Exit 148.

Exit 148 Crawfordville/Sparta on 1-20 in Georgia has always held a special place in my heart. Now, it holds an even more special place.

When I was growing up, Exit 148 was the place where my parents and grandparents would meet to pick me up and take me home or pick me up and take me to my grandparents’ house for a visit. It’s the halfway point between Augusta and Covington, and I have many a memory from that exit. There’s a gas station right off the exit that is sort of sketch. Okay, it’s really sketch. That’s where we would always meet, and every time whether I was headed to Augusta or Covington, I’d always go to the bathroom at that gas station. We have lots of stories from that gas station. Now, whenever I go to Athens, since that’s the exit you have to take to get to Athens, I pass that gas station and smile.

But, I won’t be thinking about that gas station as much anymore. Last Saturday, we went to Atlanta for a high school rock climbing/Braves game day. It was quite fun! I was sort of worried about the day, because I couldn’t climb rocks because of my ankle, but it turned out to be a really good day. I got to take pictures of everyone climbing, and I enjoyed that a lot. The Braves won (yay!), and it wasn’t too hot, so it was an enjoyable time at Turner Field. On our way back, we stopped at Exit 148, drove a few miles down a country road, and got out to look at the stars and spend some legit quiet time with the Lord. The only thing you could see for miles were the stars, and the only thing you could hear were the crickets and bugs and a few cows mooing down the road.

The day had been quite interesting for me. I was still recovering from a cold, so I didn’t feel completely up to par, and I was annoyed at having to blow my nose every five minutes (or so it seems). My ankle was bothering me a lot, and at the end of the day it had swelled up really bad. Plus, it was weird being considered a “leader” when I was on a trip with lots of my peers. The students were told to stay in groups of four everywhere that they went, so at one point, when I had to go to the bathroom, I was rallying up my group of four, and Grant looks at me and says, “You’re a leader. You can go by yourself.” I can?!?!

That’s what got me. I’ve done stuff with middle school all summer, and I feel like a leader when I’m with them. I didn’t really feel like a leader with the high schoolers. I was in a weird funk all day because I didn’t know where I stood with these kids and ultimately where I stood with the Lord. So, when Grant told us to get out of the van and just spend some time talking to the Lord in the midst of the quiet, open area that we were in, I was grateful for that time. The Lord really affirmed and reaffirmed that He IS doing something big in my life, and that He has a plan for my life. Even though I don’t know where I’ll be next summer or five years from now, I know that He’s got me. As long as I remain confident in Him and only Him, He will do that work in me. It was an excellent way to really “end” such an amazing, unplanned summer that the Lord used to teach me so many, many things.

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