Thursday, March 7, 2013


We lived in Tennessee for four years while my husband got his degree in Pastoral Ministry and during those four years we came home to Canada every year, usually in May, for a visit. It was something we looked forward to. To be able to walk on the beach again and to see family once more.

 During one trip home, with our three kids in the back of  our small car, we met with a crisis. We were going up a steep hill on a New York state highway when suddenly our car started going backwards down the hill with oncoming traffic directly in our path. We didn't know what was wrong. I remember telling the kids to pray right now and bless their hearts they did. Miraculously Brad was able to steer the car, going in reverse, to the side of the road without hitting any other cars.

There we sat on the side of the road in New York state halfway between Tennessee and our destination in Canada. Signs were posted everywhere on the highway which stated "no stopping". Well, we couldn't help the fact that we were stopped; the car wouldn't move. We were stuck. We didn't know what to do, so we prayed. We prayed that God would send someone to help us and less than ten minutes later He did. A highway patrol man came and asked us how he could help us. He called a tow truck and in a few minutes we were on our way to Mamoroneck, New York, twenty-four miles from New York City, because it was the nearest town.

The tow truck driver told us that he would take us to a hotel because our car wouldn't be looked at until the next day. Brad told him we didn't know the area and asked him for his advice. He said we could stay at the Holiday Inn for $90. per night or the hotel down the road for $35. per night with showers being $5. extra or there was another hotel which was $56. per night. With the uncertainty of the cost of our car repair we chose the $56. per night hotel.

When he delivered us to it we thought he must have made a mistake and had taken us to the cheapest one. But he hadn't. This was the middle of the road hotel and it was horrible. The room smelled and the bathroom was filthy. There was only a chain lock on the door and the door knob didn't latch. Brad was so upset that he had his family in such a place but we had no choice, so we made the best of it. I told the kids to leave their jackets on and to sleep on top of the beds. Brad put a chair propped up against the door and spent the night guarding us. Several times we heard gun shots in the distance and we prayed the night would soon be over.

When morning came I immediately noticed that Benjamin, our oldest, had eight side by side red marks going up his neck. I took a picture of it because I had never seen anything like it before. Weeks later we were able to show it to our pediatrician and he identified it as track marks of a large bug, probably a cockroach. Needless to say we were anxious to be out of there. We checked out first thing in the morning, which was a mistake. We were in New York, in May, with three small kids on foot. It was cold and we had no where to go.

We walked to the garage and they said the problem was our clutch. They could fix it but it would be $1300. We told them to fix it knowing we didn't have any credit cards or money to pay for it. We had no choice, we were stranded in the middle of nowhere. I told Brad we'd call my father because he had helped us before and he adamantly refused to let me call Dad. He didn't want to have to ask him again. So instead we called another person, thinking that they'd help, but despite our pleas they wouldn't. So it was up to Dad. I called and Dad was upset that we hadn't called him earlier. He arranged to wire the money to the nearest Western Union office which happened to be in an ethnic grocery store.

We went to the store and waited and waited but no money came. So the kids and I walked to a nearby playground to pass the time while Brad waited. After a couple of hours we were getting cold and the kids were long past wanting to be at the playground. I started getting worried. What if someone had found out Brad was getting that much money and jumped him? After all we had heard gun shots and we were in New York. My mind was rapidly getting ahead of itself. All I could picture was that I was alone with my three kids in New York and Brad was dead somewhere. All I could do was frantically pray that he would be okay and that God would protect him and bring him back to us.

I decided to walk back to the garage and at least get the kids indoors so they wouldn't be so cold and we'd wait for Brad but just as we arrived he was arriving too looking very shaken up. Apparently when the money transfer came through the clerk announced over the PA system "Mr. Pass your $1500. has arrived." (Dad had sent extra.) When Brad left the grocery store there were two men waiting for him. They told him they had heard he had money come through and that it was a lot of money for only one person to be holding. They threatened to take it from him and then righteous anger and the stress of all that we had been through came upon Brad and he braced for a fight. He told them everything that had happened and how he had a wife and three kids counting on him to bring the money back and that he'd die trying to take it to them. He was so brave. The two thugs changed their mind and moved on their way.

We paid for the repair, got in the car, cranked the heater up and headed for home. Our adventure was over, well at least that part of it. We arrived in Canada safely and thankful it was over.

I wanted to share this story with you to tell you this: sometimes we face uncertainty, we don't know what tomorrow or even today will bring. When we left Tennessee we had no idea that our clutch would burn out or that we would ever have to stay in such a place as that awful hotel or that Brad would face real personal danger at the hands of two thugs. No, we didn't know any of that. But it happened and through it all God was with us. He protected us and took care of us. We prayed and we trusted in Him.

Sometimes we will face uncertainty in our lives. We don't understand it or why it is even happening but it is at those times, especially those times, when we need to trust in the Lord to bring us through. Sometimes its heartbreak, sometimes its danger, sometimes a crisis, but no matter what it is we need to focus on God and not on the situation. We have to keep going on, doing what we know to do is right. Pray. Trust in the fact that God will walk with you through this valley that you're in right now. No matter what problem you are facing its not too big for God. Your problem might be the uncertainty in your life but God can be the certain, the sure, part of it if you put your trust in Him. God bless.

1 comment

  1. Sister Laurie this is what i needed to hear today lookin forward to Mon God bless