|I am in Rhode Island for the month of July, so I decided to send you something from my book, Simply a Woman of Faith. This chapter is called “God is my travel agent.” Enjoy!Thank you God, I know this is going to be a magnificent week… and the sun will come out. I woke up bright and early the next day. The rain had finally stopped, but no sunshine yet. Well, soon, I knew the sun would shine. I couldn’t wait to rent a moped and tour the island remembering how it felt with the wind blowing on my face those thirty years ago. Riding a moped in Bermuda, at seventeen years old seemed easy. I told myself it would come back to me, just like riding a bike.
I called the moped shop the next day and asked if they would deliver a moped to the hotel. It didn’t take them long to arrive at my doorstep. When the man arrived with my moped, he looked me over and asked doubtfully, “Lady, have you ever ridden a moped before?” “Sure, when I came here thirty years ago.” I smugly replied. He smiled and said, “Let’s see what you remember.” He showed me the basics in the parking lot – how to turn, stop, speed up and how to turn it off. It’s always a sign that I’m nervous when my hands sweat – and they were sweating profusely. I tried to act confident, but he could see the panic in my eyes. “Are you sure you’re okay? I can stay while you practice in the parking lot.” “I’d love your help,” I answered.
He patiently watched me as I tried to maneuver the bike around. The bike jerked when I stopped and I almost went into the wall. I kept practicing going around and around until I felt confident and ready to ride on my own. “If you have any problems, call me for help.” I thanked him as he opened the door of his truck and waved and drove off. Pat, you can do this. Just take your time, don’t get nervous. You did it when you were seventeen; you can do it now. I placed the helmet gently on my head, started up the bike and began my tour of the island. I concentrated on staying on the opposite side of the street, knowing it would be easy to forget and end up in the wrong lane. Smooth sailing until I hit the traffic in downtown Bermuda. Well, I didn’t literally hit it! Oh my God, I’m having a panic attack. I can’t breathe. I could hardly see through the tears burning my eyes. My heart pounded a mile a minute and my hands clutched tightly on the gears. I need help God or I’m going to get myself killed. What the hell am I doing in the middle of the traffic at lunch hour?
I managed to get the moped to the side of the street and breathed a sigh of relief. I had to calm myself down and pull myself together. God sent me an angel. A policeman sitting on the side of the street saw how pale I was, all the color drained from my face. “Do you need help?” he asked.I blurted out, “Please help me get out of this traffic before I cause an accident.” He smiled and motioned me to follow him. He stayed with me for quite awhile until I felt comfortable on the moped and in traffic. I just needed a little practice, I told myself.I felt proud of myself that I made it home safely and in one piece.
The next day the pouring rain and threatening black skies kept me inside all day. I made the best of it and cuddled up in front of the window, leisurely reading my Danielle Steel novel, sipping a hot flavorful mug of chai. As I listened to the weather station on the radio every hour on the hour, my enthusiasm faltered. God, why did you bring me to this beautiful paradise only to wilt in the rain and stormy weather? I don’t understand. Please help me to trust you.
|The next day the sun peeked through the clouds. Finally, the weather appeared to be turning. With new found confidence in my moped skills and my trusty map in my pocket, I jumped on my moped and began anew to tour the island. Yes I can do this, smooth sailing, I knew I would remember. Then, without any warning, my bike stalled on the side of the road. Panic struck. What am I going to do now? I turned the key slowly to see if I could get it started. The bike just wouldn’t start no matter what I did. I looked around the desolate stretch of road- no one in sight to ask for help. I sat there for awhile completely paralyzed and void of any intelligible thought. Fear gripped me in the pit of my stomach as the sweat poured down my forehead. You should never have come here alone. What if someone robs you? Or kidnaps you? People take advantage of stranded women all the time. How could you be so stupid as to put yourself in this situation.
