My Winter Wedding Weekend
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
The last thing I wanted to do Saturday morning was hop into my
car and drive 250 miles all by myself in what the local forecaster called "dangerously
cold" conditions with the probability of being stuck in city traffic on some
frosty freeway just long enough to completely miss my friend's wedding. Sign
me up now.
I imagined myself in a blizzard, eating snow and some buried peanut that
somehow managed to wiggle its way out from underneath my car seat as I foraged
for food, my rations having long been eaten.
I pictured myself blowing out a tire right in the middle of D.C. traffic
and waiting for some plaid-wearing tow trucker to pull me out of the pylon
I had swerved into, while hundreds of cantankerous drivers scream past me
in a blur of lights and whirring wheels.
I mean, really, where was my sense of adventure?
The fact that the ground was covered with several inches of snow on Friday
just fed my fears. My mind started deducing that if we were getting snow down
South, then I could surely expect much more of it up North where I was headed.
And snow for this Tennessee native meant the possibility of four consecutive
hours white-knuckling the steering wheel. For those who grew up skating on
ponds in the winter, the white stuff isn't an issue, perhaps even a welcome
sight. But I come from a town where when the first few flakes start falling,
people frantically flock to the grocery store, schools close, and weathermen
start talking excitedly about the "accumulation."
Plus, I had just spent the previous weekend out of town. I really didn't
want to spend another weekend on the road. Moreover, I was completely unprepared.
I hadn't finished my laundry, I hadn't packed, and I hadn't gotten the wedding
gift together. To top it off, I was headed to this wedding alone.
But then I thought about my friend Charles, who I had known for about six
years. I would miss his wedding, a wedding that had been planned for over
a year now, all because I was freaking out. I would miss being able to congratulate
him and his new wife, Kate, in person. I would miss the excitement of being
in a new place, eating a fantastic sit-down dinner, and dancing the night
away with the other guests at the reception. I tried to comfort myself by
recalling what my friend Anthony, who was already in Annapolis to fulfill
his role as best man, had told me over the phone: "There's no snow on the
ground up here, Laura." And it wasn't likely that there would be any more.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
At around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, I finally decided to go.
Then Saturday morning came and I almost changed my mind all over again.
Overstuffed in a big quilted jacket, scrunchy hat, and hiking boots, I headed
out the door in 16-degree weather, already off to a late start. I was packed
and ready to get on the road, with the exception of topping off my gas, so
I headed to the gas station, pulled up to the bank of fuel tanks, and hurriedly
pulled on my car's fuel tank door latch. Nothing. I tried again. It wouldn't
open. I tried several more times with the same results. The gas tank door
refused to budge. Great, I broke the lever, I thought, and had visions
of paying $200 to some smirking auto mechanic to get it fixed.
I drove back to the house and ripped open my glove compartment to re-read
the owner's manual. Surely, there is another way to open the fuel door,
I figured. But, alas, a good perusing proved that not to be the case.
How am I supposed to drive if I can't fill up my gas tank? I was feeling
sick and angry. I told myself not to check the time, my usual nervous habit.
I stormed out of the car, walked around to the fuel door, and took a good,
hard look. A small, thin layer of ice had wedged its way underneath the door.
Why hadn't I seen that before? I blustered under my breath. I ran inside
to get my Leatherman pocketknife and spent the next 15 minutes doing delicate
surgery to shave down the ice so that the door would easily open. I then raced
back to the same gas station and filled up my tank. A whole 45 minutes out
I was still reeling from my morning fiasco when without warning the traffic
came to a standstill on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. With no indication
of an accident and no blinking sign to redirect traffic, I guessed this could
take another hour to get through. At that point, I was close to tears. If
I could have turned around, I probably would have. I figured I had made a
mistake. If I was supposed to go to this wedding, why was I experiencing so
That day I found out an important lesson: Sometimes the blessing is on the
other side. To access the blessing, you might have to slog through some unpleasant
circumstances. But hold on. Have faith. The blessing is coming. The roadblocks
aren't reality. They are simply a distraction to the better end. The point
of the roadblocks was to prevent me from continuing on my journey. It took
seeing beyond my circumstances to get to a new place...literally!
Despite my initial delay, I made record time on the road up to Annapolis.
The sun was shining, the roads were free of snow and ice, and the traffic
was flowing freely. I had no problems checking into my hotel as I thought
I might have. The wedding and reception were elegant. Everyone was pleasant
and in good spirits. Charles and Kate were pleased that I made the journey,
and I felt glad that I had made the effort. By the end of the evening, I was
laughing and enjoying myself. I had completely forgotten about my arduous
Isn't that true of our lives as Christians? We can spend our
lives in fear instead of faith, setting our sites on troubles
that are but a mirage, or we can keep our eyes on the real landscape
-- God and His plans. Don't make the potholes of life your point
of reference. You never know what road stretches before you right
over the horizon.
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