Driver vs. Navigator

In our car, there is a driver and a navigator. My husband is the driver and I am the navigator. Each of us is uniquely fit for our job in our car. We can each do each other’s job, but yet it just seems that when he’s in the drivers seat and I am in the navigator’s seat, it’s like…well, it’s like a hand in a glove…a perfect fit.

Recently, as my family went on a mini-vacation and drove throughout the streets of San Francisco, this word picture of the driver vs navigator was never more clear. As we drove along, it was me who figured out where we should go, pored over the map, and suggested what direction we should go, but yet ultimately, it was my husband who made the car go in that direction toward our destination. I did the work and made the suggestion, but he had the wheel in his hands and could decide whether my suggested route was the direction we would head or whether he had another idea of how to reach our goal.

It’s like that in real life. I am the heart of our home and I do the hard work of managing our home, reading books about parenting and making suggestions about where I think our family should head, but yet it is ultimately my husband who decides whether to heed my directions or to blaze his own trail for our family. Sometimes we get “lost” because of a poor decision and sometimes we make it to our end goal because of a good decision. But the thing about being in the car together is that no matter what happens, we’re all in it together. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like it that way. Sort of an “all for one and one for all” mentality–a teamwork attitude of sorts. I’d rather end up in a bad situation with my husband and children at my side than to stand alone in a good one.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay in the role that God has placed me in as the navigator. Sometimes I just want to push my husband over and say, “I’ll take it from here, Honey” and under my breath mutter, “Because I’m pretty sure I can do a better job and make a better decision about this.” But yet, I must resist that urge. Boy, is it ever hard, but I must resist because if I do that, I am usurping him of the position God gave him in our car. Over time, with much practice and some learning the hard way, I have come to the conclusion that it is better to miss the exit or to go the wrong direction with my husband still in the driver’s seat than it is for me to take over and drive. You see over time, if I keep grabbing the wheel and, with my actions, tell the driver that he stinks at his job, then eventually he’ll just give up driving because he knows I’ll always jump in and take the wheel!

We have had a situation in our personal life recently that perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about. The reason I have not blogged much lately is because for the last two years, our family has been in the process of adopting a child from Russia. During Thanksgiving week, we “just happened” to stumble upon information of a 3-year-old little girl that matched what we’ve been looking for. As I gathered paperwork about her, she captured my heart, but yet I knew that I couldn’t just jump into the driver’s seat and say “yes” to the agency. I needed to do my navigating job and then sit back and wait patiently for the driver to do his thinking and then choose whether we should drive in her direction or not. It was especially difficult for me to not take over the wheel since I knew that other families had inquired about her. I was in a hurry to be the first family to be serious about adopting her, but yet I had to wait. It gave me comfort in the waiting to know that ultimately God is on the roof of our car whispering in our ear what direction to go and that in this situation, if she was meant to be in our family, then she would still be available when my husband was ready. So I waited.

While I waited, I thought about all the reasons for why I should just take over the driver’s seat, but yet at the same time, I thought about all the reasons for why I should allow my husband to remain the driver. I mean, what would happen in the long run if I were to decide for our family that we should adopt her and my husband was not “on board”? What would happen when the tough times came and she had a hard time adjusting to our family? What would happen when I was in the middle of those tough times and I began to doubt about what “we” had done? Don’t you think that it’s highly likely that in those tough times, someone would begin to blame the other for what they had gotten our family into? Wouldn’t that create dissension in our family unit? So I opted for the better plan of waiting on the driver and guess what? He gave me the green light because she had begun to capture his heart too.

It is so much better this way, to have remained in my seat and to know that now we are on the same page. It’s good to know that when those hard times come (and I know that they will), we will be working as a team with a united purpose because we made the decision together–each playing their part. We will be a support system together and when that happens, we can accomplish anything!

So as we venture on this adoption journey, we ask that you will pray for us. Pray that God’s will be done and that we will have faith to trust that God will provide exactly everything we need to bring this sweet little thing into our family. I personally ask that you be patient in my blogging as we begin the paper chase that will lead us to Russia. It’s a lot of hard work, but the end goal is worth it.

As you pray for us, I will pray for you to stay seated, not grab the wheel and to let the driver do the driving. Trust me. I know it’s hard, but I promise that it too is worth it!

In case you can relate...Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

2 Replies to “Driver vs. Navigator”

  1. The Gilmores

    I just logged on to your blog here. I love your Driver vs. Navigator analogy. Great food for thought and application to my own life. I’m feeling this especially now when my husband is coaching basketball and very busy. I often feel like to I do it all. I want to work on this navigator mentality.
    Blessings & prayers in your adoption process.
    In His Grip,

  2. Karen

    I’m SO excited for you all. and I love watching the adventure that you’re on. this new addition to the family is going to be so incredibly blessed.

    you’re doing well. you need to know that.