“Please stop driving” I said to Michael. But he wasn’t ready to acknowledge his new reality.
After his accident he saw a special eye doctor who checked out his limited sight 101 different ways. At the end the doc gave his verdict. Michael was legally blind. He would need corrective lenses to enhance what little sight he had but it would not reverse the fact that he was officially legally blind. We asked about driving but the doctor would not tell Mike outright to stop driving. Sigh ….
Michael was put in touch with the Dept of the Blind. They offered classes and help, they gave him a white cane and wanted to show Michael how to use it, but he declined their classes and offers. He wanted to continue to live life as close to normal as he could. But his life had changed drastically.
Michael kept driving. At first, I would come with him. But I was nervous as he drove. Soon I couldn’t handle the stress and let him drive alone, praying whenever he was out. My whole family was praying he would hang up his keys after I shared a few harrowing experiences. Being the stubborn man that he is, we knew we couldn’t just tear his keys away from him. That doesn’t work well for anyone when they have to make the decision to stop driving.
One afternoon, he came back and told me he was hanging up his keys. He had gotton into a fender bender. No one was hurt. But our car and the other vehicle were a bit crunched. He had been coming out of the Post Office parking lot and was trying to make a left hand turn. He looked left and right and didn’t see any cars. He headed into the road and T-boned the car waiting to turn into the parking lot! He never even saw it. That’s when he knew he wasn’t seeing the whole picture. He came home sobered that instead of a car it could have been a child that he would have hit.
I was thankful that Michael had finally decided on his own that he should no longer be driving. But it was a hard adjustment for both of us. He lost alot of his independence and autonomy that day. And I was promoted to lead driver, chauffeur and taxi mom. A role I didn’t apply for nor wanted. Now Michael was dependent on me for any transportation. Or friends. Or public transportation when it was available. Now Michael was sitting in the passenger seat and became a very vocal backseat driver!
Sometimes we are asked to step up and do things we wouldn’t normally pursue. Sometimes we have no choice in the matter. We can either respond in resentment and let bitterness creep into our lives, or we can joyfully EMBRACE our lot in life. It took me many years to respond joyfully, and there are times I still feel peeved that I HAVE to drive! That’s when I know the Lord is bathing me in His grace and love. This is a journey and I’m not at the finish line yet. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we give up our rights and plans for our life. We surrender to His will. And if His will is that I’m the driver of our family, then that’s my willing sacrifice as worship unto Him. I want to honor Him by being a cheerful driver. I want to serve Michael and Josiah and get them to where they need to go. And I pray for strength that I will be able to drive wherever the Lord leads me,
3 thoughts on “Hanging Up the Keys”
I love this hymn and such an incredible story behind the writing of it. Thank you for sharing this with us.
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Thanks Shevin, I’ve always loved that hymn too and the story behind it
Thanks for sharing Michael’s journey……I cannot imagine! I have a sweet friend here in AZ named ANNE who is legally blind. I go and pick her up so we can do lunch together because I love her and her amazing faith. GOD has us all on our own journeys for whatever special reason……..and HE has you too Gail!
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