Lost in Love
By Kay Brown
When we courted years ago, my darling husband always found his way to my house, so I never suspected he had a navigational disability. When he made numerous wrong turns later, I thought he was simply distracted by our six children wailing and getting sick in the back of the car. But the children have out-grown their car seats, and now that Iíve taken a 5000 mile, family road trip with him, I have to admit: the man is seriously direction-challenged.
Twenty-one days in a motor home with six kids is enough to test even the strongest bonds of matrimonial love. Our test started right away. Early that first morning, I thought it might be safe to grab a nap as we pulled out of the driveway and headed due south. When I woke up, however, somehow we were in the northernmost reaches of our home state. After only two hours into the trip, we were already 75 miles off course.
I felt guilty; I was the navigator. I should have stayed awake and assisted my sweetheart, so I purposed to not nap again during the entire journey. Nodding off and drooling while traveling is one of my best skills, but I was willing to sacrifice the self-indulgent experience for my true love's sake.
Unfortunately, circling burns gasoline at an alarming rate, particularly at four miles to the gallon. While running on fumes and desperately looking for a gas station, my honey barreled down a partially blocked interstate exit. No one was around to tell us that the end of the ramp was missing Ė the road dropped off sharply in a gaping pit the size of Rhode Island. He hit the brakes and I prayed. Both of us were sporting about 200 new, gray hairs as we rolled into the next gas station, loudly praising God for saving us.
That was not the last time God rescued us out of a situation: that night, a freak snowstorm enveloped Texas as we passed through, and we learned first-hand why southerners close up shop and go home when it starts to snow: they cannot find their snowplows.
Texans do not plow their roads. Texans do not sand their roads. When it snows in Texas, Texans do not even use their roads. Luckily, we were able to follow in the wake of a large truck, our land yacht precariously lurching back and forth in the dark. We finally pulled into a little town and tromped across the parking lot of an ancient motel. Incredibly, we were alive!
Soon after, when the TV blew up, when I lost my driverís license, when our plans had to change repeatedly, our spirits stayed high. Those inconvenient things paled in comparison to the memory of having risked our lives on the road.
Somewhere, on that cold, Texas highway, as we jostled along in the deepening snow, I left my nagging habit to resent the small stuff, and gained the ability to be grateful, instead.
Instead of fuming about frequently getting lost, I thanked God I was able to spend three weeks with my beloved husband. The opportunity revealed how much he needed me, and I learned that I enjoy being able to meet his needs. His navigational weakness did not irritate me, because I discovered how vital I am to him.
Never again will I fantasize about Ďthe ideal marriage.í Never again will I wish my spouse were this way or that Ė these thoughts are vain imaginations of unattainable perfection. They are sinful thoughts.
Graciously, God used our nutty family vacation to teach me something grand: when I actively practice being a joyous helpmeet, a vibrant shift occurs in my heartís desires. Before the trip, I wanted my husband to make me happy. During the trip, I realized how lovely it was to enjoy my husband and make him happy, instead.
Despite my grandest illusions to the contrary, I learned that God really does know, more than I do, what is best for me. I was reminded that it is Godís best for me to unreservedly love my precious spouse, with all his quirks and weaknesses. After all, he loves me with all of mine. And even though others would label this trip a series of misadventures, I would not have traded it for anything in the world.
You know, as long as my husband is driving, it is a very cool thing to be lost in love.
Kay Brown homeschools her rambunctious brood in the mountains of Northern New Mexico while dreaming of getting her laundry caught up two days in a row. Despite a burning desire to share deep spiritual truths, she finds herself struggling with the same weaknesses as everyone else and clinging to the Lord Jesus.
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