Feb 1, 2007

The Ride of My Life

by Kari Pike

Is it just me, or do any of you out there occasionally find yourself caught off-guard by unexpected hair pin turns along life's highway? My husband and I encountered an impressive s-curve last week when he suddenly, meaning not by choice, found himself walking out of his employer's office to begin the process of becoming self-employed.

As romantic as the possibilities might be, having your husband arrive home at 10:30 on a Friday morning is usually not a good sign. One of the last things Doug wanted to tell me was that he had to change jobs, again. The thing is, as soon as I heard him come in, I knew. My usual flirtatious and teasing comments stuck in my throat. I swallowed them down, took a deep breath, and just listened. The fact that he walked in the door while I was in the middle of my scripture study proved to be a great blessing. I am grateful for the comforting reassurance the presence of the Holy Spirit brings us. I recalled the counsel given by our Prophet that, when faced with adversity, we should stay calm and pray. Later, as Doug was lying on the bed trying to gather himself together, I told him he had three hours to be depressed and then I intended to kick him into gear. Doug chuckled and thanked me for my generosity. We attended a sealing that afternoon and the feeling of comfort and reassurance we received was humbling. By 3:00 Saturday afternoon, Doug had an e-mail account, a cell phone, and business cards in his company name. By Tuesday afternoon, he had a six-month contract with one client and several hourly contracts with other clients. Doors opened and blessings poured in.

So why, on Wednesday, did I feel as though I were drowning? I've experienced this before. I call it the "Surviving the Hurricane and Drowning in the Puddle Afterwards" syndrome. I've begun to recognize that my personal challenge lies in remaining faithful to the end. I rely fully on the Lord when things are really tough...like in that recent Country song, "Jesus Take the Wheel," I know I don't have the ability to steer on my own. But I find that I tend to get in the way when I think the crisis is over. Kind of like, "Hey, sorry I bothered you. I know how busy you are and I know better now, so I'll just take back over." Then I skid in a puddle. And I crash.

When Doug returned home from meeting with his new clients, I reached out to him and said, "Give me a big hug and tell me things are going to be okay." He took me in his arms, looked into my eyes, and with a small smile said, "Back at ya." I looked up at him in disbelief. Then we both started laughing, and hugging, and I got the biggest kiss! (After I hit him!) The sun started shining again and when I went outside to get the mail, I noticed a spot of green among the black leaves of our frost-bitten ficus tree. I walked under the tree to get a closer look. There, under the canopy, close to the trunk, healthy green leaves showed promise of continuing life.

I've given the wheel back to the Savior. If I let Him steer the course, I can experience the beautiful sights and revel in the joy of the journey, instead of worrying about when and where the next curve or puddle will be. So, the next time you see some crazy woman hangin' out the window, throwing her hands in the air, and yelling "Yee Haw!" you'll know it's me, revelling in the ride of my life.


  1. I loved your posting, Kari. Identified with it. Feel with you the, "I'm too old for this to be happening to me" sensation.

    Life never turns out the way you planned it, does it? But looking back, after the butterflies have all been contained, it does make for an interesting life. And it all great fodder for the writing machine.

    I have always felt that great things are never accomplished from a position of security. I always feel, too, that the Lord intends that we always be just a little bit off balance. When we finally get old enough to be wise and more financially stable, that's when the body gives out.

    I wish your husband well in his new venture. The time may come when he will wonder why he didn't do it sooner and bless his former employer.

  2. What a wonderful post. I really loved it. I can relate too. Thanks for the thoughts. I hope your husband is successful.

  3. Wow, I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, just like I did years ago when my husband started his own business. I truly understand that feeling of the hurricane and the puddles. Darn, who knew the puddles could be just as deadly. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kari, you and your husband are such an inspiration. Thanks for putting such universal feelings into a visual I can use to quell the ever-brimming emotional tsunamis. It's funny, though, that they really only do leave puddles - that's proof that someone else really is looking out for us. I guess we'd be better off just whipping out our surf boards like you said.

    You are in my prayers....

  5. Thank you for all the good wishes!
    Life experiences are indeed the best source for writing material.

    Oh my goodness, Faith! When I read your response to my post I just about fell out of my chair. When you used the word "tsunami" I flashed back to an odd and frightening dream I had just the week before Doug lost his job. To sum it all up...we were in a big house on a small island about to be hit by a tsunami. I wanted to run, but everynoe said we were safe where we were because we had a strong foundation. I asked Doug to give me a blessing, then we watched the wave fall over our house...the next thing I knew, I was on the other side of the house watching the wave wash over, then recede back...leaving our home...and us...safe and sound. I realize now that the dream was meant to prepare me for this experience... and to bring me comfort. Thank you for bringing that up!!!!

  6. Kari,
    I've printed your post and wish I could confirm it to memory...or at least to my dayplanner as I hope to use it for a roadmap for the coming weeks. It spoke volumes to me. Thank you!


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