5:15 AM. Awoken with a pounding heart, gasping for air. A dream so real, I was more confused by opening my eyes and finding myself at home, in bed. I had to get up and walk around, shake off whatever had just happened. Wow.
I don’t dream often, and if I do, it is extraordinarily insignificant. There is rarely anything worth remembering beyond the thirty seconds after I wake up. On occasion, I will have a bad dream that may shake me up, but I realize quickly it is simply a dream, and I rest once more. This dream, however, I could not rest after.
I was alone, in my car, driving down 80 from Reno to Sacramento. I know this drive like the back of my hand. Some parts are windy, which intimidated me the first time I drove it by myself, but I now feel more confident driving this stretch of freeway than any other road. It has become a peaceful drive for me over the last two years that I spent practically commuting between my former college town and my hometown.
In this dream, I lost control. The steering wheel was unresponsive to my turning it; the brake did not slow the vehicle as I slammed on it; the gas pedal meant nothing to the engine. The car completely drove itself, spastically. I was terrified. Buzzing in and out of lanes, cutting off other cars, exiting the freeway at random only to get right back on. I had no control. . . my biggest fear.
The car continued to zip around I-80, the freeway which felt increasingly unfamiliar the more the car took control. It made it through Truckee down to Applegate, exited in Roseville near Sunsplash, and safely delivered me home. I woke up, startled by the wild ride I had just been on, surprised to realize it was simply all in my head. Wow.
The crazy car ride felt so real, so beyond anything I have ever experienced. I managed to fall back asleep for a couple more hours, but as the day went on, I continued to think about it. It dawned on me just how eerily this dream mirrored where my life is now.
I am in a situation that I have no control over. I am the first to admit that I am a bit of a control freak. I have a way that I like things to be executed, and I freak out if things don’t go that way. This past year since my grandpa passed away, my control ideation has spiraled . . . well, out of control. It’s as if I needed a situation to hit my life that would deprive me of all rights I assumed I had to control. And here it is.
My life has curved more times than I ever thought, and I’m only twenty. The fact that I ever ended up in Reno would have been laughable four years ago. Once I got there, however, I never thought I would leave — something I could control. My dad was diagnosed with cancer, and my parents left Reno — something I could not control. Then, an opportunity came for me to leave Reno also, and I realized how I had given up the life I was meant for out of fear of leaving my comfort zone. So I pursued it — again, something I could control. I got in to my dream school. My dad was diagnosed with cancer, something I could not control, and I deferred my admission to my new school, something I could control.
Life is about creating this balancing act between what is in and what is out of our control. When dealing with situations that are out of our control, it is important that we then channel our energy into our reactions instead of trying to change the situation. I have spent countless hours expelling energy on that which is out of my control while my mom spoon fed me with clichés like “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” I can now realize how senseless that wasted time truly was.
In the dream I had, God was driving my car. He took unfamiliar backroads which brought me outside of my comfort zone. He did not follow the plan I so strategically set. He delivered me out of the dangerous situations I entered. In the end, He got me to where I needed to be, just in a different way. I stopped trying to take over the car, and I let Him handle it. My heart rate stabilized the moment I decided to stop fighting for control, and trust that my God would protect me. And He did.
God is driving me where I need to go. I truly must let go, and let God. He knows very well what He is doing, and where this windy road is going. This curves may forge a different path than the one I set out on, but ultimately, I am ending up where I need to be. Forget your need for control: control of other people, control of situations, control of the world. God is the only one in control. With that, we can take solace in knowing that every little thing (and big thing) will be perfectly, contently okay. Believe.