Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Peaceful Trip?

Good-bye. Thanks again for inviting me this morning.
You're welcome. How long did it take you to get here?
Only about an hour and a half. I took I-69 and it really wasn't a bad drive. Usually when I come out this way I take I-96 and it takes me two hours!
Good. I hope your drive home is peaceful.

That is (roughly) the conversation I had with the MOPS coordinator this morning as I was leaving. At the time, I didn't realize how funny and ironic that conversation would turn out to be.
As I was driving north on I-75, listening to James Dobson talk with Newt Gingrich about his new book Rediscovering God in America, and thinking about our spring break trip to DC coming up, I was startled by a whack, bang, thud sound. Looking out the rear view mirror I saw something that looked like a bent up metal rod, or a small part of a tree branch scurrying across the highway. "Whew," I thought, "That sounded like it could've done damage. But everything seems to be OK." So I kept going.
About 30 to 60 seconds later I heard another loud, very odd sound. It was coming from behind me, over my left shoulder. The only thing I could think to do was pull over and take a look. So I did.
When I got out of the van I found a completely flat rear tire. Hmmm, I guess that rod/branch thing did do some damage. Heart pounding, not knowing what to do, I got back into the van and pulled out my cell phone. Then I thought, "Who am I going to call?" Brian is in Chicago. We don't have road-side assistance with our insurance. (All the touching "On Star" commercials I've ever heard came to mind...) I'm too far away to call anyone from the MOPS group. I don't know my brother's cell phone number. So I sat there and prayed, "Jesus, please send someone to me!"
Finally, I decided to call 9-1-1. I didn't know if I should, but I did. The operator was very sweet and she connected me with George's Towing Service. They took down my information and said they'd send someone out for me.
When I looked up, I saw a sheriff vehicle parked behind me and I got out of the van to tell her a towing service was on the way. The officer was a very kind woman and she said she'd stay with me until the service arrived. We chatted as she got the jack out of the van for me, and I was thankful that Jesus had sent her to be with me and help calm my nerves.

In just a little while Jim, from George's, arrived and I said good-bye to my new friend. Jim got to work right away. As he did his thing we talked about tires, wrenches, writing, and his son's band. On one of his trips back to the truck to exchange wrenches, the irony of the comment, "I hope your drive home is peaceful," finally hit me, and I burst into laughter.
The near heart attack the whack, bang, thud gave me, the feeling of panic when I realized I didn't know who to call to rescue me, and standing in the cold along the highway with cars and trucks whizzing past was not what I would consider peaceful. Honestly, I thought, "Oh, well. At least this gives me something to blog about!" Yes, the more I get into writing, the more my life and its mishaps become one big illustration. But at least it made me laugh!
So Jim finished the tire change. He told me I'd be OK to drive back to Lansing, but I shouldn't go over 55 mph and I should get a new tire soon. I paid him and thanked him and drove home - praying as I went. God, thank You for Jim and the sheriff who helped me just now. Please get me the rest of the way home safely. Thank You for watching over me. Thank You for - uh, what was that wobble??? Please get me home safely. This experience will be enough for the blog - I don't need any more material. Thank You for taking care of me!
And so, two and a half hours after I originally set out, I arrived back home. The trip - Peaceful? Not really. Shorter than I expected? No. But God was with me - I was very aware of His presence. I had just been talking with a group of moms about how when we go through hard times, we are better able to see and understand God's love and faithfulness. Yes. He faithfully took care of me this afternoon, and I truly am glad for the experience.


Anonymous said...

Glory to God you made it home safely! I was in the MOPS group you spoke at this morning in Troy. I enjoyed your talk so much that I came online during my little girl's naptime to check out your site. You have a gorgeous singing voice!! God bless you!


momteacherfriend said...

Why does God feel He needs to hammer home our speaking outlines!

Glad you made it home safe!

austinjen said...

I googled "irritable mom" and found YOU! You can imagine what today was like for me to have to seach that topic! I hauled my (almost) 3-year-old daughter and my pregnant, unmade-up self to Hobby Lobby today. We had an episode in the store that was SO bad (really), I can never show my face in there again. I tell you this because I cried all the way home for help--for God to lead me to a helpful place. I'm still in the sleeping-late rut, in my pjs until noon, and ready to trade in my daughter for a Golden Retriever, but maybe...just maybe...I can get the inspiration I need from reading your story. I can't wait to get your book. Thank you for showing up on my computer when I needed a friend!!
I'll be back!
PS I'm glad you made it home safely too.
And, add me to sweet little Allie's prayer chain :)

Irritable Mother said...

I am so sorry for your bad day!
But so glad you found me.
How's this for a bit of hope? You said you don't think you can show your face in Hobby Lobby again - but you were there unmade-up, so just wear lots of make-up next time and no one will know it was you who was having the irritable day!
By the way - thanks so much for praying for Allie!

Ann Kroeker said...

I'll have to tell you about my recent up-chuck experience with my youngest in the van on the interstate. Or maybe I'll blog about it. But the peace and calm that accompanied it was surprising, unexpected. Your post sounds similar...unexpected peace from the Lord in what could have been a scary, dangerous situation. Mine was just gross, but I'll save the details for another day.

I blogged about your book yesterday. I hope you take a peek, and I hope you like the references I chose. I decided to weave it in with some personal thoughts.

Glad you're safe and sound, able to continue encouraging the irritable moms of the world!

Irritable Mother said...

I had an up-chuck incident on the highway years ago. Me, my toddler, and my baby. And no one stopped to help. Ugh!

Thanks for blogging about my book. Yes, I did like the references. The story about Elizabeth praying for me is one of my favorites!

Angela said...

Blogging is funny that way isn't it? I find that since I began blogging I tend to view life through the "lens" of my blog. I've been heard to say, "Oh, that is bloggable!" or "Hey, that's blog-worthy!" ;o)

So glad the Lord brought you home safely...maybe not peacefully, but it could have been worse!


Irritable Mother said...

Yes, Angela, blogging is funny that way. It happened again to me this morning. I've started the post, but had to save the draft because there are other things I need to get to...Maybe this afternoon!