Laughter overflows as my husband’s voice echoes in my ears. “How can you not notice or pay attention to the things going on outside your vehicle!” to which I reply, “I’m so focused on the chaos going on in the car that my mind cannot focus on anything else!” The stories that I or my children tell, leave just about everyone wondering how I could scrape the side of the car backing out of the garage, or knock off mirrors, or side swipe my husband’s car twice (who by the way didn’t park correctly….that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), or back into a car that I clearly saw behind me in the drive, or the most recent a poor tree!
Moms you know what I’m saying…right! Sometimes, Taylor Swift’s song, “Trouble” begins among our children the minute we step foot in the car! I know I’m not the only mom since our carpet cleaner verified his wife doing this when he went above and beyond and popped out a small dent and used something to buff off the black streaks on my car. With that being said, how can my car troubles be a living example of truth and light? Let me unfold the tree story for you!
It was a typical morning as my children and I got into the car heading for the bus stop. Backing out of the garage, I asked the question, “Does everyone have their stuff?” in which the reply was, “Yes!” so I proceeded down the drive. The rule in our house: if you leave something behind, we will turn around and get it if we haven’t turned on the road leading away from our home. There was a little bickering going on among the kids when my youngest shouts, “I forgot my glasses!” and that’s when the car trouble began!
My older two began to panic about missing the bus and chaos broke out! I stopped the car and told my youngest to run back to the house to get the glasses. She began to panic and cry as it was very dark. Feeling empathy, I put the car in reverse and tried calming the other two. Thinking I had backed up far enough to comfort my youngest, I stopped and demanded she get her glasses. With tears streaming down her face, she pleaded not to go alone. Neither sibling chose to go so I reluctantly put the car back into reverse and that’s when it happened! The silence in the car, deafening, and all you could see were the wide eyes of shock and horror on all our faces. Once realized where the sound came from and that we hit something, you would have thought tornado sirens were sounding with all the wailing inside!
Panicking, I pressed on the gas and headed down the drive yelling back to my youngest it was too late and would have to go to school without the glasses. My girls were crying and my son…..well, he simply said, “Dad’s gonna kill you!” It couldn’t be that bad after all I just tapped the tree, but alas, something what was dragging. I had no choice but to stop and survey the damage. My son got out before I could even open my door and stood at the back of the car oohing, ahhing and pointing at the damage he saw. As I rounded the back of the car, I became fully aware what his commotion was all about. My legs went weak, the sweats came and felt I would vomit right then and there! The bumper was dragging, the tail light broken, and a piece of the side sticking out in a big V. Horrified, the only thought at this point; Run! I quickly shoved the bumper back on, climbed in the car, and plotted arriving back home after my husband left for work.
As we made our way a few miles, my son insisted I call my husband. There was no way I was going to do that but too late! My son had already dialed the number and handed me the phone! Ugh! I remember telling my husband, “I really did it this time! You probably won’t talk to me for three months! It’s bad, really bad.” I could hear the anger in his voice as he calmly told me through gritted teeth to come home so he could see the damage. The dragging sound came again as we approached the bus stop, jumping out, I put the bumper back on, kissed the kids goodbye and turned to head home. I didn’t get very far before the dragging sound began again and like a wounded puppy, continued to drive home, avoiding any and all eye contact from those passing by. I didn’t need anyone else pointing or telling me my bumper was dragging, I knew all to well.
There my husband stood as I parked the car shaking his head with disappointment as we made eye contact. I exited faster than my son did earlier and sought refuge in the house while peeking out the garage door. He could have yelled, screamed and hollered at me. He could have given me the silent treatment but instead he pressed in the side that poked out like a V, ordered a new tail light, and fixed the bumper as best he could. He then came in and tried comforting the hot mess I was. Shewwww…off the hook……right?!
No! That afternoon I had an appointment at the kid’s new school for something (can’t even remember…..shocking right!). My car dented and dirty, I darted in before anyone could adress me. Walking out of the school later, my eldest daughter came to me saying, “Mom, everyone knows what you did…we told everyone!” My son then proceeded to come out laughing and pointing at me as he showed off the backend of the car. Talk about being embarrassed! Once we finally got in the car to leave, my youngest and my son both said they put in prayer requests so their dad wouldn’t be mad at me for hitting the tree. Oh how I wanted to cry but instead laughter erupted and we’ve laughed ever since.
How did God use this horrible day to speak light and truth? Life is going to hurl bad things at us and our human nature response: run and hide. When we hide, we get knocked down and become wounded dragging the weight of our sin behind us. Satan also uses our dents, gaping holes, dings in our fenders and the dirt our bumpers carry reminding us what we have done bringing us deeper into darkness. He is the accuser! In life, God provides Jesus and others who walk with us, pray, face truth, keep us accountable and encourage us to do what’s right even when it’s hard. When confessed, we receive mercy, grace, and comfort in the midst.
It’s been almost a year since this happened, my car restored a few months ago and the tree fully recovered. While very funny, there will be days our focus causes us to wander off course or a road hitting a tree in my case. No matter the schemes the Devil uses to point at you and remind you of what you’ve done, Jesus is there waiting for you to take his hand. Jesus covers all sin once confessed and makes us righteous before God.