I don't want to use your names, but for you two guys in this story, I hope you let me know when you've read this. You asked if I'm still writing in my blog, and yes I am today because of you. So much to say about those 5 hours this morning. I don't look for things to write about, but there are things that God puts in my life that I can't help but write about.
I haven't woke up in the middle of the night for quite a long time. Last night I woke up at 3 am. Saw my clock, sat up, and thought I guess I'll go to the bathroom. No sooner am I in the bathroom downstairs when I hear talking. I thought maybe Samuel left something running, but soon realized it was coming from outside. So I pulled the window down and there's a Rondevous facing me across the parking lot. There's an agitated girl and 2 guys outside the vehicle. I listened for a moment and asked if everything was okay. The 2 guys walked over and said her tire blew and their phones weren't charged, etc. and they needed some help. I asked if they had a spare, they went and asked her while I went upstairs to tell Lowell there were some people outside. They came back over and said there was no spare tire, but her boyfriend in Conneaut (at least 30+ minutes from here) had a car with 2 other flats that they could use a tire from. So, being that I'm the outgoing and awake one, we decided Samuel would drive me, this girl, her 20 month old and her friend to Conneaut to get this tire and her boyfriend and drop off the baby and friend. We get there and he is trying to find a jack. Cutting through some details, we were there awhile, while he worked hard to get the tire off his car. We loaded up the tire, her and her boyfriend and headed home. Found out on the ride home that she didn't know where to look for the spare and that she hadn't looked under the car. I just had to laugh at the way this morning was progressing. It only got "worse".
Sooooo, when we got home, she realized she left her keys to the car at her house we were just at. I laughed out loud as I gave her my phone and asked her to call friends that could help her. I didn't care if it was 4 in the morning. She wasn't having great success. I kept making comments about everyone and everything that was happening, making everyone laugh throughout the morning.
Meanwhile, her boyfriend was diligently trying to get this flat tire off her car. It was long hard work. At one point he flipped the bar up into his face, just under his eye and gouged it a bit. Then he was standing on the bar to loosen a lug nut when he slipped and his feet pounded hard into the concrete. Well he was wearing shoes he wore this week while roofing. There were 2 roofing nails stuck in the bottom of his shoes that pierced his foot and started bleeding when he landed. He cut his fingers, pinched them, you name it. It was almost humorous to watch. He had a fairly good attitude about it all.
So he finally brought the tire over we had picked up, and guess what? You're right! It didn't fit. I laughed again. There was actually a spare tire under her car, yet they couldn't get it off. I went in and grabbed my Kindle Fire, pulled up the internet and googled, How to remove the spare tire from a Rondevous. We found the latch inside the vehicle, but it still wouldn't release the tire. The three guys worked on getting that tire out from under there for quite some time. I'm still making comments, sitting on the ground with them talking to them all, keeping the mood light. At different times throughout the morning I mentioned how I don't get up in the night, but did tonight. One of them said that yeah, this was all meant to be. So I agreed and said God directs our paths and this was no accident to Him. They agreed too.
She had tried to call her parents in Ashtabula, but was basically unsuccessful at that until around 6:30 am or so. She was yelled at even at 28 yrs old with 5 children. Rightly so in some ways, but her parents who actually don't live far from us, decided they would first go back out to Conneaut to get her keys and check on the grandchildren and then head back here to Bible Baptist Church.
It was going to be yet another hour or more. I sat out there and continued to talk with them. The sun came up in a beautiful sunrise. At one point, her boyfriend said that this is NOT how he had planned to spend his morning. I thought about it and said, "You know, this isn't how I thought I'd be spending my morning either. Today is the 2nd anniversary of the day my daughter died." They all looked at me. I told them a little about Cayla Joy and all the things that God had done through her little life. They were all listening closely and saying how sorry they were for me. I appreciated that. I had a chance to tell them about how God has worked in my life and many others too. Her boyfriend, I could tell, didn't really want to listen to me talk about God, so he tried to get me flustered when I was talking about the Bible being the one book that is absolute truth. He asked me how I know that with all the different Bibles out there? I wasn't going to go down that path and get distracted from the message that needed to be shared, so I said that growing up I had a New American Standard Bible, yet now I have a King James Bible. I told him, "You know what? They all tell the story of Jesus and how he came to the earth to take our punishment for us on the cross so we could go to heaven when we die." It was actually a perfect way to lead into the gospel story. He eventually got up and walked around the parking lot. But I still got to share the precious story of Jesus with the other 3 there. The phone rang, distractions came up, but I was able to continue telling them what Jesus did for us and how much He loves us.
It was quiet for a while, and the one guy who lives in the Harbor here in Ashtabula, asked if I could take him home. I said sure. So he and his friend got in the car and I drove slowly as he asked questions and talked about God. He asked for the name of my blog I mentioned and said he'd really like to read it. He'd not met someone that would do what I did for strangers this morning (aka middle of the night) and said something was different. I told him it's just God and His love in me. As he got out, he asked again for my blog. I wrote it on the back of a receipt for him. He thanked me for everything and said he really wanted to read it.
So then the other guy came and sat up front with me for the ride home. He then started in with his questions about God and His laws. I knew he was struggling with homosexual feelings and told him the big picture is that when God created this world, it was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Part of that perfect world was one man and one woman. It's how God intended it to be. Once sin came into that world, it's been changing what God made perfectly that first day. He said, "But this is how I was born." I told him, "You're absolutely right! I was too." We are all born with sin, and we all struggle with some more than others. Many people struggle with sexual sins, but that doesn't make that or any sin right. He kept searching and asking questions. I took my time driving and we had a great talk all the way home. He asked me when we were getting out of the car if he could have my blog address too. I said sure, went in the house to write it down for him and gave him it and my phone number. He's searching. It won't be easy, but I will be praying for them both. Such nice guys.
While I was driving him home, her parents had come, looked at the tire, got some kind of very noisy saw and sawed off the rusted, corroded bolt to release the spare tire. He then had left for home to fill it up with air. We got back after he'd already left. I told them that since they were finally being taken care of, that I needed to go get ready for church. She gave me a big hug and thanked me for everything, and when I went to say goodbye to the young man, he put his arms out wide and gave me a huge bear hug, even though he was a little shorter than I am. It was just such an amazing feeling! I will keep praying for each of them. God has a plan for their lives.
I know I didn't need to post all the details I did, even though I still left so much out. I was just overwhelmed that this happened on this day. The quote on the top,
"God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day,"
fit my morning. I'm already sleep deprived, but I wouldn't have traded those 5 hours of sleep for anything else. God allowed me to be able to use our precious Cayla Joy's story to open up a conversation about God with 4 people I'd just met. Once I said that she died 2 years ago from today, and I wasn't a bitter, angry mess, they wanted to listen. I pray they saw Jesus this morning.
You know, I've had a great day. How could I weep when I got to see and be a part, first-hand of God continuing to use Cayla's testimony and life! I just can't explain it, other than God is so Good! It's now 11pm. I'm yawning my head off, but I just had to share. Pray with me that these 4 wonderful people will someday come to know Jesus personally and spend eternity in heaven! Nothing is by chance. This was a God-orchestrated morning! :) It may seem like a bad morning and start to my day, but not when God's in the middle of it. Had to share!