Monday, January 11, 2016

Thank you Lord!

I was driving home from the hospital in Columbia on the Wednesday before Christmas Eve. It's a 90 mile drive, and I hadn't been home since the Sunday before. I had lots on my mind including everything I needed to do to try and prepare to give my kids as "normal" of a Christmas as I could with their dad being in the hospital. Our tree sat in our house with not one present wrapped underneath it. I looked down and noticed that my gas tank was on empty. The needle was flirting with the red line. I knew that I could make it to the next nearest gas station and made a mental note to stop when I got there.

I called my best friend in Texas, and as we were talking, I absentmindedly drove right past the last gas station before home and got on a road that I lose cell service on. Our call got dropped, it was dark outside... 6:30 or so, my mom was expecting me home any minute, I'm in the middle of nowhere... and I feel my steering wheel lock up.

Yep... I ran out of gas.

I barely got my big suburban pulled all the way off of the road before it completely died. Desperately hoping I could get a text to go through, I texted Jason that I had ran out of gas. But it didn't go through. We were only one week out from the wreck, and I knew that when I didn't arrive home soon and mom couldn't get in touch with me, she'd get worried. So I turned on my hazard flashers and got out of my vehicle... ready to flag down the first car to drive by. This isn't a heavily traveled highway at night, so it was about five minutes or so before I saw lights approaching. Thank you Lord!

As the car got closer I hopefully started waving my arms. The driver slowed to a stop in the middle of the road, and rolled his window down. "I ran out of gas," I said... "and I have a baby in my car." At this point I realize that I sound like an axe murderer. How many stories have you heard that start with a poor helpless woman luring an innocent bypasser to a vehicle? I purposefully didn't approach his car, or ask him over to mine. The man told me that he didn't have a gas can. I told him there was a small family owned gas station up the road, and asked if he'd stop and get a gas can full of gas for me there and bring it back. He said he would be right back with gas. Thank you Lord!

Meanwhile, I'm still frantically trying to get the stars and satellites to align so a text will go through (not having any luck). It felt like forever, the man hadn't come back yet, it was starting to get cold... and the baby started screaming that she was hungry. I got the baby out of her car seat and started nursing her... praying that the man hadn't left us high and dry and was going to come back soon with some gas. Shortly, I see lights coming from the direction of the gas station, and realize that the vehicle approaching is slowing down. Thank you Lord!

The man pulled his car over on the opposite shoulder as me, and I rolled my passenger side window down. I told him that I was nursing my baby and couldn't get out of my car, and told him that my gas tank was on the driver side. It was pitch black outside and I couldn't get a good look at my helper, but I guess him to be in his sixties, wearing a beret style hat. "How much do I owe you for the gas?" I asked him. " I'm not going to let you pay me." He said. "No, you don't understand... I NEED to pay you." I said with tears forming in my eyes. "No, YOU don't understand," he replied... "I NEED to give you this gift." Thank you Lord!

At this point, I was full out crying. I told the man that he had no idea how much he was blessing me, and explained to him how my husband had been in a wreck, was in a hospital 90 miles away, and that I was on my way home with too much on my stressed out mind to remember to stop for gas! "Your husband wasn't the one hit by the drunk driver was he?" he asked me. "YES! He was!" I said. "I heard about that wreck. We've been praying for him" the man replied. Thank you Lord!

I asked him again if I could pay him, and he refused so I asked if I could at least know his name, and he came up to my window, and introduced himself as the pastor of a nearby church. Pastor Braun of Mt. Hulda Lutheran church. Are you kidding me, Lord?

He asked if I'd be going back to the gas station he'd gotten gas at and I told him I would. He asked me if I'd return the gas can as it was theirs. They'd let him borrow it to come assist me. When I walked in to the gas station, looking weary, thanking them for letting pastor Braun borrow their gas can, the man working said they keep that gas can just for those occasions. Thank you Lord!

Of all the people that could have driven by that night... God put a pastor on my path who had heard about Jason and had been praying for him. That.... was no coincidence!

Thank you Lord!



2 comments:

  1. Solo Deo Gloria. (To God alone be the Glory!)

    ReplyDelete

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