As I sat there wondering what to do next, a man drove by on his moped and saw me sitting there. God sent another angel to help.”What’s wrong?” “My moped stalled and I can’t get it started,” I replied. “Let me see what I can do.” In a second he came up with the diagnosis. “Your gas tank is empty.” “Gas tank empty?” I hadn’t even asked the man who delivered the moped where the gas tank was. I blushed as I tried to make excuses for my stupidity. “I didn’t think the gas would run out. Why didn’t they show me where the gas tank was in the first place?” I blurted out. I had to blame someone. “There’s a gas station right up the street. I’ll go and get you some gas.” As I sat there waiting for the gas, I thanked God for sending me this nice, helpful Bermudian rather than the Boston Strangler. When he returned, I paid him for the gas, thanked him profusely for his help and resumed my island tour.
I looked forward to riding to St. George for lunch. Even though it was on the other side of the island, it would be worth the trip. I remembered the quaint little shops and eating in the restaurant that served rich chocolate cake that melted in my mouth. As I drove into St. George, all I could see was the majestic cruise ships lined up along the ocean front. People were standing on the decks watching and waving to those passing by. I leisurely strolled around town enjoying the sights and taking my time to browse in the novelty shops. I stopped to watch a man making glass jewelry. I finally felt that vacation sense of freedom, as I strolled along the streets browsing in shops.
|I found a cozy restaurant tucked away behind the famous St. George cathedral. I expected my trip back to be uneventful as I strapped on my helmet and started up my moped. The air felt different and it seemed a little darker. I looked up in the sky and knew rain was only minutes away.I have to get back on my own, no matter what. Maybe I can make it before it gets really bad. God, what’s going on? Where’s the sun? I don’t even have a raincoat with me. As I raced against time to get back to Angels Grotto, black ominous clouds threatened from above and the cold wind chilled my weary bones.Within minutes, the rain poured down and the sky opened up. I could hardly see as the hail and ice balls hit my face. As each car sped by, water splashed my feet, legs, arms and even my head.
Between my tears and the pouring rain, I could hardly see in front of me. I held on for dear life.I had to keep going, no matter what. My body trembled with fear and I felt my heart pound inside my chest. God help. I’m scared to death and my life is in danger.Up ahead, as I squinted to see, I spotted a covered shelter for people waiting for buses. If I can reach that shelter, I can get out of the rain and be safe until it passes. Keep going Pat. You’re gonna make it. Just keep moving and you’ll be safe. As I approached the shelter, I could see it was empty. I turned off my moped, threw it on the ground and screamed at God at the top of my lungs. F U God.
I felt the anger rise up from a place deep within me. I didn’t get angry at God – ever. What was going on with me? I have no idea how long I sat on the ground sobbing uncontrollably, but it seemed like time had stopped. I realized that all my life I held in my anger and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Once it started, it wouldn’t let up until it ran its course. After this outburst and release of anger, I calmed down and felt better. Although totally spent and exhausted, I knew deep down that something had shifted inside of me. The weather had shifted as well.
The rain had stopped and I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel. Drenched and cold, I peeled off my clothes layer by layer, then soaked in a hot tub for over an hour, adding hot water as it cooled. As soon as my head hit the pillow that evening, I was out and I slept like a baby. When I woke up the next morning, the sun shone brightly through my window. I listened to the bird’s song and felt renewed. I felt transformed, healed and loved. Looking out my window at the pale blue clear sky, I felt peaceful, serene and grateful as if enveloped in God’s loving presence.
God, something feels different inside, what happened yesterday? I feel lighter and more alive. Where did all that anger come from? I’m sorry God for blaming you and saying what I did.
Sitting in prayer and meditating the next day, I sensed the beginning of getting in touch with a well of deep unresolved anger from my childhood. I didn’t know how much anger I had inside of me until my moped incident. I could no longer keep the lid on my anger because it was destroying me. I thought about the headaches and not sleeping – they were probably a result of my unresolved anger and holding things in.
I think God, in His ultimate wisdom, allowed this to happen so I could begin to release the anger from the sexual abuse that I’d buried for years. He knew it would take a lot for me to get angry – alone in Bermuda on a moped during a hail storm did it. Clearly, the release was more important to my well-being than having beautiful weather. Yes, I was angry and wanted to blame God for the bad weather, and for my fears of getting electrocuted or having an accident on the moped.
God had thrown His thunderbolts and created the perfect circumstances to free and heal me. I thought I was going to Bermuda to rest and relax in the sunshine. God had other plans, better plans. He knew exactly what I needed.
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