Get Behind Me

I’ve driven through the Alps of Switzerland.

I’ve driven on the autobahns of Germany.

I’ve driven along the Cote d’Azur in France.

I’ve driven by the casinos of Monaco.

You would think that the Kennedy Expressway, or the Eisenhower, in Chicago would be No Big Deal. And, for years they weren’t.

But, last summer, while driving home from Wilmette, Illinois, I suddenly had a panic attack getting on the 290 going south. For no reason that I could think of. Sure, the traffic was intense, but it always is in Chicago. Sure, I hate getting lost more than I hate any sensation in the world, but I knew where I was going. Why this sudden surge of fear, this mind-numbing, heart-accelerating, hand-sweating state of being?

Because I didn’t know why, because it was so intense, I’ve been afraid to drive on the highways ever since. I’ve found every back road or every quiet lane available, and believe me, in Chicago there aren’t many of those.

Then I thought to myself, “Self, are you going to live in fear the rest of your life?” My self thought that probably would be the most comfortable, and so it hasn’t ventured out into the fast lane yet…

Yesterday I drove to the Garden Party my sister in law prepared for us. I plugged in the Tom-Tom (thank you, God, for those devices) and confidently pushed NO when it asked if I wanted to use tollways. So, I’m driving merrily along when the nice British voice says, “In 400 yards, turn right.” Like, onto 355 North.

Hello! I debated my options. I can go straight, and completely ignore the Tom-Tom, which was my first inclination. Or, I could trust the Lord first, Tom second, and put fear behind me.

Which is what I did. And it is with great relief that I have safely gone where I have feared to tread, releasing the spirit of fear behind me while hoping that it gets run over by other Chicago drivers speeding by.

15 thoughts on “Get Behind Me”

  1. I have irrational fears of heights and bridges. That is quite inconvenient, considering that I live in Florida! We have alot of high bridges. One of these days, I am going to bungee or something, just to get over it!


  2. Yay, Bellezza! For me, it's the Mackinac Bridge. That five mile span is keeping me from visiting friends and my niece, which bothers me greatly. I definitely need to follow your example on this. I want to see my niece and she wants to take me to the Ford Museum, amongst other places!cjh


  3. Oh, yes I know these attacks so God bless you for the courage you had to hit the highway. i am so happy for you!I am not back blogging yet……hmmmm I do not want to blabber to much about it because we did this only 2 month ago, but…………yep…………my ex went across the State line however the court decree is a go for all states in the United States and the best I know where he is and he does not know this. I have to go and file a complaint sometimes next month.Will explain more later.


  4. oh sweetie do I know that feeling…it's a delibitating feeling, not only are you brave but you dare choose trust in God instead of fear…You are wonderful, thanks for sharing this, I know how hard it is to share that kind of fear and then letting it go, well it gives everybody hope x


  5. This is perhaps a foreboading. I am an expert at these silent alarms that grip you in a vice. Most of the time with me I am spot on with my premotions, but sometimes they are mislead and wandering and the result is this panic attack for no reason. Maybe you got it in order to avoid an accident and now when no danger is in the vicinity you are released from the fear? It's all babbling, but judging by my experience it's never coincidential.


  6. I didn't used to mind driving on freeways, but living in Lincoln has made me mentally lazy. I rarely ever have to get on the Interstate. Really, only when we go up to Omaha or down to Kansas City. Or are on vacation in Virginia Beach or Oregon. I grew up in San Diego and learned to drive those crazy freeways (LA is even worse!), but now I putter around on surface streets and two-lane highways. Driving on I-5 near Portland this past week made me crazy. Three lanes with lots of semis. Still, not as bad as the Dallas/Ft. Worth freeways. Yikes, those are insane. So, I understand your fears. I'm glad you conquered them, though. We named our gps "Amelia" after A. Earhart. 😉


  7. Good for you!!!I was going through a barrage of fear not long ago and I came home and pulled out the Bible and read and prayed Romans 8:31+. I just kept confessing as the Word became real to me, "Since God is for me (for the often translated 'IF' is not a question, it literally means 'since')…..Since God is for me, who can be against me? Who…or what…can separate me from the love of Christ. During that moment of remembering what truly was important I was able to have fears laid to rest that I had been carrying around for months…some for years. How great is our God!


  8. Carl, you left such a touching comment. I am moved by your honesty, and the song which you left. I'm crazy about Christian songs, especially by Third Day, and Chris Tomlin is wonderful, too. I have a whole playlist on my iPod which really gives me strength, along with scriptrue of course. Isn't it great to pray the word through voice or song?!


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