The above psalm is one of my favorites. In fact, it is one of my life verses, those few verses that really resonate in my soul and that I strive the most to live by.
July 27th was the day we chose to set out again, after spending a week at home with the boys. After a long, grueling week, finishing all the things we had left undone a month ago, we set out. Since our reservations were for Bushytail Campground in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest (and that’s such a long way from Portland), we decided to spend one night dry camping at a random rest stop along the way.
We tried to sleep, but sleep would not come easily, and we ended up leaving the rest stop early the next morning. We were both so full of excitement about our upcoming adventures. Crossing the Oregon/California border, in my mind, was the point where there was no turning back. We were actually on our journey.
Portland is no longer our home. It is where we hail from.
This realization came with many more realizations and with many tears last week as I said goodbye to Portland and all I love who live there.
When we finally crossed the California border, we sailed right through. The mountainous highway was heating up the Raven, but she was hanging in there. We stopped at the rest stop just inside California, to let her cool and also so that we could take a break and regroup. We still had too many miles left to go without a decent rest first.
Up to this point, I had been having much trepidation about the long drive to Bushytail, but I could not put my finger on any specific reason. I chalked it up to general anxiety about having to drive the truck by myself, following Ken in the Raven, the whole way. I do have the pleasure of Tinker Belle’s Company in the truck with me, and she is a great comfort, but she’s not a relief driver.
Concerning me driving: I am a perfectly capable driver, but I have these pain issues. Ken and I had many long talks about the need for me to drive. We also agreed that how far, or even whether, we drive would be dependent on me and how I felt that day. If I need to stop, we stop. No questions, arguments, or cajoling. We simply stop when I say stop. We carry walkie talkies to communicate as we drive. This is much better than trying to call him on the cell phone, which is illegal, as we all know. A walkie talkie is so much easier to use, anyway. When I need to say something, all I have to do is push a button and talk. If that fails, I flash my high beams.
After two hours of rest, we got back into our rigs and prepared to hit the road again. Click click. Click click. The Raven would not start.
My anxieties grew. Had we made the right decision? Five surgeries (Ken three, Trevor two) and a stint in the ICU (Ken) had kept us tied to Portland for the past three years. Was God telling us, again, that this wasn’t the time? Lord, please tell me what to do next.
We decided to let the Raven have a few more hours to cool off, thinking that was the problem, and I resolved to live the psalm I quoted earlier. No matter what, I had to find the joy in even this situation, because whether I became angry or happy, it was all a choice within my power. We took the camp chairs, a blanket, some food and drinks, and a toy for Tink, and we settled ourselves beneath a large maple. And we laughed. We people watched. We saw deer as they came down out of the hills for water, as evening approached. We took a nice walk along the river. We played fetch with Tink. We had a wonderful evening.
All this joyousness despite the situation, yet I still had this underlying anxiety about Bushytail I could not shake.
We tried to start the Raven again. Nothing. We tried cross jumping from the house batteries. Nothing. We tried jumping from the truck. Still nothing. So we gave up, resolved to call AAA in the morning, preferring not to spoil any more of the Lord’s day (as it happened to be a Sunday) with any more of this trouble. Out of necessity, there would be a second night of dry camping.
But there was still our reservations to deal with. If we didn’t make it to Bushytail by evening, we would lose our space and the money we already shelled out for it. The decision was made to try to cancel. I called, and luckily, we were able to get most of our money back. They kept the first night’s charge, plus a cancelation fee.
I cannot explain it, but my anxiety evaporated after canceling our plans. Was this God’s way of saying He didn’t want us to go to Bushytail? I may never know. What I do know is that after the Raven was fixed, we had an equally long drive ahead of us, and I hadn’t an ounce of anxiety in my whole body.
Love and blessings,