When My Words Say One Thing {and my actions say another}

We had packed up our bags and eaten our breakfast.

We were almost ready to head back to Colorado from Utah.

We had spent the past three days up in the mountains skiing as a family. This was the first time we had all skied together as a family (he has taken each of the children up separately) and nothing could have made Kelly happier.

As we were getting up from breakfast Kelly said, “Oh, no! I left my license up in the mountains when I rented Benjamin’s helmet.”

We already were getting such a late start and the thought of another hour and a half driving up the mountain and down again didn’t sound appealing.

Kelly has an upcoming trip and he had to have his license to rent a car….so we began the trek up the mountain.

Unfortunatley, the weather began to take a turn for the worse as we were driving up the canyon.

When I was in college I was driving with a friend. It was dark out and raining. Before we knew it infront of us, in the middle of the road, was a huge piece of equipment that the town was using to repair the road. The equipment was larger then a Suburban. There were no flashing lights or  signs to warn us of the danger right in front of us. My friend slammed on the brakes and we crashed.  The car was totaled.

Neither of us were wearing our seatbelts. My knee dented the metal glove compartment all the way in and my head hit the windshield and bowed out the glass.

We were taken to the hospital and released.

To this day I have a horrible time being in the passenger seat and driving in any weather like rain or snow does a number on me. What is really crazy to know now is that even though the hospital easily released me I had a brain injury that has triggered all of my a-typical migraines, loss of vision etc. and my spine has taken years to try to correct and it is now as good as it will ever be. My neck bones actually slightly bends the wrong direction.

So, we are driving up the canyon and the weather has turned ugly. I am asking Kelly to drive slowly and to be careful. The higher we go up the harder it is to see and the worse the roads are.

Once we get to the ski resort Kelly runs in to get his license and the poles he left the day before. As the children and I are waiting for Kelly to return I ask the kids if they will pray with me for our drive down the canyon.

I pray all the “right” things. I pray scripture over my family and others around us. I pray for protection.

As we head down the mountain the snow is getting thick on the roads and our visibility is low. The canyon roads are narrow and even the curves with huge drop offs have no garderail or anything to stop a car that hits ice.

I was scared. Truly scared!

Kelly was going slow but not slow enough for my fear. The roads were steep and the drops were into water below.

At one point I can feel our car slidding.

I am tense and scared from head to toe.

Kelly stays calm out of necessity and tries to safely maneuver us down the mountain.

As we are about to take a curve our car hits ice. We start to slide all over the road and Kelly tries to gain control over our Jeep. There is a car behind us now also losing control.

I can’t keep my tears in anymore. After Kelly gains control of the car I cry and my hands are shaking.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I hate what fear does to the body.

From the backseat I hear, “Mom, why do you pray for protection if you don’t even trust that the Lord will watch over us? Don’t you even believe what you pray? “

I felt like it was such a huge judgment on my heart.  Jack’s words stung. But he was right. I felt like the Lord had put those words on my son’s lips….just for me

I am human and fear is real. But it is amazing what power I can give to fear. I can forget whose hands I am in.

What was hard to explain to him is that as an adult I carry a lifetime of stories…often other people’s stories and pain that surfaces at times like this.

I pray for protection and I try to teach my children to rely on the Lord but I was acting like a person who doesn’t believe the words that come out of her mouth. The truth is I do believe them……I just forget sometimes.

Maybe my prayers need to also be about my heart. About peace. About the peace that passes all understanding….because sometimes THAT is what I really need.

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  1. Sherry Smyth

    What a powerful story, a powerful revelation. I am always impressed and brought to accountability when my children speak something they have realized, especially if I am being a contradiction. What your son said to you about faith in your prayers and believing in them was mature and insightful. What an intelligent young man. Being a parent isn’t just about teaching what we know and what we’ve learned…if we are mature enough ourselves and open our hearts and our minds we have the amazing opportunity to learn from our children as well. Thank you for sharing this. A good message for all of us to take to heart.

