Night driving

When Noland and I were dating, we made a lot of late night trips to and from Memphis and Little Rock from the tiny town in Arkansas where we lived, because those two cities were the closest places where there were actual “things to do.” That was a few years ago, and still those late night drives together are some of my favorite moments in our story.

Truthfully, I think the place I really fell in love with Noland was in his car on those trips. We would tell stories for hours, and talk about all of our crazy dreams for our life. Everything felt so full of promise, hope and adventure.

And there’s something about driving in the middle of nowhere at night, where the sky seems more vast and brilliant — it makes the world feel big enough to hold all the endless possibilities of the morning that lies ahead. Stars shine like tiny windows peeking into a new day, each one holding a little bit of light that invites you in for more.

There was something in the mystery of that time that drew my heart out in the best kind of way. There was mystery in my story with Noland, wondering how or when or where we’d end up getting married and starting our life together. There was mystery in all the dreams we were dreaming, the places we wanted to go and things we wanted to experience.

But it wasn’t the kind of mystery that was frustrating or exhausting — it felt exciting and thrilling and just full. I always felt so full in those moments.

I was thinking about all of this recently, and I realized that those early days of dating were marking what the rest of our life would look like. I realized that what God has been doing for three years since then is invite us on late night drives into the mystery of whatever is next.

And the thing about driving at night is that you can’t really ever see too far ahead of you, but it’s always enough. There’s always enough light in front of you to keep moving forward.

This season of my life has been a challenge to keep moving forward, if I’m completely honest. It feels scary to go places I’ve never gone and do things I’ve never done. It feels risky to believe for outcomes I can’t control.

But it feels right.

The farther I get into this journey with God, the more I understand that maybe the bravest thing any of us can do is just stay the course we’re on, trusting that it’s good and believing that it’s worth the risk.

I guess I won’t know until I get to wherever I’m going — but then again I’m not convinced that arriving at a destination has ever been the point.

So we stay the course. We dream our dreams and we embrace the mystery and we fall in love under a night sky with the endless possibility of a story unfinished.

It has to be good.

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