I remembered the lighthouses and the wild horses.
The beautiful, natural beaches and the dunes.
And the tunnel.
The dreaded, underwater tunnel.
I hyperventilated eight years ago while riding through this tunnel and now I was faced with taking my children through it. Seriously, I considered not going just because of this tunnel.
Running a close second to the tunnel....bridges! Not just any bridges - long bridges that seemed as if they were sitting on top of the ocean with big hills in the middle of them.
That seems to be a common thing when you choose to vacation on an island. Seeing how it is an island. You know, land surrounded by a body of water. That kind of island.
So, what to do? I knew we would never have an opportunity to stay for free at an oceanfront beach house anytime soon. I knew that the boys, especially Joshua, had been hounding me to go to the beach for two years. I knew that a vacation was something that we all needed.
I knew that while I'm great at spouting off the perfect "church" answer to other peoples problems or quoting just the right bible verse for a situation, this situation would make me face the real deal. My fears. As unrealistic as they may be.
I'm afraid of tunnels, and bridges, and small spaces. There, I said it. And instead of "growing out of it" or getting better at dealing with my fears with age, I was actually getting worse.
I packed my only, lonely Xanax that I had left over from an MRI on my shoulder two years ago. I was ready to face the tunnel.
Then, it happened.
Have you ever been listening to the radio and had a song stuck in your head? That's what happened to me, only I wasn't listening to the radio. On the nine hour drive down, one thing kept popping into my head.
"Fear not, for I am with you
do not be dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strenthen you, I will help you'
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
When the time came, I drove through the tunnel and over the bridges. And while, in the interest of honesty, I did still take some deep breaths and white knuckle the steering wheel - I made it. And I did it without pharmacological help.
I love that I serve a God who cares so much about me.
Irrational fears and all.