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Driving the Lonely Road

by Tracy Nunes  
1/18/2011 / Devotionals

"Mom...Mom, I'm really sick."

Those are some of the most dreaded words a mother can hear. My heart stopped and then pounded furiously My daughter was 18, living in an old RV and working at a Christian orphanage deep, deep in Baja, Mexico. Two of her friends had contracted the same illness and were hospitalized. One was showing signs of kidney failure. The medical care was third world at best and harmful at its worst.

I was on the most remote island in the world, Hawaii, and she was very far removed from me. We felt helpless to have her so far away. My husband and I decided that the best thing was for me to go to her. He couldn't leave or else risk losing his job.

...It had to be me.

It had to be me and having been there before I knew what I faced; a sleepless red eye flight and a 7 hour drive by myself from the airport in the US to the town of Vicente Guerrero. Through the border, Tijuana and Ensanada, the tourist towns. Into remote areas and passed check stops where guards carried AK47's and remembering stories of what can sometimes happen to a women alone down there.

Through long stretches of endless road and winding mountain terrain where roadside memorials dotted the road every few hundred yards; tributes to those who had gone off the crazy, dangerous road and into the unreachable gulches and valleys. No cell phone reception and no ambulance would be coming if I had an accident.

I didn't hesitate to go, but a feeling of panic rose as I sat on the airplane. I was going to be truly, truly alone. My husband would not be there to protect me or to be a buffer against perceived and real threats. Once I left the US and especially after I passed Ensenada, there was nothing to fall back on except God's care, provision and protection. The mountains were in my way and my daughter was on the other side of them. There was no question of "if" but "how" sure got a lot of thought.

I prayed desperate"help me God, help me God" prayers and as I crossed over the boarder I experienced a peace that I knew was from Him. Then I began to notice the landscape again and remember how much I had loved it on our previous trip.

The wildness and vastness of the land became like one large meeting place for me and God. I drove and drove, prayed and prayed. Through the check stops, through the mountains and through the small towns and villages...He was with me.

I arrived safely and I arrived with a completely different perspective on what makes me "safe." Having had these experiences where I only had Him and no other human to rely on made me realize how He truly holds me in His Hands. And, while He may often use a human to protect me, He is the One who goes before me, beside me and behind me to guard my way.

Isaiah 43:2- 3a

I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...

My daughter recovered and I transported her two friends from Canada back to San Diego so that they could get home and get good medical care. My daughter stayed on at the orphanage for a while after that.

The drive back to the border was even more harrowing as I was responsible to get these two young women back over the border safely. We drove through torrential rains on the treacherous mountain road and barely made it to the border with fumes in our gas tank.

But, this time, I already knew Who was really driving the car.

I wish I could say I learned that lesson once and for all on that lonely road, but each new day brings a new choice to trust or to fear. I am learning more and more to choose to trust and praying harder and harder that He gives me the strength to do so.

Tracy grew up in Hawaii but now resides in Tennessee with Richard, her husband of 32 years. They have two daughters and six grandchildren. Writing came after homeschooling her girls and a career in real estate management. She doesn't claim to have all the answers but she knows the One who does.

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