Last week I packed the last of my boxes into my car, said goodbye to Cincinnati (and all the people I love there), and started my day-long drive to Minnesota. I was finally headed to training.
I had been nervous for a week before that because my car was still in the shop getting repaired. I had planned to drive to Columbus early for a wedding and then go from there right to training, but per usual my ideal plans didn’t pan out. The car wasn’t finished in time, so I had to rearrange my perfect schedule. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but allowed for two more days with my family that I hadn’t counted on. God is consistently trying to teach me to ease up on the planning and let Him take charge. It was a good reminder for me to trust Him. What better way to start mission work than to get a solid reminder to trust? Things are not always going to work out the way I want them to, but they will work out in God’s own perfect timing.
But that wasn’t the end of His little reminders.
About two hours from Minnesota, things got interesting. It was dark by that point, and I was tired from a long day of solo road tripping. All the available space in my car was packed full of my belongings, and my bag of dinner and snacks was sitting on the passenger’s seat next to me. I looked behind me before switching lanes and noticed movement on top of the largest box. Suddenly I remembered my mom’s words from the night before: “I think there was a mouse in here while the car was at the shop. The back of this seat is all chewed up.” Either I was completely delusional or I had a stowaway.
Images of a foot-long, hairy mouse attacking me in the darkness of my car flooded my mind. Surely it would jump out at me and cause me to swerve all over the highway. This was the end.
I got off at the next exit, pulled into the first gas station, and rummaged through all my belongings with my flashlight. Nothing.
Twenty minutes later, the bag of food to my right moved and I saw it. Mouse confirmed. To my relief, it was a tiny little thing. I saw it twice more during the rest of the trip, but every time I pulled off the side of the road to shoo it out the door, it scurried away under all the boxes and out of reach. I spent the remainder of the trip waiting for it to creep back out again, only slightly relieved that I wasn’t completely delusional.
I stayed with a family friend that night, and by the time I pulled in I was too exhausted to find the mouse.
I got up the next morning and had a long breakfast, knowing I had plenty of time to drive over to training. But my car wouldn’t start. Remember that thing about ideal plans? Thankfully I had stayed with incredibly generous friends who jumped my car and drove with my to get my battery changed. I’d been driving with a supernatural battery going on it’s sixth year of a three year life-span.
I finally caught the mouse, and am happily in the thick of our training session. I hadn’t planned on a delayed start, car troubles, or a furry stowaway, but everything worked out the way it needed to. My car battery lasted till I was in good hands, and I made it to training safely. My plans don’t always match up with God’s, but I’m trying to trust that His are always going to work out.
Besides, they’re far more creative than the plans I come up with. I wouldn’t have thrown a mouse into the mix if I’d been in charge.