If Your Road to Eternity Seems CLOSED Just Reroute.

road trip

(originally posted January, 27 2014 at www.thrownfromthecar.com)

Check back soon for a one year later follow up!

For the past sixteen years my beautiful wife and I have been on a road trip. I’ll admit, it was spontaneous. Most things we did were; young and impetuous we were anxious to get started. We wanted to leave our mark in the world.

We knew God was on our side and with faith everything would be fine. We would make it to our destination easily, with time to spare. We would fill our scrapbook with amazing memories and hang our family portraits on our hearts. We were excited. We were blessed.

We were wrong.

In retrospect, we could have, should have planned better.

We had a destination in mind but we never took the time to map it out or even really pack for the journey. We threw some things in a bag and sped off. Hell, we barely knew each others names. But it didn’t matter. We were in love. We were so in love that we never took our eyes off of each other long enough to look at the road. If we had we would have been better prepared for what lay ahead.

Our journey was marriage. Our vehicle was our relationship. Love was our engine. Our destination: eternity.

We were so focused on the destination that we missed the blinking warning lights on our matrimonial dashboard. We failed to notice when our tank was empty and had nothing left to give. We ignored the low tire pressure and pushed our vehicle farther and faster than we should. Seldom did we change the oil and almost always ended up in mechanical failure. And because we didn’t take time to prepare we found ourselves stranded on the roadside, unable to even call for a tow truck.

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One particular thing I regret is that we always had to take the express way. We never took time for the scenic route or historical landmarks.

We rarely pulled over to rest and stretch our legs and because of it the drive became tedious at times. We stopped focusing on each other but still didn’t focus on the road ahead of us. Often, one of us would sleep, pretending to be oblivious to how tired the driver was. Other times we would criticize each other. “Drive faster!” or “Slow down!”. “Do you even know where you are going?!?”. “Seriously!

Just shut up and let me figure this out by myself!”. Sometimes the fights would get so loud, or worse, the silence would get so painful, that we would completely miss the road signs warning us of the potential danger if we stayed on that road for too long. Signs like “Watch for Falling Emotional Rocks” or “Speed Bump of Life Ahead”. Sometimes our choices even caused us to drive the wrong way down a one way street.

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For sixteen years we made this journey. It wasn’t all bad. We sang to the radio together. We had great conversations as we drove late into the night. Early on, we even used the back seat for more than just luggage and booster seats.

We put a lot of miles on our car and it took us pretty far. But because we failed to properly maintain it we would never have been able to navigate the sharp turns that lay ahead.

Luckily, for me, we never made it that far. Luckily, for me, we had a head on collision with another car. Luckily, for me, I was thrown far from the wreckage, escaping the worst of it.

I was in shock and I bled. Oh, how I bled. But I survived. And from my new vantage point I was able to see past the burning smoke of the wreckage and our entire trip. From where we started all the way to where we hoped to end up. I remembered and recognized ever bump we hit and every wrong turn we made. I could see and feel the frustration from when we were stuck in traffic and felt like we weren’t going anywhere or worse, when our tires were just spinning in the mud.

I could see the wreck and a thousand different ways it could have been avoided if we had only paid attention to our dash board lights.

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And then I looked past the wreck, farther down the road. I’m lucky because I never made it that far.

There were falling trees and broken glass. Flooded roads and mud slides. At one point I could see where the road was completely washed out.

I quickly realized how unprepared we were. With our bald tires and stalling engine we would have gotten stuck some place. Without out topping off our tank at every rest stop we would have run out of gas in the middle of a storm. Without an emergency road side kit or even a map to guide us we would have taken a wrong turn and been lost forever. Because we failed to prepare for our trip and care for our vehicle along the way we risked far more than just being thrown from the car.

Today my wife is gone. She left me and the kids, came back for the kids(sort of) and now speaks to me less than the ghosts she left behind.

Me and the kids? We’re trying to recover from the deep cuts and concussions received in the accident. With a lot of counseling, help from amazing friends, and deep conversations with God, at least the bleeding has stopped and our hearts can start to heal. The going is slow; there is a lot of scar tissue, some that may never go away.


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About the Author- Pete Amador is a loving father and lives with his two children in Meridian, ID. He is a jokester, a poet, and an entrepreneur. He can often be found in the stands supporting the Broncos at BSU. Follow him at www.thrownfromthecar.com– the story of a single father surviving divorce and teaching his teenagers how to keep life safely between the lines.

Other posts by Pete include My Slightly Different But Just as Good Forever Family

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