That Day God Spoke To Me Through a Stop Sign

God Says Stop and Go

God Says Stop and GoA version of this essay was originally published in the women’s newsletter for my church

We’re reaching the end of the month of February, which means we’ll be moving on from the imagery of red hearts and red roses.

Yet I’m still suck on a very different red image: a stop sign.

The Fateful Moment

A few weeks ago I was rushing from a work meeting to pick up my toddler son from child care. As was usually the case, my mind was racing almost as fast as my car was.

I was thinking about how I was going to meet my next deadline, when I would schedule my son’s next doctor appointment, and what I was going to make for dinner—all at the same time!

So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise when I accidentally did the unthinkable: I ran through a stop sign.

The Aftermath

I immediately realized my mistake and pulled over to catch my breath and slow my racing heart. Upon gaining my composure, I began fervently praying to God, thanking Him that I wasn’t hurt and that—most importantly—my son wasn’t yet in the car with me.

That scare has stayed with me. It showed me that living life at a mile a minute—every day a whirlwind, every moment rushed—isn’t what God intends for us.   ←Tweet this!

How can I properly praise Him and appreciate the many blessings He’s given me, I thought, if the pace of my life only has two speeds: fast and faster?

The Lesson

Red is the international color for stop; stop signs and stoplights all over the world feature the bright shade. I believe God used a red stop sign that day to tell me I needed to stop accelerating and put on the brakes before another day passed me by.

I’m now trying very hard to heed that advice.

Certainly God isn’t always that literal in His communication to us, but He gives us metaphorical stop signs all the time.

Does He want you to discontinue some habit or practice that isn’t aligned with His will for you? Is He telling you to cease some action or way of life that’s inhibiting your relationship with Him?

If so, I encourage you to pay attention.

Because here’s the good news: When God says “stop,” it’s always because He has something better in mind for us. When God says “stop,” it’s only a matter of time before He then says “go.” ←Tweet this!

Have you ever faced a metaphorical stop sign—some situation or event that made you realize you were heading down the wrong path and needed to change course immediately? 

image via asifthebes on

16 responses to “That Day God Spoke To Me Through a Stop Sign”

  1. I consider my “stop signs” to be dissatisfaction in two previous jobs. I was scared to quite because we needed the income, but I knew that for my sanity I couldn’t stay. I love the job I have now! It pays the bills, it is stress-free and it’s flexible, so I can still do field trips and doctor’s appointments when I need to.

    • Our situations sound very similar, as we’re in the very beginning stages of taking a leap of faith and changing my job situation. I’m inspired by how well it’s worked out for you!

  2. I remember one time trying to freelance and taking on whoever clients I can get. After a barrage of terrible people talking down to me, I knew it was time to end the freelance thing. Or at least only do it on my terms.

    Otherwise I’m pretty good about letting go. Even for my blog, I had no qualms letting it slip when the twins were born. I just knew where my priorities were, and I knew how much I could handle. I’m very anti-stress! 🙂

  3. 29 April 2010 the man who would become my husband and the father of our daughter was wearing a black, white, and red cycling kit while riding his bicycle training for Kona.

    His ride was stopped when he was struck by a car making a left turn. Scott was intubated, life flighted, spent 9 days in a coma, and 3 months each in ICU and a rehab hospital.

    His partial injury list was full left side paralysis, bleeding in the brain resulting in a TBI, broken legs, crushed ribs, collapsed lungs, etc.

    While it was horrific, the path he was on wasn’t pretty. Scott was and is an incredibly strong man (Special Forces, sub 3 marathon strong). He needed a wake up call, a change in his life, and he received it that day.

    His life is totally changed post accident. Humbly said, he met and married his best friend, welcomed the daughter he always knew he’d have, has met great success with his writing, and is far closer with his family.

    The driver of the car is now one of our dearest friends. While at fault, she truly never saw Scott. Sunlight and trees impeded her view.

    While many might be mad at her, Scott and his family never were. It was a true accident.

    • Wow, Wendy, that is an incredible story. I have chills just reading it. I’m so glad Scott emerged from such a difficult experience with a renewed motivation to make the most of his life.

  4. Thank you for this post, Katie! It’s a great reminder to lift our feet off the accelerator and slow down. Fast and faster is a tough (and often dangerous) way to go through life. Plus, it’s easier to appreciate the good things when they’re not rushing by in a blur!!

  5. This is such an insightful post, Katie. Like you, my mind often races at 1000 miles per hour, leaving little time to hear God’s voice or seek His will. I read something recently that really stuck me. It said, “God never says, ‘Hurry up and come to me.” God wants our focused attention. Thank you for this reminder that we need to slow down and not constantly be moving at full speed.

  6. I’ve learned to keep an eye out for those metaphorical stop signs that I completely ignored when I was younger. I’d like to think I’m more in tune with that inner voice – she’s rarely wrong.

  7. I’ve been there.
    And I was in the car with a friend once when he ran through a red light. The weirdest thing was that we yelled it at him but he didn’t seem to care much. He just shrugged.
    I would have had to pull over like you and catch my breath and say my prayers.
    Glad you’re ok.

  8. Wow, this came at just the right time in my life too. With my recent anxiety attack, I know that I have too much on my plate, and it’s taking away from what I have to give to the areas in my life that are most important to me. Glad you were unscathed! 🙂 (and un ticketed. The last time I did a “rolling stop” there happened to be a cop watching!!)

    • Oh no! I was fortunate to be on a very quiet street with no cops in sight. I hope you are able to scale back as needed in order to focus on what you care about most!

  9. Such a great post. I had that happen once to me too, and I had the same reaction as you, completely shaken up. But I like how you wrote this about wake up calls. And yes, I feel like I get those too!

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