Driving Lessons…SOLC ’22 (4/31)

Anxiety is kind of like a dirty word. Most people don’t want to admit they are anxious about anything. We have it all under control. We got this. Help? No thanks. I can do this on my own. The truth is, if we are all honest, we all have carried some anxiety around in some way.

Over the last month or so, anxiety has crept it’s way into my car. That’s right. My car. I have been very anxious at points while driving. I have had to stop, breathe, and pray at times. I have cried and I have screamed. I am pretty sure I have had mini panic attacks. I have never been scared to drive so this has made no sense at all-until it did.

I was processing this with a couple of my friends one day via texts and phone calls (I now live a day’s drive away from these sweet people.) As I laid out my heart and my driving fears, I began to make connections. I was connecting my car to so much grief, so many things that were completely out of my control that had left me spinning.

I drove my kids away from the only home they had ever known. I spent hours driving back and forth from our old home to a new city trying to acclimate, be a wife, mom, teacher, etc. all the while saying good bye to all my people and desperately pushing my way into a new community. I watched as that same car was loaded onto a huge car carrier to make it’s trek across the country to yet another new home, all in less than a year’s time. Anxiety creeps in because every location I go to is so new, gps is necessary and getting everywhere we need to go seems like a larger task than ever before. Let’s also factor in snow and icy roads on some occasions and there you have the recipe for car anxiety. The car is where my kids hop in before or after a day of school, unloading all of their newfound burdens, desires for friendships in this new place and hurts. This car was the place that I had to be in control yet felt most alone. (If this car could talk, right?)

Clammy hands, beating heart, teary eyes. How can I re-frame this anxiety? My mindset has had to change. I lack control over many areas of my life, I don’t know the outcome of all of my days but I can control what is right in front of me. I can drive ahead, focusing on the task in front of me, not on the fear surrounding me. I can begin to disassociate the anxiety with my car. I can think of my car as what it is- a safe and reliable form of transportation that has brought us to many necessary places and even to a few really amazing, fun destinations.

So maybe this sounds silly to you today because anxiety has no place in your daily vocabulary. I say good for you, keep moving forward. For those that deal with anxiety in large or subtle ways, how can you re-frame your thinking around what seems to be causing anxiety in your life? Are there larger issues that need to be dealt with? Maybe today is the day you take a step toward healthier mental living by calling a counselor or reaching out to a friend. Whatever it is, do it for yourself.

While anxiety has been a part of my daily drive, I’m learning to work on my mind and heart. Driving lessons aren’t so bad. In the words of the great Carrie Underwood, “Jesus, take the wheel.”

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.”


2 thoughts on “Driving Lessons…SOLC ’22 (4/31)

  1. I can relate to so much of what you’ve written here. I had some of the same experiences as you; I too moved far away from my kids’ childhood home and have been trying to call a new place “home.” What no one tells you is that it takes time, lots and lots of time, to call a place home, no matter who lives there. With that being said, I am also experiencing new found (and unwanted) anxiety that I can’t quite put my finger on. I am working on it. Knowing that there are others out there helps. A lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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