I sat on the cold bench in Colfax Washington waiting for my bus to show up. It was almost 7:30 in the morning and the air was still cold. Emily and John sat across the street in our car just in case I had any trouble. After a short wait that felt like forever, the bus showed up and I was on my way up towards Spokane. Once in Spokane, there was a brief 3 hour wait until the next bus was ready, but as soon as it was, we were loaded onto it. I was a little nervous and not overly excited to be back on a Greyhound bus. I told myself after my last Greyhound bus ride that I would never do it again. However, I needed a job and Knight Transportation was willing to take me back. The free travel and hotel accommodation was also very generous.
Riding a bus isn’t nearly as glamorous as flying or even taking a train, however seeing as my ticket was already paid for, off I went. It was a bumpy ride, and a few times I worried as the driver hit the rumble strips. Finding a syringe and needle on the bathroom floor wasn’t pleasant either, but I bit my teeth and said my prayers. I had mixed emotions about returning to Knight. I was forced to resign in August of 2018, and after that I swore that I would never return. Never say never, right?
We soon arrived into Union Station in Portland, Oregon and got off the bus. Knight had also gotten me an Uber for the hotel, and that was nice. The hotel? It’s not bad. It’s a little dirtier in some spots, the water has a slight brown tint to it, and I did find a few random hairs in my bed sheets… thank God I brought my own blankets.
Orientation started at 7am, and it was a slow process. A company van was provided and me and another driver went to the local clinic for our DOT physicals. I passed with flying colors. Soon that was all done and we were back in the classroom. I had hoped to do more than just watch safety videos and stare at powerpoints. Maybe we would be able to get our drive test in?
The answer was no, because I had to go back to the clinic. Turns out somebody forgot to have me do the drug screen at the same time as my physical a few hours prior and so now it was time to go back. After that hurdle was jumped, it was time for more boring class room time. Paperwork… yay.
Before I knew it, I was back in my hotel room ordering dinner. It was Chinese. Portland has some of the best chinese food around. Add free delivery onto of my order and I was a happy camper. I said good night to Emily and said a prayer. Then I fell asleep.
My alarm went off at 6 a.m. and I quickly got out of bed. After getting dressed and going downstairs for the Continental Hotel breakfast, my ride to the terminal showed up at 7. I was excited to be back in the classroom again and was hoping for no more trips to the medical center.
I glanced at my phone and saw that I had a text message from another recruiter. It was another denial. I gotten over 10 denials at this point from other companies. Even though that big accident I had in June was on private property and not ticketed, it was still on my motor vehicle report and wasn’t very easy to explain away. I’ve made a lot of minor mistakes over the past six years as a truck driver and my history is starting to catch up to me. My most recent situation would definitely not make things any easier.
Thank God for Knight Transportation. Thank God for them knowing who I am, and for them to be willing to take another chance on me. The recruitment phase was a lot more in depth and a fair bit more difficult for me than my previous 2 adventures with this company. I had a lot more explaining to do and a quite a bit more documents to sign. I had to prove that I wouldn’t be a safety risk.
Today was a day full of nerves. I passed my drive test on paper with flying colors but made two minor mistakes while actually out on the course. I’m nervous that Knight will change their mind and send me home packing. The reminder of all the rejections I had received coupled with my own inner dialogue of self doubt left me feeling like I was climbing a mountain with only a thin string of dental floss as a guide rope. All my doubts and personal shame regarding my less-than-stellar record felt like heavy baggage. Surely with this little string I would not be able to make it up the mountain all the way, especially with all this baggage. That little guide rope of dental floss was my connection to Knight. I had to hold on to it and not let go. It wasn’t until later that I realized what my imaginary thin string like guide rope had really represented.
It was God.
Over the past two and a half weeks after losing my job and having everything fall apart, my connection to God was tested and even strained a little bit. I prayed but not nearly as intense as I had when I was driving back and forth to the port everyday. I had gotten so focused on finding a job and fulfilling the needs of my family that I lost some of my focus and devotion to the Lord. It’s amazing how your own little storm can distract you from the peace that God provides.
After talking with my wife today about my thoughts and feelings, I soon realized this little string that I was imagining was actually a symbol of God’s love. As long as I held onto it and carried it within my soul I would be fine. This little piece of string guiding me up the mountain isn’t weak because of who I am, but it is strong because of who he is. My guide rope is Christ himself, and he gives me strength. I just got to remember to never let go.
Day three of orientation starts tomorrow and hopefully by then I will actually be an employee and no longer truckless. Until then my friends, thanks for reading. See you next time!
-Orthodox soon to be back as a Trucker
Got a mini prayer corner set up in my hotel room. It’s amazing how peaceful a slice of heaven can make you feel.