It is 8 days and counting until my departure into the vast unknown. I have been talking and fantasizing about this trip since I was in treatment almost 10 months ago. The idea just came to me out of the blue one day while locked up in the psych ward. I admit, my brain was very foggy in the 1st several month so I’m not exactly sure when, how or why the idea popped in my head. It was just something I knew I was supposed to do, not necessarily something I had planned to do, something I was somehow expected to do. I know that sounds crazy and very hocus-pocus but it is the truth.
I first proclaimed this idea to my parents, my children and my dearest friend when they came to visit me in rehab. My family kind of rolled their eyes and chuckled. I didn’t care. In my heart of hearts, I knew this was not just a whim created by my crazy, discombobulated thinking. It was more than that, it was matter of fact. I continued to tell everyone I met that I was driving to San Francisco by myself when I got better. When asked why drive when I could just fly to see my son, I adamantly explained they were missing the point. What was the point? I really couldn’t answer that question. I had no idea. I only knew I was going to do it.
Since then, I have prayed daily to have guidance and to know this notion to drive cross country is God’s will for me and not just some obsessive thought created by my diseased brain. It’s still hard to trust my thinking, to know what is real and what is just my neurotransmitters misfiring. This is where faith comes in. Every time I have started to doubt my motives, I have asked God to give me a sign that this is what he wants from me and every time, He has given me that sign. The signs have come in many forms; talking to a friend who tells me he is about to make a solo trip he’s always wanted to take, running into the lady at the library who is about to take Route 66 with her husband, a random man at the sporting good store noticing my Death Valley t-shirt and striking up a conversation because he lived there for 20 years. The list goes on and on. There have been too many to list and too many to just be coincidences. Personally, I don’t believe there are coincidences.
After months of simply talking about this trip, I realized Friday, this is REALLY happening! I was sitting in my car about to go into a thrift store when this feeling of fear and self doubt came over me like a wave. I almost couldn’t breathe, I was so overwhelmed. A few deep breaths later, I sat in my car, bowed my head and prayed for God’s reassurance that this journey is His will, not mine. Feeling better, I went in to the store and headed to find some sweatshirts for the journey. As I flipped through the rack, I spotted a shirt that said Santa Fe on the front. Cool, I wondered if I should buy it so I wouldn’t have to pay tourist prices for one when I pass thru there. I kept flipping down the same rack, I saw a Hoover Dam shirt. What? Shirts from two of the places I’m going just happened to be on that rack? I started grinning but keep looking. Now, when I moved to the next rack, there was a Grand Canyon sweatshirt staring me in the face, I could feel my face smiling from ear to ear and began giggling uncontrollably. I even said out loud, “Ok, God, I hear ya.” To top that off, a blue shirt caught my eye as I was leaving so I pulled it out…Harrah’s Las Vegas! Really?!! Laughing hysterically, I thought, “God, you sure do have a great sense of humor ’cause you know that ain’t a good idea.”
When I doubt or am fearful, God is there to reassure me. He always shows me the way, all I have to do is ask for his guidance, keep an open mind and a trusting heart. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet, I think I’ll continue to follow Him in faith.