Last August, the night before my mom was due to have major heart surgery at medical center about 90 minutes from home, I drove out to the hospital.
Thankfully, Erma and Gert (not their real names–my nicknames for them), two of my closest friends live in the same city as the hospital, so I was able to crash at the beach house–our name for their house.
I had printed out directions to the hospital going the way I usually take into the city. I have been gifted with the ability to loose all sense of direction when I get flustered. Somehow I managed to take a wrong turn and ended up away from the hospital without knowing how to get back.
Near tears and frustrated with myself, I called Erma and basically bit off her head. “I’m in this stupid city and I’m lost and I don’t know how to get to the stupid hospital.” Calm and collected (and probably giggling at my rant) Erma asked where I was by landmarks. I told her the parking lot I was in. “No problem,” she said. Right. No problem for her.
Erma calmed me down and stayed on the phone with me, being my verbal GPS and refusing to hang up until I had parked my car near the hospital and walked into the hospital lobby. Before we ended the call, she said, “Call me when you’re ready to leave, and I’ll come get you.”
Now that’s a great friend!
I was stressing already about my mom’s triple bypass surgery. Who knew what would happen? Okay, God did, but I’m human so I worry. When the nurse kicked me out of Mom’s room, I texted Erma from the lobby. She and Gert arrived to take me back to the beach house. I rode with Erma while Gert drove my car. I’m sure they decided it was best for the rest of the population in the city.
When I called my husband that evening, I demanded in my sometimes-not-so-nice-wifey tone that we get a GPS for my car. I told him I was sick of not knowing where I was going. He replied in his most-of-the-time-voice-of-reason-tone and encouraged me to calm down. Things would work out.
Sometimes life provides unexpected detours. Sometimes our dreams hit roadblocks, or even dead ends. Sometimes we may have an idea where we’re headed, but still end up lost.
Change is a great motivator for suddenly feeling lost. Change in your job situation may leave you wondering about your place in the world. Change in your education may pave the way to freedom, or it may be a one-way road to a dead end. Change in your family structure may leave you feeling you’ve been circling the same block many times with no exit in sight.
Even though those moments may leave you feeling frustrated, flustered, discouraged or even angry, remember those are valid emotions. Validate them. Appreciate them. Deal with them. Move past them.
My friends have helped me through many of life’s traffic jams. Being a verbal GPS or just being, they manage to speak truth, provide comfort, and continue to love me during those detours.
Your Turn: How about you? Have you had moments of being lost and a friend stepped in to help out? Has a friend been a verbal GPS for you? How have friends helped you find your way to your destination?