Then I got married.
And I quickly adjusted (and happily so) to driving places with my husband, sharing a bed with him, and spending my nights and evenings with another person. And the more time that went by, the more ingrained that joy became.
You can do this. It’s not a big deal. It’s only four hours. You’re being silly.
Pulling out the suitcases, my pulse started racing. Finishing the laundry, my breath was quick. Gathering things into the den, my mind was racing. And that infuriated me!
You’ve already committed–and you need this!! And Elizabeth will be fine. Even if she gets upset, it will pass.
I began putting clothes in the suitcases and the suitcases in the car. I wanted to get out of town, I wanted to spend the weekend with my aunt and her family. But, I was terrified of driving there and back. Alone. And that mortified my pride. I was so surprised how intimidated I was, so I forged forward. As I pulled out of town, as I merged onto unfamiliar highways, as Elizabeth began to fuss, part of me wanted to turn back to that which was familiar, that which was comfortable. But, I pushed forward.
And, four hours later, I pulled into her drive. Victorious. Today, three and a half hours later, I pulled into my drive, victorious again. I had done it. I had done a road trip with Elizabeth. Admittedly, this prospect had terrified me since Richard left. He made me promise to go places. And the first chance I had, I did. And I overcame an obstacle. I grew.
It sounds silly. But, for a wife and mother who’s best friend is missing, the comfortable and familiar becomes a lifeline. Being away from home, entering unfamiliar territory is terrifying. Elizabeth goes with me everywhere, because she is my battle buddy. She’s my family–my 20 month old is my security. I can’t imagine having made it this far without her. But even stepping out of our comfort zone together can paralyze me with fear. And it did.
But, I did it. I drove four hours, had a blast of a weekend. All the stress from the past six months that had built up into ten 900 pound gorrillas on my back disappeared as soon as I hit the Tatum city limits. I spent three days in a place so relaxing and removed that I forgot to carry my cell phone with me and missed some text messages from my husband. I got out a few hours for some time with my aunt while Elizabeth played with the horses and my uncle. I slept–well. I ate. I laughed. And then I drove home.
This life is so hard. It’s full of overcoming fear and emotion. It’s constantly putting others before me for the sake of my husband. It’s pretending to be strong when I feel weak, and pretending to be brave when truly I am a coward. But, it’s also an opportunity to grow, to overcome. To take chances. To let little things make a big personal impact.
I did it! And I grew. Again.