Years ago someone asked me what I wanted on my tombstone. I replied, rather flippantly, "She drove girls."
At the time I had a 1989 red Ford Tempo with 189,000 miles on it, of which I was sure 188,000 of those miles had been used to drive girls—to the mall and volleyball practice. To softball games and the mall. To the mall and church youth group. To the beach. To Taco Bell. To school. To the mall.
It was either drive them or risk them finding rides with someone's sister's boyfriend. As long as my daughters and their myriad of close, personal friends were in the backseat of my car with me at the wheel, I knew where they were. It's a control thing, but a common sense thing, too. Although I didn't realize it at the time, it was also a ministry thing.
Not too long ago, Kelly's mother called to thank me for what I'd done for her daughter. Kelly, who had died from leukemia at age 21, had been my daughter Laura's childhood best friend.
At first I thought she was thanking me for reading something I'd written for Kelly's funeral, but I realize now she'd meant something else, which brings me back to my purpose-driving life.
Years before, I'd prayed that God would give me a grand purpose in life. He answered by giving me two daughters and a set of car keys.
"Drive," he said.
So drive I did—and became known among the other moms as Transportation Central. And I loved every minute of it.
It actually proved to be quite educational—I learned I could be invisible. The girls would all pile into my car and start talking about stuff girls talk about, which meant boys and other girls. As if I wasn't even in the car—hence the invisibility factor—they would start dishing the dirt.1