Wall of Faith: Tara
Today my husband had to get up at 3AM to be at work at 4AM. He was to drive to a location north of Seattle (about 4 hours from where we live) and pick up a large load of steel and sheet metal for his work. He frequently drives for work as he has his CDL license. So off he went with a 40 foot trailer. He didn't check in as often through the day as he normally does. I knew he would have a stressful day and didn't bug him. He sent me a text around 11AM saying that he had arrived and was loading. Hoped to be on the road within the hour to head home.
I didn't hear from him again until 4pm, when he sent me a photo of his truck and trailer loaded to the gills. It looked like a very heavy complicated load. Made me nervous for him just looking at the photo. I also was aware of what time it was, as when you drive with your CDL for work, there are certain rules that tell you how long you can be on the road or "on shift" before you are required to take a 10 hour rest break to sleep. He was pushing it. We talked on the phone briefly before he headed home and I asked if he should stop and stay the night before heading home. He was irritable and really just wanted to be home. "No" he said, "I'm just going to drive straight home." "I didn't get on the road till 6 or so, so I'm okay, I just want to be home." "Okay" I said, "Just be careful and stop if you get tired. If you're close enough to home I'll come get you and you can leave the truck." This was 4:30pm. We hung up and I left work to go pick up our girls.
It was POURING outside. I mentioned to a coworker as I left "hope you're not made of sugar!" and we laughed at the image of him melting when he walked outside. I drove in the pouring rain about 25 minutes to get my youngest. She's still in daycare. I shared my concerns for Josh with my daycare provider. They are like family and were also concerned. We both hoped for the best and I headed off to get my other daughter. I told Avery, my youngest, to say some prayers for her daddy when we were in the car driving to get her sister. I prayed with her and we asked God to keep her Papa safe (I had said "pray for your Dad" and Avery says "You mean Josh?" haha! She is a card). We prayed that he would keep Pop awake as he drove, and help him to make it home safe and sound. We arrived back in Ridgefield, and picked up Shelby, my eight year old. On the way home I shared with her that her Pop had had a hard day and we needed to pray for him to make it home safely. The girls and I arrived home. I had this overwhelming feeling that we needed to pray for my husband right at that moment. I stood with my girls by the backdoor and we held hands. We stood in a little circle, as I reminded them that the bible tells us "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them"(Matthew 18:20) We prayed in turn for Josh's safety. For him to be protected, for God to watch over him as he drove home. To help him drive in the dark and wet weather we were having, as he doesn't like driving at night. To keep him awake and let him arrive home safely.
I knew he would be home super late, and his typically Monday chores would need to be done. I enlisted the girls and talked to them about how we are a team, and our family helps each other, and we are going to do our chores, and Pop's chores too. Avery set in unloading the dishwasher and Shelby cleaned cat boxes. I rounded up trash and we took out the recycling.
10 minutes later I hear my phone, it's a text from Josh, I can tell by the ring tone. It just says "Call me". My heart sinks into the pit of my stomach. I call him "I'm in trouble" he starts in. He had stopped on the side of the freeway, as his load shifted on the trailer from the wind. As he's stopped trying to tighten down his load a state trooper pulled up behind him. A piece of metal had come loose and had come off the trailer. There had been an accident a few miles back. He didn't have many details, just knew that he had to stay put and was waiting to hear from the state trooper who had gone to check on the accident, and also waiting to hear from his employer. I could hear the panic in his voice. He wasn't coming home tonight, we both knew that. His load was unsafe. He explained that it was a lot of sheet metal, which bends and flexes and he had tried his best to secure it. He didn't even know that a piece had been lost. The state trooper had escorted him to a safe parking lot where he could call me.
Being so far away from him and not able to be there to help is an awful feeling. I was instantly angry that this had even happened to him. I had prayed, the girls had prayed. Come ON God! Where are you? How can you leave him on the side of the road? He could have been killed! Someone else may have been killed, we don't even know! UGH! I was so angry for him, and terrified for him too.
I tried to comfort him, reminding him that he was covered by the insurance of the company he works for. That even if there was an accident, that the insurance would cover everything. He may get a ticket because of what happened, but that would be all that we would have to deal with. And we can handle that. "What can I do to help??" I asked him. He needed a hotel room for the night. He didn't know where he was even. Some park and ride along the freeway.
He had to go and take a call from his employer, I checked his location on my phone, (THANKFULLY we share locations with each other, and I could see right where he was, and was able to find a hotel room just up the street). I reserved him a room. He called back, and I suggested he get an uber to the hotel if he was unable to drive the truck. He did just that, and called me again once he had checked in, taken a shower, and had a moment to rest.
The state trooper had come back after we had hung up the phone before he had left for the hotel. She brought back the piece of sheet metal that he lost. The car that it hit had a broken windshield. Nobody was hurt. She said "His insurance will be calling your employers insurance" and she left. She didn't write him a ticket. Everybody was okay. He was okay, and safe in a hotel room.
We got off the phone and I just started crying. I had been so angry in that moment when I heard what had had happened, that I didn't stop and realize that God had answered my prayers.
Josh was safe. Nobody was hurt. He wasn't out driving in the dark and crazy weather. He's able to rest and sleep. He has people coming tomorrow to help him transfer some of the load to another truck and get it all home safely. And that in the exact moment that Josh was risking his life on the side of a freeway with cars zinging by in the dark and pouring rain.. his family was huddled together in prayer, asking God to keep him safe. And God was listening.
And you know what? He did just that. Sometimes answers to our prayers don't look like we think they should. Sometimes he answers our prayers and we don't even realize it. I truly believe that we were all part of a miracle tonight. We trusted Jesus to keep our loved one safe, and what could have happened, didn't. Josh could have been stuck on the side of the road. The vehicle that hit the metal from his truck could have been killed. That vehicle could have hit somebody else and it could have been horrific. I'm sure whoever is in that car probably isn't too happy that I'm sharing his broken windshield as an answer to my prayers, but it really is.
When you pray, be prepared to be awed. Be prepared to hear God's answer, as HE decides to deliver it. It may not come wrapped up in a perfect bow. He may not fix everything that's broken, and he may not right every wrong. But he does hear our prayers and he does answer them. Sometimes the answer is "no." Sometimes it's "not right now." Sometimes it's what we least expect, and feels like a travesty. But in reality, it's exactly what we needed in that moment.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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