Driving south on I-95 toward my solo journey to Jekyll Island, Georgia, I was reminded of my struggle in that toxic research job. When I passed the exit for Lumberton, North Carolina, I thought of a trip there to one of our study sites on a very hot day in August. I didn’t want to go that Friday afternoon. It was just three days after my second round of chemo and I’d had an increase in nausea and fatigue. But I didn’t really have a choice.
I’d planned to wait until the next week to take study supplies and review their data. But the Medical Director had something else in mind.
“When are you planning to visit the Lumberton office, Connie?” he asked. “We want to get out there in front of the other study sites with our enrollment.”
I wanted to say, let me wait until next week when I’m more rested and my brain doesn’t have that chemo cloudiness.
“I could go this afternoon since we received their supplies,” I offered, trying to prove I was giving it my best.
“That sounds good,” he said and returned to his office.
How am I going to do this, I thought, while I packed my car in the mid-nineties heat that matched the temperature of my chemo- induced hot flashes. It would take at least four- hours –round- trip and probably another hour to meet with the Nurse Manager. I wanted to back out, but I couldn’t. “God, how in the world am I going to do this,” I said, half-question and half-prayer.
Then in that ‘still small voice’ that is God inside me, the answer came:
Just trust me to help you through each step of the way.
The traffic was as heavy as I suspected. When I became drowsy, I turned the air conditioner on high and pointed it toward my face, then took off my wig to cool my sweaty scalp. Hitting stop-and-roll traffic, I panicked thinking I’d be stuck for a long time, but then I remembered that message and settled down. Pretty soon the traffic moved normally after I passed the fender-bender and the lanes opened up. A thunder shower developed and again I was slowed down. When I grew impatient with the interruption of the storm, I reminded myself, “Just focus on right now. God will see you through.”
Finally, I pulled into the office parking lot just after three o’clock. I waited in the conference room with everything organized so we could quickly review their study progress. After a while, the Nurse Manager joined me. Right when we started looking over their enrollment logs, someone came to the door and asked to speak with her.
My frustration grew as the clock edged toward four o’clock and I thought about the traffic on I-95. What could be taking so long?
Finally, she returned and said, “I’m sorry I have to go. One of my staff members has been taken to the Emergency Room. I’ll call and reschedule next week.”
I watched her rush out of the room, amazed at the abrupt end to our meeting. I understood that she had to go but felt beaten down by my futile effort to accomplish my goal.
How can this happen, God, after I worked so hard to get here?
Then in the quiet of that room, the answer came: You did what they wanted and now you get to leave early. Everything turned out okay.
The traffic wasn’t so bad as I drove home and felt the satisfaction of knowing God had navigated me through that rough road. I later thought of this as the ‘Lumberton Lesson,’ trusting God for guidance every step of the way.
What about you?
How do you get through situations that feel impossible?
Is there an incident that became an example of God navigating you down a rough road?