The Jesus Truck

car_highway[1]Nearly two years ago I had a difficult season of anxiety complete with racing heart, anxious thoughts spiraling out of control, and life-altering worry that engulfed every thought and breath. It was exhausting. One of the major ways my anxiety crippled my life during that challenging time was when I drove at high speeds on the interstate.

Absolutely nerve-wracking.

Usually when I drive up and down the west coast of Florida on Interstate-75, I’m fine. Driving long distances, at high speeds was never an issue in my life until I had my first experience with anxiety a few years back.

Because my family lives about two hours south of us, I’ve shuttled myself and my boys those 100 miles on I-75 many, many times. I know each exit and overpass, which sections are two or three-lane, and the busiest cities to drive through.

<Sarasota>

But when anxiety hits, rational thought escapes like a piece of paper sucked out an open window in a speeding car.

During this difficult season of anxiety, I made plans to meet up with friends at the University of South Florida in Tampa. It’s a beautiful, sprawling campus, and one particular pond-dotted section is filled with ducks, birds, and turtles. During the summer I take my two boys and go to USF often enough that the ducks know my vehicle and run toward us when we arrive, begging for corn and Cheerios.

That day I loaded the boys up in our truck, trying to ignore the dread curling my fingers over the steering wheel. As I entered the on-ramp to I-75 and joined the other vehicles on the large, busy interstate, the double, triple-thump of my heart caused a wave of fear to crash over me.

Scripture came to mind, a balm in the middle of my island of anxiety. “…do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NKJV).

About halfway to USF a truck came into view. It was an old, beat up work truck with two gentlemen’s arms hanging out both open windows in the single cab. The truck clicked over from the right lane to the middle lane where I was driving, and my eyes almost popped out of my head.

On the back of the truck’s cab window was a large picture of Jesus’s face.

For the next couple of miles the Jesus truck drove in front of me on northbound I-75. My emotions veered back and forth between laughing and crying about the beautiful reminder that Jesus is truly always with us. When the truck clicked back over to the right lane to head onto the I-4 ramp and drive east, I wiped away a tear.

God is always with us. In a season fear, worry, poor health, difficult finances, or just a time of waiting, don’t doubt. He will never leave you or forsake you.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NKJV)

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6 thoughts on “The Jesus Truck

  1. Rick Christensen February 5, 2015 at 3:51 am Reply

    A wonderful writing which reminds us how God wants us to keep on truckin’ on our walk or drive of faith! Thank you!

    • candidkerry February 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm Reply

      Thanks, Rick. Praying your week is going well!

  2. Jennifer Deg February 5, 2015 at 9:55 am Reply

    This is great. I used to suffer from anxiety terribly, especially in the months following my accident. Anytime a semi truck came near, I freaked. In doing Deliverance Training Boot Camp through Above & Beyond Ministries, and having gone through deliverance counseling myself, I have learned that anxiety comes from the spirit of fear that can enter us at varies times in our lives (if we give it an open door). It entered me on Halloween one night in my childhood. I remember when it did. Clearly. But thankfully YEARS later I learned that I could have FREEDOM in Christ, and I was delivered of the fear, anxiety, etc. I hadn’t had a problem until I was in the hospital recently. There was a nurse in the room who claimed to be a believer but was talking to my roommate about astrology, horoscopes, etc., and was talking about “psychic” abilities she had. There is a difference between prophetic, and psychic, as one comes from God while the other channels into a different source . . . This one wasn’t from God, as there was a tangible discomfort in the room.

    Anyway, something came on me and I suddenly had trouble breathing. Something wasn’t right, and I knew it. They had to put me on oxygen and do an MRI, and said it was anxiety. My husband and I however, knew it was spiritual and began doing warfare. I must have sounded crazy saying, “Any spirit of fear, spirit of witchcraft, spirit of Jezebel, or any unclean spirit, I tell you to GO right now to dry, uninhabited places by the authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and I command the Holy Spirit to fill those empty places within me.” My hubby gently said, “You can’t command the Holy Spirit…” to which I cut him off and said, “He knows what I mean.” LOL. Technically you are supposed to ask the Holy Spirit to dwell in those places where the demonic may have been occupying. 🙂 Needless to say it went and I was fine.

    As believer’s we cannot be demonically possessed, but we can be oppressed. That is why Jesus commands his followers to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and deliver others of demons (he had the original P.H.D.). 🙂 So many people “settle” with depression and anxiety, taking medications as prescribed by their doctors for it. But God is the Great Physician. Just a little counseling/deliverance can do the trick, since most of what we struggle with is spiritual (Eph. 6:12). It sounds like the Jesus truck was just what you needed at the right time. I want to encourage you next time you begin to feel anxious about something to speak out loud commanding any spirit of fear/anxiety to go in Jesus’ name, and usher in peace of the Holy Spirit. You will be amazed at what happens. If you (or anyone else reading this) would like the name of an AWESOME Christian counselor, check out Phyllis Tarbox at Above & Beyond Counseling Ministries. They were featured on Lisa Ling’s “Our America” in an episode called “Fighting Satan.” Good stuff. 😉

    • candidkerry February 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm Reply

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for the thoughtful and informational reply. Praying/using scripture – as Jesus did when He was in the wilderness and confronted by Satan – is definitely my first response to a bad anxiety attack. I’m grateful that overall, my anxiety hasn’t been too bad or life-altering.

      When I first had anxiety about six years ago, I saw a naturopath chiropractor who did a series of detailed tests on my body. My anxiety seems to be (mostly) physiologically related. I have mild asthma and have been on an inhaler since I was six. Using those steroids for two decades has taken a toll on my adrenals. The doctor found that my cortisol level (cortisol is the hormone that helps you deal with stress) was very, very low. So he instructed me about how to build my body back up to better working order. Extra vitamin B12, cutting out caffeine and sugar, adequate sleep (not happening at the time because I had two little ones under the age of two), and stress-relieving activities helped.

      It also seems to be hormone-related for me; TMI, sorry, but it’s kind of a PMS symptom. 😦 Also, If I drink too much caffeine it’s a guarantee of less sleep, anxiety, and funny heart-beats and jitteriness, etc…

      So I encourage those who have dealt with anxiety to have their bodies checked out, as well, if they’re able to. Rather than get on medication, which I did NOT want to do.

      Anyway, thanks again for sharing about your experience. Praying for complete healing for your ankle!

      • Jennifer Deg February 7, 2015 at 9:04 am

        Wow, sounds like you’ve been through a lot! Thank God we serve a miracle worker who is able to heal us of ALL diseases! 😃 Thanks for sharing. I have faith that you will receive 100% healing from Daddy God. Love you!

  3. WordsasWorship February 6, 2015 at 12:34 am Reply

    Thanks for this post, Kerry. I have several sisters-in-laws and nieces who have struggled with anxiety. I read once that a person experiencing this should have the heart function checked because often doctors discover a slight murmur or valve malfunction. At any rate, I love how God sends “messages” like the Jesus truck. I have a Proverbs 3:5-6 story that I need to write…involves three confirmations in 24 hours about a message I shared with my son. One of those confirmations was a bumper sticker on a car that pulled over in my lane, close enough for me to see the Scripture reference and smile. Jesus loves us, and all of our little quirks, too. I’m glad you discovered the physiological roots of your anxiety and hope you don’t suffer much with it anymore.

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