Monday, May 11, 2015

When God Tests

We just went through nearly a week of trials.  It was supposed to be a little "honeymoon" get-away; three days to celebrate 43 years of marriage.  But from the start things went awry.

And if we had timed things differently, we would have missed . . . .

Let me explain.

We packed up all our stuff on Thursday morning.  2 suitcases: 1 for me and 1 for him.  Oh, yeah, and the one with toiletries.  Ready to go by 7:30.

But wait, we needed to hang around until 8:40 so we could take our ggirl (the photographer) to school.

So she was dropped at our home.  I made her a pancake.  We loaded the car.  And off we started, dropping her at school on time to chat with friends before the doors opened.

Off to Kansas City.  No wait.  Stop at the bank and get some cash 1st.  No problem.

Need coffee?  Oh, yes, please.  But our usual coffee spot was closed.  Hmm.  Target?  A little out of our way, but we had all morning.  All day really.  You can't check in before 4:00 pm, right?

So a detour to Target's Starbucks.  Long line.  Slow.  But no worries.  We had the time.

On the road, finally, headed out on Hwy 2 to Nebraska City (which came out as Bibi city on my phone FB post????)  Only 9 more miles to NE City when . . .

The song "Jesus, take the wheel" played through my mind for the next 2 hours.  That's how long we sat on the shoulder of Hwy 2.  Two hours.  Hubby claims it was longer.

You see, a truck with the tailgate down (why?) decided to zoom a left turn across our lanes.  No problem.  That is until that industrial jack he had not secured in the bed went rolling out the back and across the highway.  No stopping.  We hit it and our front wheel was punctured.

The truck and its driver?  No, they did not stop.

No problem.  We'll just get the spare out and change to it, then head BACK to home.

Wait, what?  No spare?  How can that be?  It's a nearer year car! It has to have one!  But alas no spare.  No jack.  Only a black box that claimed it could pump our tire up and get us to some help.

Really?  Even a heavy-duty patch would not have held air for the 40 miles we needed to retrace.

We learned that no one changes their own tires now a days.  They call for "roadside assistance" instead.

So we climbed back into the car and call them.  Then we call our insurance people.  Then we call our friend who sold us the car to let him know we would be headed his way.  Soon.

Not so soon.  Two hours later and finally the tow truck comes.

As we waited we praised God that it was only a tire, that we safely made it to a stop.  It could have been so much worse.  (Hubby kept looking at the on-coming traffic behind us and saying, "Hold on!  I think they are going to hit us!)

Then the song played in my head.  And the "If only we . . ." Hadn't stopped for coffee?  Had stopped longer for coffee?  If that line had not been so long at Starbucks in Target?  Or had been longer?

Car stowed at the repair shop.  Luggage and stuff moved over to their curtesy van for a ride to a rental place.  Then transferred to that car which was much like my car, but not quite.

And we began, again.  It was only after 2:00 pm.  We wouldn't be too late.  It only meant not as much shopping time.  What?

Better get some food.  So again we stop.  Then restart.

We get checked in and decide for "happy hour" munchies, we definitely needed some "happy" now.

 And then, "I didn't bring the baseball tickets."  What?  We were so looking forward to seeing Gordon play as he was a home-town boy who grew up in our neighborhood.

Stress.  Phone calls.  Emails.  Tickets reprinted.  Saved.

Its now 6:30ish.  We only had the one meal at 2:00ish.  Let's stretch our legs and go to the Country Club for dinner.  But all the stress, and all the hours, and . . . a very many people waiting at the Cheesecake Factory. Sad.

"I'm not hungry enough for Cheesecake," I admit.  And he agrees.  So we settle for blended coffee drinks at . . . yes, Starbucks.

To make a long story short, we compromised through the rest of Saturday (they took our "tickets" just fine and we only had to search for our car for 15 min. or more in the poorly lit parking lot of a game that was only interesting for about 10 minutes when there was some confusion at 2nd base).

We left on Sunday, arriving home before the storms hit.  Hail.  Wind.  Rain.  Even a tornado somewhere south of us.  And, you guessed it!  The lights went out!

Two hours of sitting in the dark, too tired to talk, too tired to make the blackout (on our side of the street only) any fun.

And I began to cough.  I knew what it was.  The chest cold my ggirl had coughed on me last week.

So in the dark, I stumble to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so to cough up some junk I can't see, which is all for the better.  Just saying.

It has been an interesting week, um, 3 days.  What?  Only 3 days?

And in my head I know it is a test, a test from God to see . . . what?  How much can I really take?  At 10:00 pm last night I had taken all I could take and I cried out to Him with more intensity.  Sleep.  I just needed some quiet sleep.

But we made it.  We're on this side and can laugh ?? about it, right? May not yet. But still able to thank our God who is our Father, our Protector, our all and all, He who protected us from harm, from floods, from complaint.

Maybe next anniversary we'll just stay home.