Road Tripping

Today I spent 10+ hours in the car. 5 to an undisclosed location, 3 hours at the destination and then 5 hours back. Gas & food breaks were on the go but it’s just a long day. I was with 2 couples-remember, I’m single. Table for one. 5th wheel. Separate bill for this girl. Lol. NEVER do I feel weird with my coupled friends. I love them so I’m definitely just teasing. (Although my dating life was a topic.)
The trip there was light & silly. One couple I have know for about 5 years, the other couple just a little over a year. We joked, talked about every possible subject, laughed & bonded further. It was fun so it hardly felt like 5 hours. 

The trip back-quiet, dark, rainy. It was as if the weather took the physical attributes of the heaviness of our day. There was still some laughing but mostly just silence. Since I’m a bit of a chatterbox when I’m out & about, I felt awkward at times, like I needed to fill the silence. But I really just didn’t have it in me so I didn’t. It wasn’t weird that this group sat in silence, at least not to me, it’s just weird for ME to be silent for that length of time. Yeah, I know. I can be a bit much. 

The silence gave me a lot of thinking time. Like “What do I want to be when I grow up?” “Do I want that little white Chi-Weenie?” (YES!) “Do I write my book?” “Do I finish my degree?” “Do I want a burger or chicken?” (Chicken won) 

So as I prayed, pondered & considered all the great questions of my life, my sweet friend Lisa said “yes yes yes!” To the puppy & to school. I said I would have to sleep on them because my head was as muddled as the weather from trying to think about the different scenarios as well as thinking about a couple of situations my friends were going through. 

If you know me, you know my people are important. All of them. When they hurt, I hurt. 

So today was hard as I watched one of my dear friends struggle with her situation. My heart hurt from watching her pain. I worry about her every day. 

I have another dear friend facing some other issues & tears poured down my face the day I heard. 

When I look at my past, it’s been hard, unbearable even, but I have endured & beaten the devil back with my prayers, my faith & believed that despite it all-God Wins. 

When I hear or see my friends facing difficulties, I remind them of that. I remind them that Team Jesus takes the victory every time, even if it looks like a loss. But my heart still breaks for my friend watching her loved one struggle with drugs, gambling, alcoholism, eating disorders. It breaks for the medical issues that seem overwhelming. It breaks for the hearts & minds so battered & bruised that my friends settle into abusive relationships & allow further abuse to seep into their lives. 

And I remember why I am still standing. It has nothing to do with white Chi-Weenies, degrees, careers, books. It has to do with these people I love so much. The four in the car with me right now (I’m not the driver), the ones I’m watching hurt, the ones I’m watching watch others hurt. 

Can I fix them? Can I erase the pain? No. But I can drive 10 hours for a 3 hour visit. I can take the day off for their surgeries. I can play nurse when necessary. I can make soup. Text encouragement. Hold hands. Distribute tissues. Cry alongside of them. But the biggest & best thing I can do is pray for them. 

So I do. 

Team Jesus ALWAYS wins. 

Love the uglies. The mean & nasty things of life that try to rob your joy have no power over us unless we grant it. 

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