Enjoy the Journey

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In 2011, my life took an unexpected journey. When my husband and I learned our son was arrested, we went into shock. We didn’t know where to turn or how to get help. We quickly learned criminal attorneys are very expensive.

Thank God we serve a big God who meets all our needs, including our financial needs. After several years, we paid off the attorney fees. Then the Yukon I drove became high maintenance and decided it was time to purchase a new vehicle. During the history of our married life, when we decided to purchase “new” it meant new to us, but already used by someone else.

But this time was different. My husband, Eldon, asked, “Have you thought about a Camaro?”

As a teenager, many of my classmates drove sports cars. I missed out on driving a sports car during that phase of my life as it was not in my parent’s budget. Then came marriage and children. With a family, we donned the four-door vehicles and SUVs to haul all the soccer, football, and baseball gear around.

Then my sons grew up. My oldest son landed in prison. And at this time my youngest son had just turned 16 and started driving himself around. My kid chauffeuring days had ended and the prospect of grandchildren at this point in my life is in the far-off future.

So why not consider a sports car? We headed out to dealerships to test drive a Camaro.

I drove several Camaro models. Then to be certain I really liked the Camaro, I decided to drive a Challenger and Charger. Before my husband asked me the Camaro question, I had thought of the Charger, but that was in my four-door mentality state of mind.

After test driving the sports cars, I got into a two-door, sports car mentality. There were features on both cars I liked, but I decided I liked the Camaro better. Then the price negotiations began along with credit checks.

I felt uncertain about financing a brand new vehicle as Dave Ramsey’s voice reverberated in my head. Save up and pay cash. Never buy brand new.

Nothing about this decision made practical sense.

However, after obtaining the best possible purchase price and img_2486financing at a practically next to nothing interest rate, we signed the papers.

As we worked on the mountain of paperwork, I looked at the car through the showroom window. At that moment, I felt the Lord speak into my spirit. Not an audible voice, but a very strong impression on my heart. I heard…

“Let go of the old, grab hold of the new, and enjoy the ride.”

I’d been suffering two years of heartache since my son’s arrest and subsequent conviction. I had just come to terms with the reality that my son was in a state penitentiary and our lives were not like I imagined it. I could not change that.

Now the Lord spoke to me to let go of the past and to enjoy the journey.

We left that day with the car and as I reviewed the paperwork, I realized the purchase was made precisely on the two-year anniversary date of my son’s arrest. Precisely.

Then I began to ask the Lord for confirmation that was Him that led us to purchase a sports car. I wanted to be certain I was not merely justifying our decision.

As I walked through my previous neighborhood where we lived in El Paso, Texas, I looked up at the street sign on the corner and the words really stood out to me: Paseo Alegre.

img_0756-1I knew those words were significant so I looked up the meaning.

One online translator defines it this way: Joy Ride

Another translation: walk happy

The Lord gave me a literal sign to tell me to enjoy the ride!

In spite of the Lord, giving me a literal road sign, like Gideon, I threw out another fleece and asked the Lord to show me a Scripture to confirm it. God in His patience with me, led me to read Philippians 3:13-14:

“Brothers, I do not count myself to have attained, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (MEV)

After the Lord confirmed His word to me to let go of the old and press on, we took the car on a road trip to California. This was our first vacation since the night our lives changed forever. I forgot how to enjoy life.

However, on this trip, I began to let go of some things such as – fear, doubt, worry, and anxiety.

I began to grab hold of godly things like—trust, hope, confidence, and courage found in the Word of God.

God is faithful! After only two years of making payments, we paid off the balance of the Camaro. Now I drive a debt-free sports car and that’s joy!

In God’s perfect timing, He will open the prison doors for my son to walk on the outside in freedom. When He does, I’ll be glad to exchange the Camaro for a g-ma mobile.

But while I’m waiting, God gave me a tangible gift to remember that I can trust Him and enjoy the journey.

No matter what circumstances we face, we can enjoy the journey if we have Jesus with us.

Note: If you or someone you know has a loved one in prison or on parole, I started a closed Facebook support group. In this group, we encourage one another with the Word of God and pray for each other’s needs. Click the link below and send a request to join.

Hope for Prison Inmate Families

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Shonda Whitworth is passionate about sharing the love and hope we have in Christ our Lord. With vulnerability, she transparently shares her prison family journey and how she found hope in her new book, Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven.

Plus, this book contains more that 30 Scripture-based prayers to pray in time of need. You will find prayers on overcoming fear, worry, and anxiety and much more.

Author Ann Tatlock wrote, “This book isn’t just for people who have a loved one in prison, it’s for anyone.”

This book is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other online book retailers.

OR, Click here to learn more about this book and read Chapter 1.

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