Justin and I are leaving for our trip tomorrow. 31 days, 25 states, one car.
People keep asking me if I'm excited, and I am. We've been dreaming of taking this trip for eight years! But I'm also nervous. And for the last couple weeks, I've been feeling more nervous than excited. I'm worried that we're not prepared enough, or that something will go wrong with the car, or that we'll get lost, or get behind schedule, or that we'll get on each other's nerves and not enjoy spending so many hours in a car together. Give me time and I'll come up with a bunch more stuff to be nervous about. I am a champion worrier.
It's funny how things work out. This year, in an effort to be more involved with the church we've been attending for the past year, I signed up to help with VBS, which happened to be this past week. It was called "Crocodile Dock: where fearless kids shine God's light," and it was all set in the bayou. Each day of the week had a theme: God Is With Us, God Is Powerful, God Does What He Says He'll Do, God Gives Us Life, and God Cares For Us. Each time someone said one of these key phrases, we taught the kids to shout "Fear not!" I thought it would get old after a while, but apparently I underestimated the appeal of getting to shout in church. The kids got really into it. Sometimes they even yelled it during the songs.
So all week long, I've been teaching kids not to be afraid but to trust in God, but it turns out I was the one who needed the lesson. I am a fearful person - I'm always worried about something, road trip or no. And yet, every time I've faced something scary, God has been there and I've been okay. It's like all my life he's been trying to teach me the same lesson, and somehow I still haven't gotten it. So once again he's given me a reminder, this time through songs and skits and a group of kids calling out "Fear not!" with a fist bump.
So if you think of Justin or me this month, say a quick prayer and ask God to remind us (and especially me) that he is with us, that he is powerful, that he does what he says he'll do, that he gives us life, and that he cares for us. I will do my best to believe that and to Fear Not.