November 12, 2021

Traveling a dark and scary road leads a woman to God’s peace

By John Shaughnessy

Most of us have moments when fear grips us, even in moments that may seem ordinary and non-threatening to others.

For Freta Tewelde, one such moment came when the refugee from the African country of Eritrea drove to work along a “dark and scary” road on a recent early morning.

“The first day I passed through that scary road, I promised myself not to come back ever again,” says Tewelde, a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Indianapolis. “Then the next morning, late and rushed, here I was again driving along the same road. I started praying with a loud voice, ‘Dear Lord, save me.’ ”

She received such reassurance from that simple prayer that she prayed again the next morning as she drove along that same road. But this time, she prayed with excitement instead of fear.

“Now, I don’t pray because I’m scared, I pray because I love meeting God, feeling his peace. That place brings me closer to God each morning. As I begin to pray, the worries go away, and all that fear disappears. I sincerely talk to God, praising him, thanking him—feeling calm and peace inside me.”

Her morning prayer on the drive always starts with Psalm 23, the psalm that includes the calming words, “He guides me along right paths,” “I will fear no evil, for you are with me,” and “Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life.”

Her prayer to God doesn’t end there. It becomes more personal.

“I tell him everything in my heart. I ask him for forgiveness, to help me be good every day, to improve every day, to be close to him every day.”

There’s a joyful tone in her voice as she adds, “I have a desire to have God in my life every day.” †

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