After thirty years in the city, I finally left Los Angeles in 2002 and moved to Palm Springs. I loved the energy of the desert and the quiet surrounding of the mountains that were was so peaceful and serene. It was a new life and the air was clean. The only highway to civilization ran through the middle of the basin and nothing but two-lane roads etched in the sand connected the patches of houses and newly developed communities throughout the valley.
I kept my job and commuted back and forth for several months while I looked for work locally. My mustang convertible enjoyed the open road and it was my thinking time. I had my repertoire of music to get me through, some CDs to pump me up in the morning, others to chill me out on the way home.
I had only been living in the desert a couple months when driving home one night I experienced my first sand storm. The wind had become very strong and I learned later that wind gusts of up to 50 miles an hour were reported that night. I got off the freeway at my turnoff and started on the two-mile stretch home. The wind grew fierce as I made my way into the desert. My visibility became less and less and I couldn’t see in front of me nor could I see the cars coming in the opposite direction. I was now only driving about 10 mph, too afraid to pull over for fear of being buried alive or hit from behind. I couldn’t tell if I was driving straight or if I was even still on the road. The wind was howling so loud I couldn’t hear anything else. The sand swirled all around me and I could feel it coming in through the windows and the creases in my top. I was shaking and began to cry. All I could do was keep moving. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and screamed in a rage at the top of my lungs, “I could use some ——–help here!!
All of a sudden, silence. The wind stopped and the road completely cleared in front of me. I could see all around me. It was like it never happened! Still shaking uncontrollably, I made my way home. I had just experienced my first sand storm.
Though I didn’t grow up with this God, the God of my understanding is a loving and gentle God. One more time I was shown how loving and patient my God is. No matter how upset or impatient or even irreverent I may be, I am constantly being shown how much I am loved. No matter how afraid I may be, I will always be taken care of. The solution or answer may not come when I want it or when I think I need it, and it’s never in my time. But it’s always on time!
Now, any time I become consumed by fear or simply upset about a situation, I think of that night in the desert. I don’t believe it was a coincidence. I believe I was being told, one more time, that I am never really alone and I will always be taken care of no matter what. Everything is going to be ok. My only job is to trust, have faith and ask for what I need. I have to ask myself, “why did I wait so long before I asked for help?” Thank you God for loving me.
Cheryl Johnson, Radio Talk Show Host “From Maui With Aloha”
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