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Celebrating Our Steps with Christ

*This is an old writing that I am publishing on the blog. The message itself is still relevant.

I am so happy that throughout my youth I never had the desire to test drugs. Specifically speaking, the hallucinogens.

Why?” You ask.

That is a very good question. If I were to have experimented with said drugs, I probably would have ended up in a mental hospital. You see, I have a very vivid imagination. So vivid, in fact, that sometimes I have a hard time discerning what is reality and what is fiction. Let me explain to you how I have concluded this fictional scenario, in which I would have sent myself to a mental hospital if I had experimented with drugs during my youth.

Last night I decided to drink an entire cup of coffee; 150mg of caffeine. Caffeine; a white, crystalline, bitter alkaloid, C 8 H 10 N 4 O 2, usually derived from coffee or tea: used in medicine chiefly as a nervous system stimulant.

Since I had surgery to remove my appendix, to cope with the pain I have been taking lora-tabs; may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. In other words, for me, it knocks me out cold. I, innocently enough, mixed two very opposite drugs.

When I was finally able to fall asleep, let’s say, around 1am, I drifted off into a world that I was not familiar with. I began dreaming. (I am going to rabbit trail for a moment, and tell you this dream because it was really quite terrifying)

There were two ‘main’ characters in my dream.

A boy, who was depressed and suicidal, probably in his early 20s, living at home with his mother. This boy felt he had nothing to live for, and began to develop schizophrenia. The only person he ever talked to was a girl, she had shoulder length brown hair, and she didn’t really exist. The boy somehow managed to get a girlfriend, she had blonde curly hair. But she was more of a bystander in the dream.

In the same town as the boy,  there was a man named Lyle, who was quite a vile creature. Lyle spent his days selling drugs, importing over illegal foreigners to sell his drugs, completely destroying the town. Lyle also raped a girl, continually, throughout her entire life, and unfortunately, throughout my entire dream.

Now, with those two characters being stated… Who would really want to continue to participate in this nightmare? The problem was, every time I tried to wake up I would “wake up” but I would still be sleeping. I was dreaming in a dream. And when I would ‘wake up’, I couldn’t move. It was almost like I was suffocating… and I would try to reach over for Adrian, but I couldn’t move. And I would grunt, and try to cry out, and I would hear Adrian acknowledge me tiredly, “Are you having a nightmare?” But I couldn’t get out of this dream like state. And above my bed was a man, a demon like man, with the most terrifying gray eyes. He wrestled me to be quiet, and I couldn’t move. I was sure I was suffocating… Then I would drift back into ‘sleep’.

The town had no real authority. There was a main bar, ran by Lyle, where street thugs with big guns ran the show. Across from the bar was a gas station/mechanic repair shop where Lyle and his drug dealing thugs hung out. The boy was losing his mind in this very messed up town. The non-existent girl told him to go into the bar and start killing people. So he took a gun, and headed for the bar. But the boy didn’t want to hurt anyone. The imaginary girl was insistent that he start shooting people… But the town was filled with innocent people as well. He aimed his gun at the imaginary girl, and he shot her. And when he pulled the trigger, the ‘cops’ showed up, but they were too scared to get out of the car. Since the cops showed up, the thugs pulled out their big guns. The boy couldn’t believe he shot the girl (even though she didn’t really exist and no one else could see her), so he shot himself. The thugs went crazy with the blood lust, and began shooting everywhere. They sparked a fire, that caught on some leaked gasoline from Lyle’s gas station, and the place blew up. Lyle and all his thugs died. The girl that Lyle kept hurting was free. My dream then told me everything happens for reasons that we just don’t understand. But it was sick, and twisted.

Then I ‘woke up’ again, I couldn’t get away from this demon and his gray eyes. He was suffocating me. It was so real.

Now I can see it on your faces, “What on earth does you having a nightmare have to do with taking steps with Christ?”

