When I turned the steering wheel to the right and saw the the campus, the arch over the driveway, a lump of nerves jumped into my throat. They didn't really just go away either. It's as if they sat there spinning around and around. Yet, I knew, this was my second chance, my final chance, and I tried to swallow them away, squeezing my throat muscles hoping to choke them off. Didn't work out so well. It was a tough knot. They were persistent. I just had to learn quickly how to live with them.
I had many chances to turn around. Drive away. Go back. But what was back? Looking through the rear-view mirror of my life, back was a train wreck, the scene of a horrible accident, death and destruction, a hellish scene with pain and moaning and torture. A spot in the road where there seemed to be no God. No one there to help me in my struggles. Yeah, I immediately looked to the present and forced myself into a parking spot.
I had a few minutes to spare. I wasn't sure what to do. I sat in my vehicle, luggage in the back. Going through every failure, every triumph, every miserable moment of my life. Now, though, it was the last chance I would get to use my cell for a couple of weeks, so, I called my dad.
Told him I had made it. Immediately cried to him how scared I was. How sorry I was. How I wish someone would have came with me. All while failing miserably to choke back the tears, fend off the crying. I was a mess. But I could go back.
It was time. The next step. The beginning of the birthing pains. The beginning of 2 of the most wonderful, spirit filled, annoying, painful, upsetting, happy 2 weeks of my life. Over those 2 weeks, I experienced every emotion times 10. But I could go back.
March 10th. I was at the end of my re-birth. The final day. I could see the light. It was time. Time to leave the safety of the scariest place I had ever seen. Leave the darkness behind. Leave my new friends behind. Left to wonder if they could make it, who would be back, would I be back, was I ready?
“Scott, it's time.”, there as someone with me now. A voice of someone inside. Not someone. Something. Something strong, without fear. I was letting him go with me. He was on my shoulder as I gathered my things. All the while letting me know that he was going to be here, and I would never be alone.
I made my way from my room with my things, to check myself out. Scared stiff. I'm not going to lie. I had to go back into the world. But he was going with me.I said my goodbyes to my new friends. We cried, wished each other luck. I said my goodbyes to the school pastor, who helped my find my new friend. I said goodbye to my old self as I had left a part of me there.
The final stage of birth now. The head is visible. The light is ever more clear. With both hands on the wheel, shaking, that bundle of nerves has made it's way back. I took a deep breathe, turned the key, and said “Let's do this.”
Leaving the campus, on the side of the arch facing the campus was the words, ever so elegantly written. So powerful, so fulfilling. The words were.
LET GO AND LET GOD
I drove under and heard the voice say,“Yes, that's right. Let Go, and Let Me.” I was reborn into this world that day. I made it home, passing bars and convenience stores. I could hear the devil in those places, begging me to come in. “Come on Scott, just one won't hurt.” Then my God said “Move On.”
And I did. I'm so glad I didn't go back.