“Your destination is on the right,” my GPS announced from its perch on the dashboard.
“It is?” I asked out loud. I was on a country road in the middle of nowhere. And I was supposed to be at a church. Speaking. In 10 minutes.
I was already about twenty minutes later than I had planned, because a little ways into my trip I had glanced into the mirror and realized I had no eye makeup on! Thankfully, I didn’t slam on the breaks! But I did turn around and go back home.
I’m the kind of girl who would rather arrive a little late than get up in front of a group with no eye makeup. Pure vanity, I know. But with eyelashes coated, I had blindly followed my GPS’s voice right to the middle of nowhere.
I tried google the address, but my phone wasn’t working. It was too remote. So in a complete panic, I pulled into the parking lot of the only building in sight–a veterinarian’s office, ran inside, and blurted out, “Does anyone know where Thornapple Valley Church is??”
Amazingly, they all did! It was a group effort, with nurses and customers rallying to give directions on where to turn and what to look for. They said things like, “There will be a Walgreen’s on your right…” and other helpful tips like that.
Back in the car, I repeated the directions. Right five miles. Turn left at the Walgreens’s… But before I even got to the Walgreens, I started to cry off the makeup that had seemed so important 40 minutes ago.
“Lord, what will they think of me?” I wondered.
My speaking topic for that day was ‘Control Girl‘, and the irony of my situation wasn’t lost on me. I planned to share that when we fret, it’s usually because there’s something we’re worried we are losing control of. Yup, I was fretting alright. And it was because I was worried about losing control of what a roomful of strangers might think of me. What if they thought I was as scatterbrained and frazzled as I truly am?
But I also planned to talk about the peace that comes from surrender. So I decided to sing. It was the best way I could think of to surrender the situation to the Lord.
I love you, Lord… and I lift my voice…
What if the leader was frustrated with me?
To worship You… oh my soul rejoice…
What if the directions from the people at the vet were to the wrong church? Or wrong directions to the right church?
Take joy, my King…. in what you hear…
What if the leader was out in the hall pacing, wondering where I was?!
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound… in your ear.
My voice cracked on the last line. I knew my God could hear me. I knew he loved my song and my desire to surrender to Him–both the things I could have controlled (like leaving sooner or not turning back for makeup), and the things I couldn’t (like my GPS taking me to a veterinarian’s office instead of a church).
I finally arrived 45 minutes late.
But you know what? It went really well. A couple of girls actually said that when I came bursting in, all rattled and frenzied, it made them smile and relax. They realized that I was just like them- living in a world where things often don’t go the way I want them to.
I got a drink of water, took a deep breath, then walked up front and began sharing with a group of kind, sweet, young moms about my struggles as a ‘Control Girl‘. Then, I shared about our great God whose hands are wise enough, big enough, and strong enough to handle all of the things that concern us–even a an extended detour to a veterinarian’s office..
I loved this, Shannon! Thank you for the reminder to surrender control to God. I used to sing “I Love You, Lord” to soothe my babies to sleep. During those late nights, when I was sleep deprived and definitely frazzled, the simple words of that song always brought me into God’s presence.