Yesterday was my 42nd birthday. I spent it scrambling around like a mad hen all day to get ready for camping. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, packing, running to Walmart…again!
It wasn’t exactly what I’d have chosen for a birthday celebration but I knew it would be like that having planned to leave the next day.
On top of camping prep, one of our cars broke down in the middle of the night on our son. The brakes went out and, Praise Jesus, he wasn’t driving. He had gotten in to come home and found the brakes were bad. I’m so thankful he wasn’t on the road! But, because that had happened, Andrew had extra work to do. Go tow the car home, try to find parts, try to fix it. He ended up working on it until 11 pm!
This morning we got up bright and early to pack up the camper and hit the road.
Things never seem to go as we plan. About halfway to our camping destination the camper started hopping and we saw smoke in the side mirrors. Blown tire.
Of course we were on a busy four lane highway with cars whizzing by at 65. And, of course, it had to be on the driver side. I’ve honestly never been more afraid for Andrew’s life. He’s been sky diving and that made me nervous, but this? I see how many people drive looking down at their phone. I’ve seen the videos of people getting hit on the side of the road because of distracted drivers.
Our friends and I started praying. And, no kidding, a few seconds later we looked up and there just happens to be a tow truck coming up to us.
What a coincidence. Ha! (I don’t believe in coincidences.) I do, however, believe in the power of prayer.
Terry the tow truck driver just happened to be heading home from work. He jokingly said, “I saw you having a picnic on the side of the road and thought I’d see what you were having for lunch.” He was all smiles the entire time he helped, pulling out every tool you’d possibly need to change a tire. I told him I was just praying for protection and he came along.
“Well, praying works!” He smilingly replied.
Of course the spare was shot so we ended up putting our friend’s spare on to get to the next town. We ended up at a Walmart. I’m telling you, there’s some sort of time warp in Wal-Mart. I met a really nice employee though and had some good laughs with her while I was waiting for Andrew to change out the two tires. She said (and I agree with the sentiment), “Why can’t anything be easy?” 2 hours and $300 later we had two new tires and were ready to actually camp.
While it didn’t go as planned, we finally made it. We joked that we might have to set up in the Walmart parking lot for a bit there!
Now we’re sitting around the campfire, enjoying each other’s company, thankful to be alive, well, and safe. Our son was blessed to have the brakes go out in a parking lot. We were blessed by Terry aiding us. We were even blessed by kind employees at Walmart. And now we’re blessed by a beautiful night with great friends.
God loves each and every one of us. He knows when we’re afraid and He hears our cries. He is faithful in every moment of our days.
Our day didn’t go remotely as planned. We could look at it and grumble and complain about all the things that went wrong. Instead I choose to focus on how God intervened and showed us He is present and cares deeply about us.