When You’re Stranded………..

 

I should have known when I ran back upstairs to get a set of CDs to listen to on the way to Louisville…………………and grabbed this series of sermons…………….

a panic cd

 

“Don’t panic.  This is just a test.”

Yep.

I should have known.

Leaving early to meet my mom and her friend for dinner, I had a cushion of time before my night class began…………….

this should have been a foreshadowing too.

______________________________

I hadn’t driven far when I felt my engine sort-of jump……………already having our other car at the garage with transmission issues, I felt a little paranoid.

But I brushed it off as me being extra sensitive to every little noise the engine might make.

In this case, my feeling was more than paranoia.

And when I heard the incredibly loud knocking sound followed by a feeling that my tires were locking up as I moved at 70 miles an hour, I gripped my steering wheel with both hands and tried to maneuver myself to the emergency lane……………

as carefully and quickly as I could.

Slowing down is hard when you’re going full speed.

Stopping feels almost impossible.

The smell of something burning told me the engine needed to be turned off immediately, and there I sat.

Semis flying by.

Cars flying by.

Every kind-of vehicle ever made…………….

flying by.

Cell service is nice; but when you’re stranded, cell service is a necessity.

I’ve never been so thankful to see the little bars show up on my phone.

I called Tim, and he immediately knew something must be wrong, because I had just talked to him a few minutes before.

His first words were,

“Are you okay?”

I said, “No,” but immediately explained that I wasn’t hurt and the car wasn’t either……………..

but I was stuck on the side of the road with no chance of “trying to make it to the next exit.”

The car needed a tow truck, and I needed help.

Waiting 50 minutes in a cold vehicle as car after car zings by feels more like hours, and I began to feel my hands shaking.

Cold but also a little scared, I quickly realized the white line separating me from the semis that were barreling down the road wasn’t much of a safety barrier……………

So I locked the doors and waited.

What else could I do??

And then, I realized there was something I could do…………….

something that might just calm my hands and my heart.

I began to talk to God,

“What do you want me to learn while I’m here?”

“What am I missing that you’re trying to say?”

I felt Him nudge me to say thank you for this moment.

This seemed so strange and honestly like the last thing I wanted to do, but I began to thank Him for everything I could think of…………

“In all things give thanks…”

I Thess. 5:18

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Phil. 4:6

It isn’t dark

I have cell service

We have another vehicle for Tim to drive to meet me

Our son is home and able to come help too

Help is on the way

I left early for my class

There were no cars behind me when my tires locked up

The list kept growing, and as it grew I began to realize there’s a lot to do when there’s nothing to do but wait.

Giving thanks while you’re stranded makes the wait a little easier.

One the phone, Tim had told me to turn on my hazard lights…………..I hadn’t thought of that.

When you’re stranded, let people know.

a hazard lights

But don’t get upset when they pass you by……………..

a interstate

maybe they’re calling someone to help you or whispering a prayer for your safety…………..

I’ve done that before as I’ve passed a stranded car, and I hoped some of these people were doing the same for me.

Keep an eye on the road behind you and never stop believing help is on the way.

a mirror

a rearview mirror

Stay close to a guard rail………………..

and stay calm.

No amount of anxiety was going to change my situation, so I kept taking deep breaths and believing God was right there with me……………..

Could there be a better Guard than Him?
a guardrail

Tim and Todd eventually arrived.

And they sent me on my way to class in our oldest car…………

Isn’t it funny how in the most desperate situations you’ll lean on things you never would have leaned on before?

Never underestimate your resources when you’re stranded.

I laughed as I reached into my bag and pulled out my “Do Not Panic” CD set and popped in a message to listen to as I drove.

The first words I heard Joyce Meyer say were,

“Do you ever feel like you’re right in the middle of a test?”

She went on to talk about trusting God even when life doesn’t make sense.

“Okay, I’ll try to do that,” I thought to myself as I moved forward leaving two people I loved on the side of a dangerous road.

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Tim sent me pictures later that evening of the rescue of our Denali.

a car being towed

a car on tow truck

Sometimes when you’re stranded, there’s no way to move without being carried………………

Hold out your hands.

Ask for help.

And let Him lift you.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you

Isaiah 46:4

I finally made it to Louisville, and my mom was there……………….

Waiting.

Smiling.

a mom and me

And there’s something about being hugged after being stranded that feels so good……………………..

Are you feeling stuck today?

Do you need help?

Start by saying “thank you” for all the things that are good…………..

Turn on your hazard lights so people can know to pray………….

Stay close to Him as you trust that help is on the way.

“God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.” 

Psalm 46:1

No matter how stranded you feel today……………….

He’s there.

I promise.

And you’re going to be okay.

One thought on “When You’re Stranded………..

  1. Tammy, I enjoy and need your posts so very much. Thank you for sharing and being such an inspiration to so many people. Thank you for allowing God to use you to reach so many of us. God Bless and please keep posting.