We continued driving and before too long I started sneezing and found myself in the middle of a severe allergy attack which lasted the rest of the day. After about seven more hours of driving, we were in the middle of Louisiana. It was almost the middle of the night, and my older son called to see when we wanted to stop and find a place to stay. We were getting pretty weary by then, and since the next town we would come to was Lafayette, I told him we would stop there. The roads kept getting darker, and I was starting to feel lost and anxious even though I was following the route I had planned. My son started looking up hotels in the area and started making phone calls to find the best place for us to stay. He called me back and said he had told them that his mom and his little brother were driving through the area and needed a safe, comfortable place to stay the night.
The feeling his words gave me was one of being loved and valued. In the middle of a dark, strange place his concern was very comforting. He gave me specific directions to get there, and in fact stayed on the phone with me as I was driving through town until I found the hotel. It was in a well lit part of town and was an older, elegant hotel.
I pulled up to the brightly lit front entryway. I decided to button my yellow sweater over my t shirt to hide the coffee stain. I tried to straighten my hair and put it up in a clip. I stepped into the beautifully furnished lobby. As I approached the front desk, the clerks looked at me warily. I told them my son had called ahead and booked my reservation. They looked at each other and said they hadn’t spoken with him. I thought to myself, “well, I guess I don’t look like the mom who needs a nice hotel room”. However, they found my reservation and I was able to get checked in. The clerks looked relieved as I took the key and walked back out to the car.
We drove around to the back of the building and carried our suitcases into the hotel. We took the elevator up to our room, walked in and relaxed in our wonderful room with a king sized bed. I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I walked across the room. I was an absolute wreck! I looked even worse than I had imagined. The coffee stain I thought I had covered up was still visible. My sweater that I thought would make me look more presentable had been buttoned lopsidedly. Mascara was smeared under each eye, my nose and eyes were red and my hair was a mess.
My son’s words ran through my head again. I am loved and valued in spite of the mess I am in at this moment.
There are times in our lives when regardless of all of our planning, we end up on a dark road, feeling lost. When we turn to God and begin seeking Him, He knows we’ve been on a long journey. Our lives are a mess and we are a mess. But God doesn’t care how the world sees us or even how we see ourselves. We are valued and loved by Him. He will provide a safe, comfortable place for us to rest in His presence when we turn to Him. He even gives us directions and will guide us every step of the way.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
2 Corinthians 1:3