March 14, 2012

A choice worth making

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Today started out pretty normal. I hit the snooze button a few times before dragging my body out of bed (I’m not exactly what you would call an early bird), made breakfast for the family and lunches for the kids, and hopped in my little green Camry with the dog to take Cole to school. It was a beautiful morning, cool and moist with a promise of warmth, like the beginning of summer.

We moved midyear so Cole’s school is half hour – and three freeways – away. It is very active driving. I spend most of my time crossing several lanes in stop-and-go traffic to get to the carpool lane and then several lanes to get back over so I can merge onto another freeway… and then back again. Such is life in this gorgeous place so many call home.

While I love driving, it has been problematic for me. I totaled a car within a week of getting my license and another shortly thereafter. For the past few decades, the damage has been far less though certainly not absent. But I have learned to drive with caution. I refuse to answer my phone in the car, resist other distractions, and trail cars at a great distance. I try really, really hard.

Yet, still, there I was this morning slamming on the breaks as I heard the familiar sounds of metal on metal, and felt the abrupt stop I know so well. It had been a moment of distraction; a glance toward the dog in the backseat. My fault… again. It is hard to describe the discouragement I felt as I saw my crumpled hood and imagined the damage I would find when the other two cars involved made their way to the side of the road. I was plagued by the thought of saddling John with another expense, concern over my pregnancy (surprise!), and the persistent question of “what is wrong with me??”

Cole, who is fine apart from a stiff neck, took photos of the damage and gathered loose pieces of our car while I swapped information with the other drivers. We got back into the altered Camry, not so light-hearted as before, and got Cole to school only slightly late.

John graciously responded to the news, but I felt awful. I hung up the phone and cried. But I have become increasingly aware of the way my emotions have been dominating my outlook. I’m not saying emotions are bad but they were never meant to rule us. I mean, how much is self-pity or guilt or sorrow going to benefit me or John or my car? I can answer definitively: not one little smidgen. The only thing it will do is keep me from seeing the situation the way God does. He always has hope. And he always brings about good. Even from the worst situations. And even from those of our own doing. He is just that big. And he is just that loving.

So I’m going to thank him for the things that look good, like the fact that no one was hurt, and for things that don’t look so good, like the banged up car in my driveway or the anticipation of my insurance bill. I’m going to enjoy this day because God made it and it is beautiful. I’m going to smile and be joyful because God is faithful and will meet my every need, and because it is my choice.


Responses

  1. Hi Kara,
    I am so glad you,the baby and Cole were not hurt. I just want to remind you that when John married you he began a new God-given journey. A journey of loving you as he loves himself. I believe that is his heart because of the assurance The Lord gave me along with others that he was to be a representation to you of how Jesus loves HIS Bride. Jesus never considered what it would cost him to love us. You, the baby and Cole are a gift from The Lord to John.
    I just think this is an awesome opportunity for John to show you again how much you mean to him. The bigger the accident the bigger the opportunity.
    John is truly a blessed man, so special to The Lord.

    • This is absolutely beautiful Wendy. And yet so hard to accept! Funny how that goes, isn’t it? But God is using it all to break down my pride and pour his love on me. I’m so grateful for John and the way he represents that love to faithfully. I’m grateful for you too! Just told mom the other day that I would love to meet up with you for breakfast or lunch some day soon. It’s been way too long.

  2. I am so sorry sweet Kara! Glad you and Cole and baby LuLu 🙂 and puppy are fine. It is a constant wrinkle to see the Jesus in the challenging circumstances of our lives. It is as though we already ironed out that crease… we get it, God! And in the washing, the wrinkle appears again… our dear Lord asks us if we see Him, or if we see what we want to see.. which is so small and so closed.

    Thank you for being that ambassador of wrinkle-acceptance and gracious God-perspective. 🙂

    • Love this analogy! [Do you have any idea how much I loathe ironing??] I was reading a book called Kisses from Katie (which totally ruined me), and she was talking about how one of her girls resisted her bath every single night, even though she ended up enjoying it every single night. Katie pointed out, “it is not about the bath. It’s about her wanting her own way.” I was thinking yesterday, this is not about an accident. It’s about me wanting things to be smooth and, as you said, wrinkle-free. Will I yield my small-mindedness to what God wants to show me so I can get on with things and enjoy my life?

      Anyway, love the way you frame things. And love you. Absolutely can’t wait to see you in June. In ‘n Out and Huntington Beach?

  3. Hi Kara,
    My Jimmy bought me a beautiful 2007 OUTLOOK for Christmas in 2007 and an old green truck just stopped right in front of me at a green light two months later. I slammed on the brakes and just missed hitting him….. The man behind me did not miss hitting me. I too am thankful no one was really hurt and my beautiful car was repaired. At first I felt I had ruined something Jimmy had given me, to take care of and be proud of. Then I said, It’s a means of getting me from one place to another. I am God’s child and He did protect me from harm and I felt so loved. You are loved and protected and treasured by our Heavenly Father and someone was touched by this accident and will see you as a gift from God too.
    Your John was so relieved to hear you and Cole and your little dog weren’t harmed. Me too.
    God bless you everyday
    Patty

    • Thank you sharing that story and for the encouragement, Patty. Such good perspective! Amazing how a few negative emotions can take that away isn’t it? I have so much to be grateful for. Bless you too!


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