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Fear and Faith

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

The morning of April 29, the iPhone alarm went off at 5:45 am. As my eyes slowly opened, I felt the weight of the new day pressing against every muscle in my body. It was 2:30 earlier that morning when I collapsed into bed after an exhausting previous day, running errands and preparing Rhoda for the road trip.

What awaited me when my feet hit the floor were more errands, more packing, more cooking, and most of all, more worrying if I made the right decision to take this trip in the first place.

What was going on? I wasn’t supposed to feel this way.

Why was I still on edge about hitting the road solo?”

I had researched and re-researched every planning element and aspect of the trip, including vehicle maintenance and roadworthiness. I double-checked campground & RV Park ratings, turn-by-turn directions on Interstate, State, and County roads, GPS monitoring by family and friends, and safety protocols, from arriving at destinations before dark to bear spray.

I pushed through the unease, nonetheless. My “Things to Do” list was still relatively long, and I was supposed to check into the Olde Stone Village RV Park in McMinnville, Oregon, by 5:00 pm.

That morning, the apartment became a whirlwind of activity. In and out to grocery stores, the cleaners, the gas station; hauling houseplants to a neighbor’s apartment who had offered to water them for me, taking trash and recycle items out for collection, and pre-cooking meals to heat in the microwave during the first few days on the road.

I packed Rhoda with every essential (and perhaps non-essential) item I knew and suspected I would need. Every cabinet shelf, overhead bind, closet, and a cubby on the interior was packed tight with clothes and shoes, toiletries, kitchen supplies, dry goods, linens and towels, books and journals, and a portable fan and portable heater. Even a full Yeti cooler was situated between the driver and passenger seats.

On the passenger seat resided AAA Trip Tik guides, a Rand McNally Atlas, an itinerary binder, and an overstuffed backpack housing my laptop and other electronics. The floor space in front of the passenger seat made a handy niche for the 2.5-gallon water container and extra bottles of water.

The cargo space, located in the back of the van, was crammed with everything needed for camping and vehicle maintenance, including a camping chair, chair umbrella, folding tables, freshwater hose, and water filters, a butane camp stove, a portable charcoal grill, and a storage container with every picnic item imaginable. The thought of the campervan being a tad overweight was a concern that I dismissed, knowing that a thinning-out was in Rhoda’s future.

As I sat in the captain’s chair surveying the landscape of Rhoda’s payload, slowly, my mind drifted. To check-in at the RV park t by 4:00, I had to navigate rush hour traffic in the greater Portland area. I wasn’t looking forward to that. I felt fear and anxiety building again.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to calm my mind. I knew the more I fed my fear, the more I’d be controlled by feelings of inadequacy. Those feelings of inadequacy would certainly impact decisions that I would need to make in the short-term and intermediate, and, ultimately, my future; I also knew that opportunities are often lost when fear overrules faith.

In that truth, a positive vision of my road trip emerged, and I sensed that I would discover the Lord’s faithfulness by moving forward in faith despite my fear.

Fear and faith cannot occupy the same space.

That certainty gave me peace, and an indescribable calm washed over me. I put the key in the ignition and started Rhoda’s engine.

With the last errand completed as I walked out of my local bank branch at 12:30 pm, Rhoda and I were off!

4:57 pm Rhoda and I pulled into Olde Stone Village RV Park.

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