Finally my twitching woke the real Adrian up, and he drew me up from my sleep. But I couldn’t close my eyes. Every time I tried to close my eyes, I saw those gray eyes. I was sweating, and I was scared. It was so real. I couldn’t calm myself. I kept trying to say I know God is with me, I know his good angels are here protecting me. I even prayed out loud, which is hard for me to do. Begging God to please take away these doubts, and these gray eyes. I was in tears, I was so scared.

Adrian said, “I really feel like God is wanting me to tell you this, ‘Give your thoughts and vain imagination to God.His warrior angels are here, and they are protecting us.‘” My prayers for help were heard by God, and he spoke through Adrian for me, with that verse, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ“; 2 Corinthians 10:5 

I felt the Holy Spirit, I felt him washing away my fear of the man with gray eyes. Feeling the Holy Spirit is huge for me! Before I couldn’t even think of the demon that was haunting me without shivering in fear, but now I could think of him and it caused me no fear. In my head, I decided to celebrate! I wanted to be quiet because I knew Adrian needed his rest. I was pretending there were balloons everywhere, and I was nodding my head back and forth dancing. I had taken a step with Christ, I trusted God to take away my fears… and even though, at first, there was doubt… God spoke to me through the bible verse, His word… and my fear was gone just like that. I celebrated, and decided I was going to continue celebrating. It felt good celebrating the step I had just taken with God. Usually I don’t give the steps I have taken a chance to really manifest before I start worrying, “Well where is the next great feeling? What do I do next? Am I not worshipping right?…” etc

Admist my celebrations, Adrian woke up to tell me, “I had a weird mini dream. I think it was Jeremy, but someone handed me a piece of paper. And when I opened the piece of paper up, it said Paid.”

(Not to much later we received a letter in the mail, the entire $60,000 medical bill was paid for. God is Good.)

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How much does a 90 day road trip cost?

23,000 miles, 4,259 photos, 110 days, $9,500, 269 videos totaling 2 hours of footage, and a lifetime of memories.

What if I told you this trip cost us less than $.050 a mile?

This trip only cost us $0.41 a mile! No, that last one is a statement not a question. That’s for serious! Granted the trip was 23,000 miles long! It was definitely worth every penny! The trip actually ended up lasting 110 days. Our plans, though originally set almost hour by hour, changed to not knowing where we were going day by day. We didn’t skimp on things we really wanted to do like going to the aquarium in Atlanta or eating BBQ in Memphis. However, we did sacrifice on, in some instances, living conditions (though not safety) and when food was not a local specialty must-have we’d eat non-parishables we brought along from home.

We had a few road trip songs; I would say there are about 3 that really touched our hearts. Home by Phillip Phillips, Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner.

Fast forward to today…

Now we are just trying to find our place. Figure out what God wants for us in this new season. We are working on some books. Hashing out some business ideas. We’ve applied for  an 11 month mission trip with the worldrace.org. We’ve applied for and gotten jobs. Entered back into the “real world” as some would call it. Though we will always remember when we blew a mattress up in our car to see if it would fit, spray painted cars, hiked through a national forest and came face to face with a gator, rode a ferry by the statue of liberty, put chains on our tires to cross the great divide, stayed with strangers and made new friends, rode a Gondola at Veil, watched whales migrate south, camped in our car, had an allergic reaction to poison oak, hiked 6 miles round trip into the second largest canyon, had coffee at the original Starbucks, visited the Baseball Hall of fame, chilled in a hot spring, climbed a fence to get a better picture of a leopard, tried to eat breakfast in Mexico, snuck into a golf club to shower, left my wallet in Vegas, traveled the USA in 110 days…

Is it the end, or just the beginning?

So that’s it, right? Finished the drive over to New York. Enjoyed visiting family in between Seattle and Albany (some for a second time). Picked up the car. We’re done, right? I guess we should just go home from there.

But we didn’t.

Stopped to see friends in Baltimore. Stayed in North Carolina. Thawed out in Jacksonville. Since we had gone so far, we might as well finish the drive down to Miami, right? Maybe even chase a sunset to the Keys!

