Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark
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How do you know God is real?
In the emotionally-charged, fire-filled faith in which Addie Zierman grew up, the answer to this question was simple: Because you’ve FELT him.
Now, at age 30, she feels nothing. Just the darkness pressing in. Just the winter cold. Just a buzzing silence where God’s voice used to be.
So she loads her two small children into the minivan one February afternoon and heads south in one last-ditch effort to find the Light.
In her second memoir, Night Driving, Addie Zierman powerfully explores the gap between our sunny, faith fictions and a God who often seems hidden and silent.
Against the backdrop of rushing Interstates, strangers’ hospitality, gas station coffee, and screaming children, Addie stumbles toward a faith that makes room for doubt, disappointment, and darkness…and learns that sometimes you have to run away to find your way home.
while. But Liam is trying the doorknob now, letting out strangled, panicked sobs that he can’t get it open. I splash a little cold water on my face, take a breath, and open the door. “Who’s ready to go swimming?” It’s a few hours later when Dane, Liam, and I find ourselves sharing an awkward, dripping elevator ride up to our room with the Little Caesars delivery kid. I’d called and ordered dinner from the echoing center of that dingy, dark pool room, the windows filmed over with residual winter
sandwiches are getting crusty in the sun. “Wow,” he says. Jake and his wife don’t have kids yet, and I don’t know how to explain what the last two hours have been like to a person who has not yet experienced it firsthand. So I just nod and say, “Yup.” “Are they always like that?” “Pretty much.” “Huh.” “Come on,” I say. “You have time for a quick walk?” Jake looks at his watch. “A really short one. I have to get back to work.” “Got it.” I shove the uneaten lunch into the basket underneath
could I have done to deserve darkness like a plague, like a disease, like a haunting? Have I failed in my faith journey in some terrible way? Have I brought it on myself, like Pharaoh, this darkness that can be felt? I think about Andrew at home. Why didn’t I push harder for him to come? If I’d pushed it, he probably would have. He would’ve rescheduled interviews, taken days off, made it work. But the truth is, I hadn’t wanted him to. I’d wanted to do this by myself. I’d thought I was on a
to run a fifteen-minute loop around the field house during gym class, but I had escaped. I gripped the torso of a handsome older boy as we flew over the packed sand of New Smyrna in a rented ATV. Afterward I sat next to him, feet half buried in the sun-baked sand, as the two of us waxed poetic about Jesus. The boy’s eyes were the same color as the ocean, and I felt myself going under—baptized into sunshine and first love and a faith that felt like eternal summer. Now, sixteen years later, I’m
behind you and the one before you. Thinking of the quirky girl in that road-trip movie Elizabethtown, handing the main character a map through his pain. “Begin your journey. Do not skip ahead,” she says. Outside the windows the waning crescent moon is creating haunting silhouettes of the bare branches in the night, framing the whole thing in silver, drawing us forward. I couldn’t skip ahead if I wanted to. And for the first time in two weeks, two years, two decades, maybe, I don’t. A sign