This past weekend our family of 6 headed north for a 5.5 hour trip to Sioux Falls, SD. My husband’s brother was getting married, and our children were to be a part of the wedding. The last major event on this side of the family was our own wedding 10 years earlier, so we were all pretty excited to share their special day. The day prior to us leaving, our hometown in Iowa was at a high of 74 degrees (November in Iowa is full of surprises), so when my in-laws told us it was already snowing in Sioux Falls, we were a bit taken aback. “We should probably pack the winter coats”, we reminded ourselves. As we contemplated hats, mittens, and boots as well, we figured we should be just fine with the coats – how bad could it be?
Our drive started out just fine, although it was such a windy day, it wasn’t going to be a very easy one. We made our first stop in Minnesota, and as we hustled the kids from the car to the rest stop, we noticed how bitterly cold the air had gotten. We opened the doors to go inside, and the wind came right along with us, knocking products off of the shelves and Christmas decorations flat on the floor. This reminded us that it was indeed November, and we were thankful for the weather we had been having ‘down south’.
It was more than just cold
As our drive continued from Minnesota to South Dakota, the sky went from partly sunny, to overcast and drizzly. We were not listening to the radio, and what we didn’t know is that we were entering white-out blizzard conditions. My husband was driving, and I was reading a great book, called The Story of With: A better way to live, love, and create by Allen Arnold. I would read certain passages to my husband and we would discuss what it meant in our life. But our conversations about the book quickly stopped as we realized what was going on around us. The clouds had fallen from the sky and encompassed our vehicle. Snow was drifting across the interstate which made driving visibility almost none. We could not see the long road ahead, but just a few feet in front of our car. I began to pray.
Should we keep going?
My husband wondered if we should pull off until the storm passed. I reminded him that we just needed to keep our car steadily going in the right direction. We couldn’t worry about how slow we were going, what time we would arrive, or if other cars were going faster. All we could be concerned with was our car, and getting our passengers to the destination safely. As I continued to pray, God would give us a few breaks in the storm. Suddenly there was an opening in the snowy fog, and we were able to see the road up ahead. Each time this happened we would take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we were ok and that we were meant to make it to the wedding this weekend. No sooner after that, the conditions would worsen again. As we drove on we saw many cars in the ditch. Some of the cars were ones that had raced past only moments ago, and some of them you could tell had been there for a while. As we passed their cars, we prayed for them and for the ones that would soon be coming to their rescue.
After almost two hours of driving through the storm at 25 miles per hour, we finally reached our hotel. We were so relieved and still a bit shaken. We offered up prayers of thanks for getting us there safely and then continued to pray for the other family and friends that were still making the drive. The wedding was so unique and beautiful, with such a lovely couple that truly complimented each other. We were so thankful we could be there.
Storm = Metaphor
This storm had a direct parallel for me related to pursuing my purpose and entrepreneurship. I knew that if we took this journey, we would be able to share the most special day with people we dearly love. However, the road to there was difficult, and it would have been easier to turn off and wait out the storm. Or we could have tried to plow our way through, ending up in a ditch, needing rescue. But, when we had faith that God would get us there, to the place we were meant to be, we kept moving forward- little by little. He gave us small glimpses of the road ahead so that we knew we could make it through, and he gave us the perseverance to continue on.
I know that I am on a journey right now, one that God has called me to. While I am not quite sure what it is and where exactly it is leading me, I am following the small bits of visible road in front of me. I am not going to plow through and make my own way, I am doing it with God, and for God.
The book I was reading, The Story of With, was a perfect read for this exact trip. In the beginning of the book the author, Allen Arnold, talks about his journey to success. He had achieved a great deal, but somehow he still wasn’t feeling fulfilled. After he let go and decided to do life with God, everything else fell into place.
The book calls you to action on four things:
- Stay expectant
- Awaken your heart
- Know your identity
- Do it together
When you stay expectant you believe that anything can happen, you are open to whatever God invites you into. When you awaken your heart to your passions and what brings you true joy, you allow God to use those for His purpose. If your heart is closed off you won’t be ready to receive His gifts. To know your identity does not mean what you do for a job or who others think you are. Your identity is who God called you to be- His sons and daughters. This is our only true identity. And finally, do it together. Do life with God and with others. We were never meant to do it alone.
Until now, I never thought I was doing it without God. However, I now know I need to do it for him, not myself. From here on out whatever I give ‘birth’ to from writings or teachings or new businesses, it is for His purpose.
Your call to action: Read this book OR one of the other books that I have recommended so far (oh and there’s more on the way- trust me). I dare you not to be changed. Don’t want to buy them? Check your local library OR ask a friend, she just might have one to lend. 😉