So we did that too.

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Stayed over in the Orlando area, and enjoyed family there. Since this has been quite the adventure, we thought it might be wise to have a vacation from the adventure before we headed back to work.

Cedar Key was recommended as our layover spot, and it was perfect! We stayed at the beautiful Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast. Rode around on a tandem bicycle. Just had a good, restful night.

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Our drive was going to take us right by Adrian’s dad’s house. So we decided to stay one night there. On the way there we passed a guy pushing a giant globe! So we had to ask him what he was doing! (www.worldguy.org)

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Got to Baker, had a great time. Told them about our adventure.

Then we locked keys in car.

Again.

A friend drove up to unlock our car. There was just one problem – we couldn’t find the keys. So we were stranded in Baker, but at least we had good company. It took us three days, but we finally found the keys we drove home.

Home is where ever I am with you.

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The Big Trip in Small Clips!

This short video only has clips from some of the trip! Not even all of it. We took over 200 videos with almost 2 hours of short clips from around the country, picked some of our favorites and condensed those into 2.5 minutes.

Keep checking back to the blog! There are two more posts from the trip. There will be other videos to be posted from the trip as well!

The Great Race

Don’t count the days. Make the days count.

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The Great Race West East began. We had 5 days to get from Seattle to New York. Luckily our friend wanted to make his way to Montana too, and so he drove the whole there. We had to stop and put chains on our car to get over the Great Divide… but aside from that terrifying drive it wasn’t as bad as expected. The expected being that we wouldn’t be able to drive on hwy 90 at all in a compact car, all attempts would be fatal. The whole drive to Montana the boys talked in a Canadian accent. As a matter of fact, Adrian kept the Canadian accent for the rest of the trip through the Northwest, and every time he called a hotel he spoke in said accent.

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To pass time we played yahztee in the car (yes, imagine this). We found gas at the cheapest price (2.69) in South Dakota. I was really excited that we were going to get to see Mount Rushmore, after all; something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a child. Still a little sad that we had to miss the Grand Canyon, the Redwood forest, tons of things in San Francisco, Adrian’s skiing in Colorado just because we had to get back in time to pick up the car. I didn’t even get to spend as much time as I would have liked admiring the sculpted President’s. It just means we will have to take a more detailed Northwest Adventure trip in the future ; )

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As we left Mount Rushmore, Adrian laid his seat back to take a nap. I entered highway 90. Cruise control set on 69mph in a 65mph zone. I passed a police officer in the fast lane, out of respect I turned my cruise control off and dropped to the legal speed limit. Other cars around me are going much faster, a white car in front of me was speeding much faster than I as we got closer to a 75mph zone (which only a local would know was up ahead). Then the police officer pulls out. Typical of my nature I panic, which I do every time a cop pulls out. I wake Adrian and he asks if I was speeding? Well, 4mph over. Then he’s not going to pull you over.
The lights come on… I look behind me. I get over to let the cop pass. He pulls behind me.

Is he seriously pulling me over for 4mph over?

Moral of the story, don’t speed at all in South Dakota. They are bored. They will pull you over. I didn’t get a ticket, but I did waste 45 minutes of my time. You see, I get upset at just the thought of getting pulled over… so then I start talking a lot. About EVERY THING. That poor police officer didn’t know what he was getting into. I am shaking compulsively, talking his ear off… he knows my whole family history and every thing about the road trip.

Because we were pulled over and wasted so much of our time we decided to get a motel. We stopped at a place in MN… sketchy. I am not sure if it was a hotel or someones shed built onto a home. LOL.

You know it is a long trip when you are reminiscing about the trip you are still on.

I have found that the spiritually mature look nothing like the world’s typical adults who have lost their hopes, dreams, passion and vision and are looking to finish their days in quiet retirement. -Outrageous Courage

After staying at the shed we finished the trek to Albany. It was nice to see family, some for a second time on the trip.

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