Over Bridges

Before I proceed with my blog…I would just like to make a note that as a blogger…well…I share things that other people probably keep to themselves. I make myself vulnerable to anyone who reads this blog. I am okay with that now…at first it was a little unnerving…I love to tell stories about what God did in my life and I had friends and family that encouraged me to tell the stories, not just to those close to me, but also on my blog. I share my weaknesses, pain, trials, and frustrations along with how God works in my life. I hope it helps you, the reader, no matter where you are in your relationship with God, to get a bigger glimpse of Him interacting in someone else’s life and I hope it encourages you.

God is true to His Word. No matter what situation I find myself in, no matter how big or small my faith is, He is always faithful to show up. So, with all pride put aside, I share this story…

Sarrah and I rode our bikes to Target the other night after dinner. Since it is getting dark earlier and earlier each evening, by the time we left the store, it had grown dark. I was a little nervous to ride home except that I knew Sarrah could ride the sidewalk back so she wasn’t at risk to be hit by a car.

I also knew in the back of my mind that Ben, if he hadn’t fallen asleep earlier, (he was fighting a cold), would probably show up with the car when he looked outside and saw it had grown dark.

Sarrah and I went down a side road, which was great until, we hit a part that for some reason the street lights were out and the sidewalk curved away from the road, into the neighborhood park, where it was quite dark. Although it wasn’t too far away from me, it still made me nervous, so I had her talk loud enough for me to hear her while she was riding that portion of the sidewalk.

My imagination started to get away with me. I began imaging someone knocking me off my bike to get to her, and well…other things flew through my mind making me wish we were already home.

Further on down the road, where it was lit really well, Sarrah and I stopped for a moment. Then all of the sudden Sarrah turned her bike and with excitement rode back down the sidewalk to her…Daddy, who had been following us in the car with the flashers on, to make sure we were safe.

For the rest of the ride he drove with his car flashers on and lit the path way for us so we could get safely home. When we needed to cross an intersection he stopped the car with flashers on and we were able to cross streets.

All of my fears and worries left me knowing he was there to help us get home and do what he could to protect us from any harm.

Needless to say, we made it home safely.

While I was riding I kept thinking about the Bible verse where it says, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5) NIV

Sometimes we have to go on dark scary roads, that cause us worry and fear.

But just as my husband’s presence that night gave us strength so does God’s presence give us strength for the road we have to travel. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 KJV

I told my friend Joan this story while we traveled to Port Angeles to speak at a Women’s Connection luncheon.

I had already had my customary frustration of missing exits and having to turn around. We got on the right road and there right in front of me loomed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. As I’ve mentioned before on my blog…I am not a bridge lover. If there is anything that causes me to be filled with fear it is to go over a bridge. I have gotten better, but I do not like to go over big bridges.

Especially bridges that have a history of being the bridge that is the new and improved bridge because the first one fell into the water! Never mind that they built this one better. Never mind that the other one fell during a storm. And never mind that it happened in 1940. It fell and they had to make a new one.

And it is a big bridge…here are the facts.


The towers are how tall? 
The two towers of the current Tacoma Narrows Bridge rise 467 feet above the piers. How tall is that? By comparison, the Seattle Space Needle is 138 feet taller, measuring 605 feet high. The Statue of Liberty is only 305 feet high, or 162 feet shorter than the Bridge's towers.

The bridge is how long?
You could line up nearly 10 Seattle Space Needles end-to-end and match the length of the Narrows Bridge today. Or, lay down New York's great Empire State Building 4 times and you'd be really close.
You can also take time to watch the first one fall if you like…

But what was I to do?…I had to get to the luncheon. So I prayed...I moaned and groaned…and we made it.

For a little while we drove on a road with beautiful scenery. We were having wonderful conversations and then the unbelievable happened. We came upon ANOTHER very BIG bridge. This one was big…at water level…and a FLOATING DRAWBRIDGE at that!

 The Hood Canal Bridge (officially William A. Bugge Bridge) is a floating bridge … At 7,869 feet (2,398 m) long, (floating portion 6,521 feet (1,988 m)) it is the longest floating bridge in the world located in a saltwater tidal basin, and the third longest floating bridge overall. First opened in 1961, it was the second concrete floating bridge constructed in Washington.
And guess what I discovered…

Hood Canal Bridge sinks during a severe storm on Tuesday, February 13, 1979.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5501 :
On February 13, 1979, about 7 a.m., the western half of the Hood Canal Bridge sinks during a severe storm.  For several hours before the Tuesday the 13th catastrophe, a storm batters the bridge with winds of 80 miles per hour gusting to 120 miles per hour. The bridge on (Washington) State Route 104 connects the Kitsap Peninsula with the Olympic Peninsula.  It is the second concrete pontoon floating bridge in Washington’s highway system, and the world's first floating pontoon bridge built over salt water subject to tides. 

My stomach felt like a porcupine was inside of it. My body felt tingly and I thought I was going to hyperventilate. I was not quiet about it either. I wanted to turn around and go home. This was too much for me.
My friend Joan reminded me of the story I had just told her about Ben and how God is behind us and God surrounds us. While she talked, my eye caught sight of a boat anchored in the water to the right and I thought, wow that looks beautiful over there. The water was so blue. I cautiously looked to the side and the scenery was incredible. Suddenly, I forgot about the bridge and was able to admire the view.

Miraculously we made it over that long floating bridge with all of the fear completely gone.

Why?

Because God filled me with His peace and brought me across that terrifying bridge I had to cross to get to the other side. And I had a faithful friend reminding me of who God is and, who spoke His truth to me.

Once we reached the other side words cannot explain the beauty of the day. The sun shined bright and the sky was clear with a brilliant blue color. The temperature was just right with a gentle breeze. The colors of the flowers, the greenery of the trees and the height of the majestic mountains filled the car window with beautiful pictures.

When we reached our destination, down by the marina, the beautiful blue water went for miles filled with the activity of the ferry and boats.

During the luncheon it was a time to speak to the hearts of some special women and later connect at a closer level as they shared their personal experiences. After hugs, prayers, and encouraging words, we left our destination to head on home filled with excitement over what had just transpired during the luncheon.

I thought to myself, had I quit and turned around when confronted with my fear, not once, but twice, I would have missed all the things God had planned to do at that place. I would have missed making some real lovely connections.

And sometimes, in order to go where God calls us, it takes risks…a lot of risks. Throughout the Bible people took risks to experience what God had planned for them. Moses, Joshua, Noah, David, Peter, Paul, and…and…they all faced fearful situations, but did it, and now their stories have been read throughout history.

Also, I thought about when those terrifying bridges show up, surprising me, like the Hood Canal bridge did and I have no choice but to cross it. I can’t turn around and go another way. Bridges such as job loss, health problems-whether mine or sitting at a loved one’s bedside, relationship issues. When suddenly the path in life fills me with so much fear, I can’t sleep through the night, I battle fearful thoughts through the day…

He is still my strength. His Word is still my truth.

The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. NKV (For me, He will make me drive over bridges!)

He will get us through whatever faces us no matter how big, and terrifying the path that looms before us is.

Isaiah 43:2 NIV

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…: )

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