So just as I start to get use to having peace as a house guest, another little fear rings the doorbell. I get up from the couch hummin a happy tune and bam! There at my door is 15. Yes, five months early but still staring me in the face with drivers ed in hand. Oh my goodness gracious! I am not upset at 15 like I am at high school for reminding me how old I am getting. I am angry at 15 because it is coming to take my baby out onto the road with a whole bunch of crazy people! Yes I know all those crazy people are on the road with me while he is a passenger but we still have some false sense of control when we are behind the wheel don't we? The purpose of my column this week is selfish indeed. I need words of encouragement from other mothers who have been there, done that, and can guide me through this life passage.
I am so happy about this new graduated license program we now have. I would have hated it as a kid but as a parent I am singin Hallelujah! You can still enroll in drivers education when you are 15, but you can not get your license right away any more like we did when I was 15. You now have a gradual process, which now that I look back makes so much sense. As dumb as we all acted when we were young, okay speaking for myself, as dumb as I acted back then how in the world did they let me loose with a car? Cars can kill people! God had a purpose for all of us that lived. Some of our classmates were not so lucky.
Now you have a permit for six months. This allows you to drive with a driver over the age of 21. You also have to log 50 hours of driving time and a parent signs off on that. I am so beyond grateful his bible study teacher has offered to do that for me. I think it is usually the dad that does this because they are not as emotional as we mothers are. If all goes well in those six months, you then get a provisional license. With this you can only drive between 5 am and midnight. How awesome is that?! I can't tell you how many times I drove after midnight when I was sixteen and as you can guess not doing good things.
Also one of the best things, is you can only have one other person under 21 in the car with you! I can remember a very scary drive where there were two of us sharing the seat belt in the front seat, and five others jammed in the back of my car. To top that off we had a crazy driver behind the wheel on an icy road. He was not thinking he held seven other lives in his hands but how fun it was to swerve at a high speed. God was holding us in His hands that day even if we did not realize it at the time or ask Him to. "He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust" (Psalm 91:4 NKJV).
Even with all these new safety measures put into place, teens are the largest percentage of drivers involved in auto accidents. Now not only do you have to worry about drunk driving you have to worry about text driving. This one is huge. I think even non believers pray when their teenagers hit the road. Isn't that funny, they want God to protect their kids when they have done nothing for Him.
It's hard to remember our children belong to God and He has only let us borrow them. When we are fearful for their safety, we sometimes forget He loves our children way more than we do. His love is so much bigger than ours. God does not want harm to come to our children either. God also does not want to see us suffer because we are His children and He loves us more than we can imagine too. When bad things happen, it is part of a plan we can not even begin to understand because we can not see all the pieces.
There are so many firsts our children experience that can be fearful for parents. When they take their first steps we worry they will hurt their heads. On the first day of school we worry they won't be accepted. We worry about broken bones when we first take off their training wheels. And yet, almost every book in the bible has a "fear not" in it. Fear is one of the greatest tools Satan has. Turning faith into fear is one of his biggest delights. I can't tell you how to overcome your fears when it comes to your children because I work on that every day that I wake up. I ask God to forgive me for not seeing Him there in every step they take. "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear Not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:7 KJV).
So even though I have a while to prepare, I can still bet I will need some Valium when my son starts driving. And in two years I will be looking to purchase an indestructible tank!