• Lydia Thomas

Four-Way Stops

Every time I am at a four-way stop, two memories come to mind from way back when I was learning to drive.

In the first memory, I am out driving with an instructor and my younger brother in the back seat. I stop at a four-way intersection, look both ways, and start to go, but for some reason I hesitate. When I try to go again, I can't. The instructor has his foot on his break.

"We're not going until you tell me you can do it."

"I can do it?"

"Say it like you mean it."

"I can do it."



Finally, he takes his foot off his brake and I am free to go.

In the second memory, I am driving with my mom. I stop at a four-way intersection, and look both ways. A car is approaching on my right. I start to go, but the car to my right barely stops, before proceeding through the intersection, and I have to jump on my brakes.

"I HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY!" I yell after the car.

"You can be right and still end up dead," my mom says wryly.

One was trying to instill confidence, the other humility. In life, both are needed, but because one was my mom, and the other was next to a complete stranger, I internalized one message more deeply than the other for years, and am only just coming to stand in the truth of the other.

I am in a season where I have to trust that I can do what God has given me to do, no matter how daunting.

I've also had to listen to the doubts and concerns of others. I've quickly learned that offering assurance about myself and my circumstances and defending my decisions - in other words, expressing confidence - is futile. I simply shrug and say (usually after a mini-meltdown), "You are free to have your opinion."

The day will show me for who I am, and my work for what it is.

In the meantime, I will remain confident in who I am and what God has given me to do, and humble toward those who can't yet see it.

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