“Jesus take the wheel” by Carrie Underwood may just be the song I woke up to this morning. I never this listen to country ya’ll, and I never say ya’ll but as I lay in bed thinking, it dawned on me that today marks one year of living in Tulsa. So ya’ll, is fitting now more than ever.
A year ago, I was saying good bye to some of my most dear friends in this world. There were tears and hugs and kind words spoken and acts of service given. As they packed our moving truck, a bit like Tetris, I wondered what was on the other side of the state line. Would Jesus really be enough? Can he really fill the hole that’s left? As I followed the moving truck down the one lane highway for what felt like an eternity, I prayed. One of those long, 5 hour conversations where words don’t exchange, but hearts connect between me and my Savior. “Jesus take the wheel,” I prayed.
I’ve learned by watching and listening to others’ stories, that we mark our lives, the timeline of before and after with specific, life changing events. We will catch ourselves referring to our history with, “before the accident” or “after he died.” And as we should. Life changing events are meant to be just that, are they not? “Jesus take the wheel, cause I can’t do this on my own.”
I find myself writing some of those same old scripts in my head, and then I catch myself. I give a little nudge to the, “before Tulsa” feelings and remember that He makes beauty from ashes. When we begin to see the beauty from the pain, we know we are on the other side of the lesson. So I allow the lesson to be just that, a moment He teaches me from. Jesus whispers the memory of mile marker 31 into my heart and I pause, because He’s reminding me of all He’s carried me through.
Mile marker 31, is an identity lesson. My identity is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. It’s not about my culture, where I’m from and what kind of accent I use. It’s not about which home team you cheer for, or all of the back roads and short cuts. It’s not about how comfortable you feel in a crowd at church or who you can wave at from across the room because you know everyone, and their mother. Identity should be, with Christ because
“It ought to be the business of everyday, to prepare for our final day.”
On that final day, when I say goodbye to those I love most, the comfort of being found in Christ will be the only thing that matters. So I “praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead.” Mile marker 31 is only restoration, as we take one step closer to home.