“Shut Up and Drive”

God has myriad ways of speaking. As a young evangelical girl growing up in conservative non-denominational evangelical land, I would have choked on what I am going to write next. Sometimes, in the last few years, He speaks to me through the lyrics of songs. Not hymns or pop-Christian music songs. Regular old “secular” you could hear just about anywhere kinds of songs.

Two especially stand out.  Things had seemingly spun out of all control.  I couldn’t see how my life would ever be right again. How could this mess be fixed? Driving south bound in a half daze with the radio on, I suddenly heard the proverbial line that had been there many times before but now became the vehicle for Providence. Ready for this? Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The line: “You don’t have to live like a refugee.”

More recently, this single chick got quite disheartened over a guy. Finally met someone who seemed to be an eligible Christian single male with no children and a lot of common interests. Icing on the cake: curly dark hair and blue-gray eyes, and looks that could make you smile. Not Jake Gyllenhaal pretty. All-American boy handsome. And kind, educated, etc., etc.

But then, things start not adding up. Behaviors that don’t seem to make sense in view of what one thought were the facts. Maybe it’s just an anomaly. But, then there’s another.  And another. And another. It’s _____ (insert whatever possible excuse or explanation here.)

The hopes, wishes, possibilities, and fairy tale endings you always try so hard to suppress start wailing and gnashing their teeth and you can’t help but hear them- and feel their pain. He’s not Mr. Right. He’s not Mr. Right Now as that’s outside your moral code. He’s Mr. Something Doesn’t Add Up Here. It’s time to move on.

Contained grief. Sadness.  A little binge eating. Book bingeing.  How could he do this to me?  What’s going on here?  How could I be so enamored with someone who’s not who I thought they were?  The radio is scanning stations and lands on Chely Wright’s “Shut Up and Drive.”  Line du jour:”And you’ll only miss the man that you wanted him to be.”

It’s not him you’re gonna miss. It’s the dreams, hopes, and desires temporarily dashed by a case of mistaken identity. He’s not who you mistook him to be.  Move on, sister. Put on your big girl pants and get over it. (If only it were really that easy.)  Tell those hopes, wishes, possibilities, and fairy tale endings to stop wailing and gnashing their teeth. Shut up and drive.


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