Embracing the American Moments

After being in Saint Vincent for almost two years in most ways I pass for Vincentian in fact, they refer to me as a “Vincy.”  But there are still moments when I’m clearly American, like when I’m forced to back down a road.

Some roads in SVG are too small for two vehicles so a vehicle going up meets one coming down it’s obligated to back down the road till there is space to pull over, or the other vehicle can get by.

For Vincentians, this is a normal part of life…but for me, it’s a worst-case scenario

American moments aren’t that big of a deal with the Vincy’s because they know backing down a road isn’t normal for me.  What keeps me up at night is the embarrassment of those moments.

Normally my backing down a road

  • Attracts a large crowd of Vincentians (who all tell me how to drive)
  • People telling me I can’t drive
  • And heightened level of stress

The good news is most roads in Barrouaille are big enough for two vehicles, the bad news is Church is one of the smaller ones.  So as I prayed “Lord help your word impact hearts” I was also praying “Lord PLEASE don’t let anyone be on this road!”

For a long time, I never met anyone on the Church Road.  However out of the last five times driving people home from Church THREE OF THEM required my backing up, and I had to do it TWICE IN THE LAST WEEK!

Now if someone had told me a few months ago I would experience three American moments in one month my response would be walking to Church!  However, as I experienced my worst nightmare that many times an interesting happened.  It wasn’t so scary anymore.

  1. The first time I was a nervous wreck
  2. The second time I was annoyed but able to keep my frustration under control
  3. And the third time I backed down calm as a cucumber while smiling at Vincentians (and NOBODY told me how to drive!)

It’s easy to view American Moments as a curse because they loudly proclaim to everyone my weakness. But it’s a blessing to know I’ll become more Vincentian in my driving (someday) and till then my inability to back down the road without breaking into a cold sweat draws me closer to my Saviour.

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