Today, my precious husband, gave me a surprise College Graduation gift. A red, mustang convertible.
Now, I know every girl in town is envious of me... I'm so blessed, excited and SHOCKED! Jeff Chavis is a very frugal guy, and for him to purchase this car for ME... well - I know it held a private message.
If you have heard my "red convertible" story - you know that for quite a while now - seeing a red convertible has been my "sign" from Jesus - reminding me to Let Him Drive!
The story is so personal - I have only shared it a couple places upon God's leading.
So here's my "Red Convertible" story...
I was at our Ladies Prayer Retreat in October 2007. My sister Debbie led one of our devotions using an illustration from a Max Lucado book about "Tucker Town" - A town where all the residents pushed their vehicles around all day - with engines running... they just liked DOING THINGS for themselves! Of course, they were tired, worn out souls, with no life! We all thought that was pretty silly - then the devotion took a quick turn and she talked about how we try to do things "in our own power". God doesn't want us to push our car around all day - nor does He want us to get in and drive it. HE WANTS TO DRIVE!
So at the end of the devotion, I was on the floor - face in the carpet - pouring my heart out in prayer... asking God to help me with the struggle to "be in control"! With all of the hats I wore and the responsibilities on my shoulders at the time, I felt overwhelmed, overworked, under-appreciated and exhausted most of the time! I was the Pastor's wife of a busy church, music director, choir leader, church pianist... just to mention a few of my duties.
I have never had a "vision" before - but that morning - I had one.
I saw a huge Bus sitting in our Church parking lot. People were everywhere - getting on and off the bus - and I could see myself there - running around with clipboard in hand - trying to create order in the chaos. I was delegating everything; from getting the tires checked to getting a logo painted on the bus. People were interrupting me, asking me questions and I seemed to have an answer for all of them. I finally walked around and started up the steps to get on the bus. I remember thinking... "I wonder if Jeff (my husband) or Brocc (my son and the co-pastor) should drive?" I knew it should be one of them, but I felt torn as to which one should be the driver. When I boarded the bus, I looked up and saw a man sitting in the seat just behind the driver's seat. His eyes bored into mine and immediately I knew... this man was Jesus. The realization made me gasp and I asked Him the craziest question... I said, "What are YOU doing here?"
Very kindly, he replied, "I'm here to drive the bus."
"YOU?" I queried, in disbelief! (I just felt like He should have a more important role than the bus-driver!)
He stood up and looked down at me - and begin to gently explain. "You know that I have plans for this Church. Prophesies have been proclaimed about my plans for your future. Much prayer has gone forth asking me to take you to a new dimension. So, I have to drive, if you want to get to the places I want to take you."
I was still confused. "But what are WE supposed to do?" (speaking of myself and my family)
His words hit me like a brick. "Just sit down, and ride."
"What? That's it? Just ride the bus like everybody else? I mean, shouldn't we be recruiting more people... or monitoring or SOMEthing?"
"No... I just need you to sit down - and ride the bus."
I began to sob - and that's what I did for the next half hour or so.
Later, I shared this vision with the Ladies group - and wept - asking them to pray for me - that I could learn to just "Sit down and ride the bus!"
As the weeks passed, it became almost comical... I would be running around on a Sunday morning with my list of tasks - stressed to the max - trying to get everything up and ready to go for service. Invariably, one of my sweet friends would saddle up to me and whisper - "Just ride the bus, Sis. Chavis!" I would laugh and joke back... "Well, the bus has four flat tires this morning, so if I don't get someone motivated, no one's going anywhere, anytime soon!"
But in prayer, I would seriously plead with God... "Lord, help me! I really don't know HOW to sit down and ride! I've been doing what I do for so long - I don't know HOW to stop!!"
Month after month passed, and my daily struggle continued. I prayed, cried and even fasted - asking God to TEACH me how to sit down so HE could drive!
In January of 2008 - we traveled down to the Because Of The Times Conference in Alexandria, LA. During one of the altar services, I crawled down between the pews and found myself again, praying my desperate prayer. I remember saying, "I don't know how to let you drive this bus, Jesus!"
And immediately - I was back in the first vision - same setting - same bus in the church parking lot - and I had the same clipboard... running around trying to get everybody on board with this project.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a red flash - so I turned to see what it was. Spinning into the parking lot - pulling alongside that big bus - was a Red Convertible - and JESUS was driving it! He just looked at me and smiled - then kind of tilted His head towards the passenger seat. He didn't have to say a word! I dropped my clipboard and ran around the car - opened the door and jumped in that convertible! As He popped it into gear - I remember saying, "Oh yes! I can DO this!!"
All of my frustration, confusion and struggle was gone! I got up off of that conference floor changed and relieved! I did not know WHERE He was taking me and I honestly didn't care. I just knew He was driving and I wasn't!
You see, just a few weeks after I got into that car with Him, I was diagnosed with breast cancer - and He drove me through the curvy, foggy roads of two surgeries - 33 treatments of radiation - months of uncertainty and fatigue... but it was all just a part of the scenery with Jesus driving!
My son came home from college and took over the music. Darling saints stepped up and took on responsibilities I could no longer fulfill. I had finally learned how to sit down and ride. The peace of God surrounded me like a warm blanket, as I watched leaders emerge from the woodwork. People who would have never stood up, if I had not sat down.
From that day to this - when I see a Red Convertible - my heart flutters - because it reminds me - that HE IS IN CONTROL! Sometimes, before I even realize it, I will gasp out loud! My husband has learned not to be alarmed... its just a Red Convertible moment.
So, today... when he drove up beside me in that Red, Mustang Convertible... I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Its a lovely car that anyone would enjoy driving and owning... but to me - its more than a car. Its a message.
A message I am living - one day at a time!
I'm letting Him drive...