August 11, 2009
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I left in plenty of time, or so I thought. I was caught completely off guard by the repaving project on Highway 51, not far from the entrance of my neighborhood. Traffic stood nearly twenty cars deep ahead of me due to the lane closure. We finally began moving after an eternity (six long minutes) had passed. I got closer and closer…and then...denied. The man with the sign spun it around; he stopped my side just as it was my turn to go... After five more minutes of taking deep breaths and watching the dashboard clock, I got to move forward again…
Only to be stopped by the next traffic light. And then the one after that. And then the next one. I was interrupted by six consecutive red lights after I cleared the construction zone… I had a mini-meltdown inside my car, screaming out of fear and frustration, finishing with a pleading prayer for help.
My nerves were shot before I even left the house. John and I had been arguing for two days over nothing. I was driving to an office near Pineville, within a mile of the accident site. I was scheduled to speak before strangers for the first time in my life about the worst day of my life. I haven’t slept much lately. I was terrified of breaking down in front of everyone, especially with tomorrow being the fourteen month anniversary.
While I raged, waiting for the signal to turn green, I suddenly remembered: my faith was stronger than my fear. If God was for me, who could be against me? I calmed down and refused to be deterred, no matter how many delays I encountered. The next seventeen lights were green… I was supposed to be there at 11:00; I arrived at 11:09. I hated being late, but had I pulled over to call, I would have been later still… We weren’t scheduled to go until sometime between 11:30 and 11:45, so it was okay. Kind of.
I was on the agenda to briefly share Brian’s story and our bracelet mission with a group of State Farm agents; Darin Morton, the agent who saw the “Bracelets for Brian” article in June arranged it, hoping other agents would follow his lead in giving them out to their teenage drivers. Darin introduced me and I spoke from my heart. After it was over, I felt relief and gratitude: relieved I made it through without crying or throwing up, grateful for the chance to be there, in spite of being scared stiff. No matter what, I did my best. I made up my mind if only one other agent decided to include a copy of Brian’s story and a bracelet in their new driver packets, it was worth today’s effort…
As it turned out, I guess Someone wanted me there.
Darin sent me an email around 4:00… 100% of the agents in attendance today have committed to participate, as well as two others who weren’t able to be there. Potentially 1,250 more teens reminded to make a better choice…
Amazing. Unbelievable. Beyond anything I ever dreamed possible. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Wishing you many blessings and always, hope…tg
Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays. -- Jen, site administrator