That's the way I like my life to be, too. Unobstructed, flat terrain. 100% visibility. Free of any difficulties and uncertainties.
Unfortunately, in order to get to the good stuff you have to travel across a few scary bridges and through some long, dark tunnels. That's not my favorite part of road trips...or mortality.
While we were on the Great Christmas Road Trip of 2016, we had to pass over a handful of bridges, and through two or three excruciatingly long tunnels. Those weren't my favorite parts of the trip.
But because I knew this was waiting on the other end...
...I made myself close my eyes and press forward. (Wait, not while I was driving...don't worry, my eyes were ALWAYS OPEN while i was driving.)
This afternoon, I drove 2 hours to my uncle's house in Scottsboro to pick up my mom who's visiting from Hawaii. She's staying with us for the weekend. I took a different route there than the one I took last July when she was here and surprisingly, in the last 10 miles of the trip, I came around a corner, and found myself not only on an amazing and expansive overlook, but also overlooking a giant lake, and headed straight toward a bridge. A huge one. Over that giant lake. Nothing but water as far as I could see...
I didn't even know there was a lake there. I didn't even know it was coming it until I came around that corner, until my entire GPS turned blue and all the streets disappeared. That's an unsettling feeling.
Luckily, I was a little distracted by the beauty of the view. And also a little irritated that I had forgotten my camera on this road trip. (Note to self: always throw the camera bag in the car.)
But guess what I realized halfway across that bridge?
I wasn't scared.
My hands weren't sweaty. I wasn't panicked or gripping the steering wheel. I didn't cry. And I made it across. Trauma free.
There is stuff happening in my life right now that's a lot like that bridge. Changes. Improvements. Transitions. Stuff that's unexpected and a little scary. I have no idea how long it's going to take to get across and I can't see all the way to the other side. Normally that would freak me out and I'd be panicked, worried, crying, or obsessively cleaning something.
But I'm not. My hands aren't sweaty. I'm not hanging on as tightly to things as I might have in the past. I haven't cried yet. And I know I haven't made it all the way across, but I feel confident that I will.
And I bet whatever is on the other side of this particular bridge is pretty dang good. Maybe even better than whatever my imagination has conjured up. Wouldn't that be the greatest thing?...if the compensatory reward for doing a hard thing was in direct proportion to the amount of courage and sacrifice it took to make it across? Oh wait, it is. Because that's how Heavenly Father works. He gives us challenges, sometimes the same one over and over and over again, to help us build confidence in ourselves, to increase our faith in Him, and to learn to trust His plan. And then, especially at the end, but also along the way, He pours out His blessings in abundance.
I know some of the things Heavenly Father has in store for me. I know that there is a plan and it's not mine. And I know that this bridge I'm currently on and the ones coming around the corner are designed to help me improve and draw closer to Him. And I'm super grateful today for that bridge in Scottsboro that reminded me of all that stuff.
Who would have ever thought I would be grateful for a bridge?