Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: direction

written test

This is a Test

The speedometer read 40 miles per hour. I sat white-knuckled behind the wheel, flying through the empty school parking lot, my heart pumping faster than a techno dance beat. It was my first driving lesson with my dad. I was merely following his instructions to give it some gas, but the faster the car sped, the more nervous I became.

“Now break hard,” he commanded.

woman driving

My foot slammed on the break. The wheels locked-up and the Buick sedan screeched to a halt. The seatbelt bit into my shoulder, and my head jerked forward then back. This was not how a lesson was supposed to go. A young driver is supposed to ease the car into drive, maneuver some cautious turns, and crawl to a stop. I’d done something wrong. This felt like a test—one that I failed. I eyed my dad and waited for an angry reaction.

“Feel that?” He adjusted his seatbelt. “We were only going forty. On the highway, you’ll be going nearly twice that.” His voice remained surprisingly calm. “Now, you know why you leave a good stopping distance.”

Stopping short had been a test, but at the same time, also a lesson. To this day, I still leave a fair amount of stopping distance between myself and the next vehicle. If my dad prepared me for his test, then the experience of a one and a half-ton vehicle going from a high velocity to a dead stop wouldn’t forever be etched in my brain. Today if I brake hard, it’s not a big deal because I’ve grown accustomed to my car and confident in my driving. The test was impactful because of insecurities and lack of familiarity.


Often, God gives us the test before the lesson.

woman walking into fog

We tend to expect a detailed plan. We want God to chunk down his vision into small digestible bites so that we can grow comfortable before we take a step of faith. But God knows we’re more dependent  on Him when we’re stepping out into the unfamiliar. Our ears listen intently for His voice and direction when we’re wandering into unknown territory. He’ll use the opportunity to embed a deeper faith into our hearts.

Venturing out in faith can be a test. No one’s saying it’s easy. However, tests can make the best testimonies.

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Graduation photo tossing hats by Emily Reinquist

I Don’t Know… You Know What I Mean?

“I don’t know. . . You know what I mean?” This was a friend of mine’s response when being asked for some difficult future advice. It sounds funny, but I do understand what he meant. How many times have we lacked the wisdom and the right words? How many times have we been caught in a situation that we don’t understand, or felt lost hoping someone can point us in the right direction?

Graduation celebration Pexels photo by Emily Reinquist

It’s graduation season, and many young adults will leave home to start their futures. I still remember staring at the college application where it asks to declare a major. I had no idea. I took one of those career tests at school to determine what professions would be best for me. The test said I should be either a Rabbi or a parole officer. Since I wasn’t Jewish nor male, I figured the Rabbi position was probably out, and no offense to any parole officers out there, but I can’t imagine the push-over in me surviving long in that job.

I was stuck, afraid I’d pick the wrong thing and ruin my life. I was waiting for lightning, inspiration, or God’s voice to tell me what I should be. I thought there had to be perfect conditions. I thought I had to know everything before I could venture out.

I was wrong.

Whether I picked an unfit major or worked at a few jobs that might not have been for me, it all worked out. Each was a learning experience. Each developed my character and allowed me insight to know who and what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Fork in Road

Did it slow me down and keep me from my potential?

Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to first experience what it’s like to be lost.

There is no return without some risk. We have to step forward and make the opportunity. Mistakes will happen, but we can’t fear them. God Almighty isn’t going to let a few mistakes ruin His plan for your life. God’s will is going to be done, and even if we swerve off the path a couple of times, He can get us back on track. But one thing is for certain, it’s a lot harder to steer a car when it’s in park.

“A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?” – Proverbs 20:24 (NKJV)

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Blip on a radar

A Blip on the Radar

I moved my senior year of high school to a new state. Not the ideal time to move. Seniors are not really looking to make new friends when they’re on the cusp of Blip on a radarspreading their wings and leaving the nest. It was a tough year for me. At graduation, I turned to the person seated on my right and then to the one on my left and introduced myself. Yet, if I hadn’t moved, I never would have met my husband. I also wouldn’t have learned how to “put myself out there” so to speak.

When faced with climbing a tall mountain or attempting to claw your way out of a deep pit, all you see is the obstacle of you, but if you pan out the hurdle becomes smaller and smaller. If I had one piece of advice for my boys, it’s that this moment is barely a blip on the radar. To a young teen, a breakup may seem like it’s the end Do you like me note. Check yes or no.of the world. Younger me still remembers the anguish of a crush, but older me can’t even remember the boy’s name. In the span of my life, high school breakups and a year at a new school wasn’t a disaster of epic proportions. It was more like a hard workout where muscle gets broken down. You’re sore for a couple days, but when the muscle rebuilds it comes back stronger and better defined.

Difficult situations refine you.

You learn a lot about who you are and who you aren’t so that you can boldly stand your ground with confidence.  Problems seem overwhelming, like a tidal wave that not only knocks you down but destroys the path behind you and the way in front. You may feel broken and lost but when the waters recede a clear route will reveal itself.

However, it may not be the path you intended to take. I didn’t apply for a single college in the state of Massachusetts. I wanted out as fast as I could graduate. But then, one of my few high school friends introduced me to a handsome guy with big entrepreneurial plans who drove a rusty T-bird, and I later married him. Now, I wouldn’t go back to change a single moment.

Despite how things may appear, God has a plan for you, and it will be better than anything you could have arranged yourself.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4

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