With photos of good-bys and hugs, social media posts show college students have moved into dorms, putting summer behind them.. They’re meeting new people, living in an unfamiliar place, and getting used to a new schedule. First day of school photos-from kindergarten to senior year, have crossed my news feed. One common first week of school assignment for elementary students is telling how they spent their summer vacation.

Women often take their summer photos ,print them for an album, or upload to arrange them in books. For some, photos stay on our phones…for years. We may look back and a treasured memory comes in full view. Maybe a tear falls as we see how children have grown.

In July, I took the road trip of a lifetime­—literally. I traveled through five states and visited the chapters of my life. I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in forty-five years and hugged family I had seen a few weeks earlier but wanted another face-to-face of love and joy.

The trip wasn’t all laughter, reminiscing, and delicious meals.

Vehicle trouble entered the picture. While driving to my second stop, my tire light went on. I had tire issues two weeks earlier, but the tire was replaced.  A tire light in familiar places isn’t usually a problem—you head to your auto service provider. The light continued as I kept up with traffic. Did I say I was in Washington DC, the Washington Monument on my left?  A truck on my right side and a car on my left. The Potomac River was lovely, I thought, but not with me in it.  Blowing a tire could have been catastrophic. There was no way to exit, until I got through a tunnel. I drove for miles, wondering where to stop. I prayed the entire way, repeating my request and God’s promises:

I need help and safety and I know: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways…” Psalm 91:11a (NIV)

 

I believe You led me to take this trip, so I trust: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (ESV)

 

I’ve never driven these roads alone, and You’ve said: “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;” Isaiah 42: 16 (NIV)

 

I exited and stopped at a gas station with a convenience store. I walked around my vehicle and the tires seemed fine—maybe one appeared low. Was I imagining it? I asked a young man to check for me. He didn’t see a problem but added a little air for safe measure.

“I have ninety miles until I get to my daughter’s house.”
“You’re golden,” he said.

I left in confidence, excited I would see my family soon. My son-in-law has many skills, auto care is one of them, so I knew he’d check my vehicle out. But twenty miles from my destination I blew a tire. If I had to have a flat, that was the place. I pulled over, called roadside assistance and waited. A state trooper showed up—young enough to be my grandson and with manners that told me his Mamma raised him right. He stayed with me the hour I waited and helped unload my trunk to get my spare. I parted ways with words of thanks that were insufficient.

Perhaps he too, like the man at the convenience store, was one of those angels I prayed about.

 

The flat occurred where I could pull over to a shoulder safely.

 

I was guided to the right place.

 

I won’t go into the details of a replacement tire, but it worked out and I continued my trip. Thirteen days later, I arrived safely home with amazing memories, a full heart, and 2300 miles added to my odometer.

My photos are still on my phone and God’s promises remain in my mind and heart. I also have overflowing gratitude and insufficient words for God’s faithfulness and protection on the trip of a lifetime He led me to take.

What about you? We don’t always have road trips, but every day we have a need- sometimes routine, sometimes pressing. Where have you prayed God’s promises that led you to overflowing gratitude?

 

A visit to Lake Ontario-childhood memory

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