This post is a little different than my usual subject matter, but I am full of gratitude and I feel I need to write this story and share it with all of you.
In my last post I mentioned that we went to Eastern Washington for my brother's wedding, and that it was a crazy trip... well, it really was crazy. We were going to go visit my husband's grandparents first, and we were excited to finally see them in their new home. We made the 13 hour drive with two somewhat unhappy children in the back. But that's not the crazy part. I meant to say that it should have been a 13 hour trip. But, things rarely go as they should, right?
|We are a nutty family. :D|
So far this story just sounds like one big sob story, full of complaints and angst, right? That's how I felt about it at this point, but let me fill in a few details I haven't mentioned yet, and you will see how God's hand was in all of this- yes, I really believe that we were blessed with countless "tender mercies" in this instance. For example:
- We were planning on driving over the blue mountains that night. Imagine overheating at that time! What a horrible and unsafe place to break down that would have been. I had no cell phone reception in that area. Boise was really the last "big" city that would likely have been able to meet our needs so quickly.
- The gas station we broke down at shared a parking lot with a truck stop/ travel station, and a Shilo Inn. We were able to head over to the hotel just a few paces away from our car.
- My husband told the woman at the counter about our problem, and she upgraded our room to a suite. For free. I didn't love being stuck in the hotel with my boys, but imagine if it had been half the size! >shudder<
- Also, the hotel offered a continental breakfast. I know lots of hotels do, but some don't, and I'm really glad that the one we ended up with had food, because we were starving in the morning!
- My dad suggested we check the antifreeze/ coolant level and when we checked it, it was really low, almost gone, so filling it up may have prevented worse damage.
- We could have left home later in the week. By leaving when we did, we arrived in Washington later than we wanted, but still in plenty of time for the wedding. If we had left a couple days later, we probably would have missed it.
- The dealership (Bronco Motors) really went the extra mile for us. They shuttled my husband around, and then brought us a loaner car to use until ours was repaired. We were really anxious, and kept calling to see how things were coming, and they were really nice and promised to call us when the parts arrived and when they had an idea of when the car would be fixed. They even had a rental car they were working on which was almost done and said they'd try to persuade the rental agency to give it to us! Haha. Glad we didn't have to do that.
- I called my parents to let them know our situation, and they made a few calls to family- I discovered I had family in that very city! I didn't know it before, but my cousin lived there with his wife and kids, not far from where we had been staying. I hadn't seen that cousin in years, and we had the opportunity to reconnect. They even graciously let us stay with them in their home. Our kids were thrilled to be able to run around and play with their kids (and nobody broke any more lamps). This was a huge relief and blessing to us.
- My uncle and aunt who lived in a nearby city called to offer us their car to drive the rest of the way in case ours couldn't be fixed that day. We didn't end up needing to use it, but their sincerity and love for us really touched me.
- I know there were probably so many other ways we were watched over... it seemed like every time a door closed a window opened to us.
Long story short(er), the car was repaired a whole two hours before 5pm that following day, and we were on our way. We weren't able to have a long visit with our grandparents that day, but the following morning we drove out to see them. My family was very supportive of us making that a priority despite all the wedding preparations going on. The wedding was wonderful, and happily, we had no car troubles on the way home. In fact, the kids were much happier (despite one bout of carsickness) on the way home. I don't know the reason (if there was any) that we had to break down, but I am grateful for the witness that God is in the little things as well as the big things, that he cares about the details of our lives, and I know that with His help, we can find happiness even in difficult circumstances.
Psalms 145:9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.