  2. Victoria@Whimsy by Victoria


    What a powerful story and such a scary experience! You have such a smart and guided son…those were the perfect words you needed to hear. I can so relate to this being we were experiencing bad weather our whole trip to California. We hit some really bad weather in Wyoming in the middle of nowhere, at night, in a white out. I too felt fear and needed to be in control so I was driving. We pulled over, because I needed to pray and I couldn’t see the lines on the road anymore or anything in front of me. It was a very terrifying moment. Once we stopped, prayed (so grateful for the power of prayer!)and I took a deep breath I left it in Gods hands. It can be such a hard thing to do. I am so glad your sweet family is alright and you all made it home safely…your guardian angles were right there watching over you.

    Hugs and love friend,

  3. cathy

    He is everything or he is nothing.
    Of course, I live in Southern California 😉
    I love how simple it was for Jack.

  4. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang

    OH my goodness. I totally relate. Driving in rain makes me come undone, due to an accident my freshman year of college. When we moved to Arizona, I had such a hard time driving in the mountains ~ especially if I am not driving. I will pray for you and ask for prayers in return! Now, anytime I get tense while driving, I will lift up your beautiful heart in prayer.

  5. Rachel @ A Cupcake for Moose

    Fear can be so strong sometimes that it takes an extra moment to realize we can rest in God’s bigger peace. What a beautifully honest post that we can all relate to. You obviously have a solid family that your son was able to be honest with you…and quite insightful. What a memorable mountain moment.

  6. Elaine Power

    So glad you are safe, so glad your prayers were answered & your son has the strength to believe but after what you went through befor I am not suprised you felt so unsafe, hope your heart is beating at a normal pace now! Mine is too, it was racing while reading wondering what the out come would be glad it was all safe!! x

  7. paige

    thankyou for sharing your heart. i struggle with my own fear issues, not everyday, but when they creep up i feel my heart sliding into that yucky place, it frustrates me. i feel like i should know better.
    glad ya’ll got home safe & sound
    & i appreciate your transparency

  8. Lorie

    Never a truer post than this have I ever heard. Geesh. I pray like you do everyday…a hedge of protection over all of us, Lord, but still worry every time I get in the car with my kids. Do I not believe God will protect? I know he will, but my mind races on.

    Thanks for being so honest. Glad you all got home safely!

  9. Amy Muffoletto

    Hello beautiful… Oh so true the words of our innocent little ones snap us back to know God really does have us in his arms… taking care of us when we believe… I love to read your blog… So happy you made it home safely. Love you bunches.

  10. Lisa Hilderbrand

    That is the hardest part of faith…letting go. I have such a hard time with it. And the good news is, your kids listen and learn from you…the seed is planted and it grows and blooms and bears fruit. So happy you are safe and sound and love how you share your heart.

  11. Maretta

    ohhh….God’s words that came out of Jack’s mouth grabbed at my heart and made me sob out loud….we serve a God who longs for us to know His peace that passes all understanding….

  12. Mikal

    Oh Jeanne, I’m sorry you all had to experience such a terrifying drive down the mountain. The loss of control we can feel in those situations is the worst, and I understand how it could be so hard. What a beautiful experience to learn with your kids though… I feel that when our kids see that we are human, that we can make mistakes and then learn from them (especially when they are the teacher), it builds a strong trust and devotion.

    I hope your heart and soul is feeling refreshed and renewed after arriving home safe and sound (and a great massage!)



  13. chasity

    wow… such amazing insight and truth in your little one’s words.
    it’s incredible how much our children teach us.
    and how much they understand GOD and His Word… sometimes better than
    we do.
    so very thankful you made it home safely.

  14. kathy

    I found you in a post that Sherry Symth posted, all I can say is, WOW! I read your post and I was touched…fear is one one my biggies…I DO give fear to much power….thank you for posting this and I am so happy Sherry did as well, or I would have missed it. ~blessings

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