Friday, October 8, 2010

How I Imagine Germany

A few weekends ago, after morning Crucible, I sold my car to David & Shannon Lennon in the parking lot next to Larmon's Furniture on 7th Ave in Ybor City.  After handing over the keys & waving goodbye to the Lennons, I walked back to the HUB to meet up with Ryan & Laurie to catch a ride home.  I was overjoyed ~ selling my car was one of the big milestones I had set in my mind on my path to Hamburg. 
When I met up with Ryan & Laurie, we collectively rejoiced (through high-fiving) over me being able to sell my car, and then Ryan turned to me and said, "you want to learn to drive stick-shift?"  This was an exciting proposition...I had wanted to know how to drive a stick-shift car since I was in high school and my sister drove a Miata, but she had always avoided my request to learn how to drive it because she was concerned that I was going to ruin her clutch.  But now, there was actually a reason & a means for me to learn to drive a stick-shift car ~ I was moving to Europe and Ryan & Laurie had a stick-shift vehicle.
So, Ryan, Laurie, baby Andrew, and I (I was in the driver's seat) got into their PT Cruiser & drove around a parking lot & then to the store.  And I was pretty good.  But as the day went on & I continued to drive around from place to place, I progressively got worse. 
Until finally, we sat 25 feet away from the house, and I could not get the car into first gear to drive it into the driveway to park.  Again & again & again, I tried to advance, and again & again & again, the car stalled out.  This lasted about 10 minutes, until finally I began to weep.  I began to cry because I couldn't get the car into first gear; I cried because I was so embarrassed about doing so poorly & for being so emotional in front of Ryan & Laurie; but mostly, I cried because I realized that this was my new life ~ trying a whole bunch of new things (i.e. moving to a new country, learning a new language, having to make new friends, etc) and I was totally going to fall flat on my face in all of these pursuits.  In that moment, I mourned for my future failures.
All I wanted to do was jump out of the car & run away.  And in between sobs, I kept begging Ryan to please take my place in the driver's seat so that we could get the car home.  But each time to car stalled, he would say, "try again."  Little by little, the car finally pulled into the driveway & I was able to park.  We got out of the car, and they hugged me & told me that they were proud of me.
Over the last several weeks, I have imagined our journey to Germany to be just like this story...a place of joy & excitement, a place for hugs & high-fives, a place of stepping out & trying new things, a place of failure & crying, and a place where friends stand by your side to encourage you & to tell you that they love you and are proud of you.
Please continue to pray...we leave in three days & I still need to learn to drive stick-shift!
Sincerely, Anne


  1. Anne - i'm reading this for the first time, and you guys are already there....already making new friends and being surrounded with the new already flew to the other side of the world with the people that may surely be the best friends you will have for all of your life because of this experience. and as I read your post, tears welled up in my eyes b/c of who you are and who Ryan and Laurie are and how your friendship is going to grow even deeper then it already is. How Ryan would say try again and not just take over b/c he knew what was best for you.
    i love you guys so much. thank you for posting this!

  2. am praying for you Anne, and know that you are not alone in these new experiences, Jesus is there by your side each step of the way. One of Brian's talks I listened to recently since being gone from Tampa was the one that mentioned "tears really are prayers", and I have fully encountered this. Embrace it Anne, all of it, for it is from this point of weakness can we truly be used by the Lord and grow.