Comforted by a down pillow and the vibrations from the asphalt passing beneath the car rocked me to sleep faster than a baby in her mothers arms. The warmth of the sun grew more intense as the morning dawned. We had been driving all through the night through the heart of California; destination Oregon. My twin brother and his wife live in Oregon and recently welcomed their baby boy into the world. I was so eager to hold that baby, it was all that consumed my mind. Even when I dreamt, I had visions of holding him.
I hitched a ride with my family, excited to push straight through to Oregon as quick as we possibly could. After the zeal wore off a little and the reality of how long our trip would take, I stopped fighting my eyelids and agreed to a cat-nap. A few hours had passed, when I woke up. The heat in the car worried me as I overheard voices in the front seat in panic. Immediately I sat up and started inquiring about the lack of air, which wasn’t the only thing wrong. The windows failed to roll down and soon the entire car came to a halt. We drifted to the shoulder, hoping we would make it far enough out of traffic’s way. Anxiety stirring up thoughts of being trapped in the car motivated me to jump out as fast as I could when the car stopped. Relief settled only for seconds as worry transferred from being stuck in the car to now being stranded, ten hours from home and five ours from our destination.
I began texting my husband about the situation we were encountering and he responded by telling me to pray about it, to see where God is moving and to join Him; to have joy in the experience. It was challenging for me to receive such positive messages as my heart just wanted to be frustrated. As my dad popped the hood to check out the car, I walked about ten feet down the road and planted my feet. I was sandwiched between a highway full of big-rigs and a wall of mature pine trees. Facing the gigantic trees I asked God to reveal Himself to me. I told Him that amidst this struggle, I wanted to experience Him. Gazing upwards, the sun glittered off the pine in a beautiful way. I am nearsighted and suffer from not being able to see details, yet here I was broken on the side of the road, able to see clearly the sparkling leaves at the tops of these trees. As my feet stood without wavering, I told God I knew He was there with me and that I love Him. All of a sudden the trees parted just enough to let a direct sunbeam shoot through, landing right on my face. All I could think about as I felt the warmth of the sun melt my face was, “God’s glory!”
We ended up taking a three hour detour. We were towed to the nearest town, where a small auto shop charged our battery, but I knew it that wouldn’t serve as a solution. It was a temporary fix. We had a two hour drive to the next biggest town, where we thought we could get the car serviced. So we jumped back into the car, in faith that we would make it despite something being wrong. We hoped that as long as we didn’t stop the car, the battery would be enough to get us there. As soon as the engine sounded, God reminded me of 1 Thess. 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. “. I spent the next 2 hours praying without ceasing. I thank God for everything in my life, naming off specifics. I continued to pray for a safe trip and that we would arrive in the next town promptly, especially when road construction threatened to slow us down. My faith grew as I continued to pray and I felt so close to God as I talked with Him, windows down and the breeze whipping my hair ferociously. It’s a memory forever imprinted in my mind. Oh and we made it:)