Jesus Take the Wheel!

got favor?I thought I’d share a story …. one that will likely transcend time. You know those stories that begin with, “Do you remember that time….”. Perhaps my children will one day tell their children of our little adventure and miracle. If you read my blog regulary, you will know that I have a strong faith and I learned many years ago, that there is no request too big or too small for God. It was from our pastor that I learned there was no such thing as “wasting” a prayer. Thanks to his stories about his wife Sally praying for parking spots, I have also found that with a little prayer, I too can have “rock star” parking! We have taught our kids the power of a prayer and when any situation arises….we pray, trust, believe and then wait.

No Gas…Are You Kidding Me?

Our family made a day trip out to my Auntie Lynn’s funeral on Friday. The weather was good, the service was beautiful and the hours after spent with family were wonderful. After a full and very long day, we got back in the van to begin the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Winnipeg. We were heading out about 7:45, so knew it would be 11:15 or so before we’d get home. Tim is a night hawk, so the thought of driving back after a long day really wasn’t a big deal. Our route took us along #1 Highway, past Brandon.

I’m not one to play around with the gas gauge, I will always play it safe and fill up long before the needle gets close to the big “E”. However, I was not driving and therefor not really paying attention to the gas. We got about 15 minutes past Brandon when Tim casually said, “Oh, we’ll need to stop for gas.” Tim is a born and raised city boy, used to having access to whatever he needs 24/7. I am a country girl. When and where I grew up, the stores were closed Sundays and Mondays and there was no such thing as a Convenience Store. Clearly things have changed in my home town as well, but I knew this highway well enough to know that there weren’t many gas stations along it and I would venture a guess that those that existed, closed early.

So, as we tooted along on our very low tank of gas, we came to the town of Carberry. Carberry sits along the highway, but you have to exit and travel off the highway a bit of a distance (which seemed like a mile or two, especially when you’re running on fumes) to get into town. Our gas was low enough that we were already nervous about making it in to town and finding a gas station before we ran out. We found the two town gas stations, but both closed at 9 p.m. and it was now around 9:30.  As were driving down the street, we saw two guys outside the town bar. We stopped and asked them how far to the closest gas station, but they weren’t much help. I’m not sure if their “bellies were already full” or what, but they were zero help and did nothing more than waste our time and gas as we sat idling while they tried to think outside the borders of their small town. One actually thought he might be able to tell us how far to the closest gas station if he had a calculator. Ugh!  We moved on and went back to the first gas station, as there were a few lights on even though the sign said “closed” and it looked to be closed. Tim knocked on the door to see if anyone was inside, but no one was there. A local man pulled in the parking lot and told us we would have to go back to the highway and head to Austin (Manitoba….not Texas, thankfully!!) He said it was about 20 minutes down the highway. The man left and we prayed. We knew there was absolutely no way we had gas to get there. We had been on empty for longer than seemed possible and there was no way we could make it 20 minutes more.

Only By the Grace of God:

So, we did the only thing we could and prayed that we would make it to Austin and find an open gas station. Shay has a great sense of humour and is definitely the family clown. For months now, he has been looking for the perfect scenerio to use the tag line from Carrie Underwood’s song “Jesus Take the Wheel”. Well, you can bet you picked up on this right away and declared it “Jesus Take the Wheel!” and thankfully, he did.

We got back on the highway and tried to pass the 37 km by playing games, singing and telling jokes. (Shay provided most of the entertainment.) We pulled up to the Co-op gas station just outside of Austin at 9:59 p.m. and Tim began to pump the gas. In the middle of pumping, all of the lights on the pumps went out as the station closed at 10:00 p.m. When the pump stopped, it didn’t go unnoticed that our 75 litre gas tank accepted 74.87 litres of gas before it automatically shut off.  We were literally down to 1/2 cup of gas and had we been even a minute later we would have been out of luck. Thank the Lord for taking care of all of the circumstances and giving us yet another example of his faithfulness. I love watching as miracles unfold, both big and small for it is through the smaller miracles like finding a parking spot, that you build your faith and belief for those bigger situations.

When I was looking for a gas gauge picture for the post, I found one on The Heart of Abba and pastor Ron told a “running out of gas story” as well. I loved this quote that was taken from his article.

The favor of God is not even affected by our immediate circumstances… our job, our family, or even our gas gauge. The favor of God is about His goodness and His faithfulness. We receive God’s favor, not because we are good, but because HE is good.

Hopefully this has inspired you. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, there is no circumstance too big or too small. Just have faith and believe. Be patient and know he is acting on your behalf.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Life Lessons

Although it may seem strange, I sometimes find myself looking back over the times in my life when things seemed really bad and surprisingly it is with a thankful heart that I recall many of these milestones. I have certainly had my fair share of events that seemed to temporarily change the course of my life and leave me feeling disillusioned and some what helpless.

Occasions such as Mother’s Day remind of those days when I was able to share my sorrows and celebrations with my mom. Losing her at the age of 30 was not easy. I remember being so sad that she would never know my children and that my children would never be blessed with her presence in their lives. However, as tough as losing her was, I look back on her passing with mixed emotions. I think of her often and speak of her regularly. My kids have grown to know and respect her through me. They often speak of their Grandma Ruth as if they’ve grown-up with her by their side. They make comments about what she was like or how she did things or the kind of person that she was, and I am often amazed at their ability to capture the essence of the incredible woman she was. Despite the fact that she has been gone for over 15 years now, in so many ways she lives on.

Over the years, I have found that the biggest obstacles and toughest situations are often the catalyst that takes you to a whole new level in life. It is in the face of adversity that we gain an inner strength that perhaps we didn’t even know we possessed. I’m a very reflective person, and for almost every difficult situation, I am able to look back and see how each of those events helped me to grow and change, and ultimately have shaped me into the person I am today. I have found that when hopelessness seems to settle in and you feel like things can’t get any worse, it is with your next steps that there is often a break through. For me, it’s usually when I feel that I’m at my breaking point, that I dig really deep and completely rely on my faith to get me through. The most amazing part of this is that for every storm I whether in life, my faith and confidence grow. You come out the other side a stronger and often better person.

When my mom died, I missed her tremendously and was very sad, but embedded in her passing were circumstances that were more than coincidence and the way the days and details of her passing all mingled together so perfectly was nothing short of a miracle. I know it seems strange, but I have often said that losing my mom was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through and yet one of the most miraculous. For me, I have found that my strength can always be traced back to my faith. I know for certain there is a God with a much greater plan than I can ever imagine. I find it so intriguing that losing my mom young was in many ways the event that absolutely solidified my faith. Every detail seemed to perfectly orchestrated in such away, that I am unable to look back without being absolutely certain there was a higher power at work. I’m so thankful for my faith, for without it I’m nothing.

So what is the life lesson? 

Don’t let the obstacles in life bring you down. You may feel brow beaten with what life throws at you, but I encourage you to push on and during the process reflect on the situation, its impact on you and your response to it. Through your reflection you too may be able to find the good in what seems like a horrible situation. It is so much easier to move on when you can find something to be thankful for. Just try it ~ think about what you learned about yourself, others or life in general. What would you do different? How will you prevent the same problem from happening again?

Did you know that one of the greatest predictors of success isn’t your IQ, but rather your AQ. Your AQ (Adversity Quotient) is your ability to rise-up in the face of adversity, to process the situation and learn and grow from the experience. Those that are most successful will often say that they have just failed more often. So when faced with a difficult situation, try your best to stand strong, face it head on and know that if you persevere, it may be the catalyst that takes you to a whole new level in life. 

Have a great day and hang in there!