Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gripped by Fear

Recently, I identified that I'm living in fear. I didn't really think this was an emotion I struggled with much. Now I realize that fear was never really a part of my life simply because my life was fairly sheltered. Coming to the realization that I need to trust more in God should have prepared me for the moment that gripped my heart with fear I had never felt before.

Every day last year, I met Nikelle at the bus stop. The main reason being that the buses will not drop off a first grader without an adult there to meet them. The other reason was that it just never crossed my mind to do otherwise at her age. One day this year, for some reason (maybe the bus was early or I was late getting out there), when I went to open the garage door to go meet Nikelle, the door was already opening. I looked up with surpsie to see Nikelle letting herself in the house with the garage code. Most days, now, I watch for Nikelle from the window and make sure she gets from the bus to our home safely.

The other day I was watching and realized the bus was running late. My first action when this occurs is to contact my girlfriend whose daughter is the stop before Nikelle's. I picked up the phone and dialed her number. "Hey, Mary. Is Val home yet?" I fully anticipated a conversation while we waited for the girls to arrive home. My heart stopped as she responded, "Yes... and she's been home for quite some time." I closed my eyes and shook my head, "Are you kidding me?" I just thought I should clarify that I wasn't on the other end of some teasing. "I wouldn't kid about something like that, Tristi."

Fear seized my heart. I didn't know what to do. I threw up a prayer for God to get my daughter home safely. I called my husband only to let him know Nikelle was late getting home from school and I was concerned. Then it was time for me to contact the school. Was I distracted and didn't see the bus come? What if I missed her being dropped off and someone grabbed her? Where in the world was my little girl?

While I was on the phone with the school, Mary called me back with information she had gained for her daughter. "Val said that the bus driver was missing a lot of stops today. She was having to back track and drop kids off." That removed a bit of the fear but as the minutes kept ticking away...

I went inside and put the girls in the van. I'm not really certain as to where I planned on driving, but in that moment of putting the little ones in the van and pulling out onto the driveway, the bus dropped my daughter off at the corner. I pulled out of the garage and saw her walking down the street. I left the van on the driveway and ran down to her. Needless to say, my fear and relief poured out from my eyes as I told her I was so happy she was home.

I asked Nikelle a bit later if she was worried. "Well, at least I had Paige (her other friend). We were like, 'We don't want to stay on this bus forever. All we have is a cheese stick and some pears'. Why did she have to go take that kid home first?"

Ah, that's my girl... mind goes straight to the food.

I'm so glad I don't rely on bus drivers alone to get my daugther to and from school safely. Thankfully, ultimately, I rely on our God.

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