My sister in law had a baby on June 30th.
It is her first child. She has a wonderful birth story to share; has days of experiences leading up to one of the most life changing moments that will ever occur in her life.
He is beautiful by the way… perfect hair and fingers and nose and belly.
The kids and I were so excited to go see him that we called at 7:00 am and asked if it was too early to come to the hospital. Ryan (hubby's brother) let me know that maybe the afternoon would be a better time, and we set off to plan our day around that first meeting.
Today we were going to meet Baby Henry!
Around 2:00 I loaded all four of my freshly dressed and cleaned children into the minivan and headed down the dirt road near out home that I considered a shortcut. Which is funny because I often slow down so much on dirt roads that its really not a short cut, but that is neither here nor there.
At exactly 5.2 miles from my home (thank you GPS, for having so many fun features and statistics) a warning bell went off in my car.
"1 Tire(s), Low Air Pressure"
I stopped at the stop sign and got out, only to see my right front tire rapidly deflating.
Not wanting to hold up the traffic on the road, I pulled the van off onto a worn tire path that could also pass for someones country driveway, and watched the tire flatten itself to a pancake.
I glanced up at the car thermometer and read 99 degrees.
Panic set in as I was seemingly off in the middle of no where and in my haste, had pulled the van off just enough so that I did not appear "distressed" to a passing vehicle.
The kids cried and fussed and the air conditioner struggled to keep up with the blazing heat. I didn't know who to call.
I tried hubby, no answer.
I called my mother in law, and asked her to call Ryan to let him know I couldn't make it to meet Henry today.
I called a few local gas stations and service stations to see if someone could come change my tire all the while mentally beating myself up for not having learned to change my own tire. Wasn't that part of the independent girl's creed?
Finally hubby called me back and we formed a plan for him to get some help. He made some calls and found someone willing to drive out and save us.
An hour and a half had passed. The thermometer on my car read 130 degrees. I was terrified the engine would over heat but was more terrified my kids would over heat if I turned the car off.
When Jeff pulled up he hopped out of his Dodge truck with gusto and purpose. My husband had filled him in on the situation.
While Colton, Parker, Audrey, baby Eddie and I stood in the sweltering heat and tried to make small talk with Jeff he mentioned that his son was also named Colton. Apparently his son had battled with Leukemia and beat it at 15 years old, and was now a straight A student at a college in Minnesota.
It was an awesome story to hear.
But the name rang a bell… "Is that a Christian school?" I stammered out.
"Oh yes!" He replied.
Feeling brave but not giving myself the time to pause and think it through I said, "So are you a Christian?"
He stopped working for a millisecond and I regretted my question. It was none of my business. I did not want to offend him.
"Well," he said as he resumed cranking the tire below my minivan, "I don't go to church but I know what I believe."
"Amen to that," I said.
What!?! Amen to that? That is not what *I* believed, why did I agree with him? Was I so terrified of sharing with a stranger the Truth that I immediately agreed with him so as to avoid further conversation?
Jeff finished up getting the spare on and packed up his things. I loaded the family back in the car and we headed home.
The whole time I was mentally banging my head against the wall. What had I done?
Why hadn't I simply said, "Oh" or "I see" or something to let him know I heard him but didn't agree with him? Why was I so afraid to share my beliefs with him when that is exactly what I am called to do?
Why, in that moment, had I not taken the opportunity to listen to Him? Obviously he was in my life for a reason, why had I not taken that precious bit of time and made a difference… if not in his life, then in my own?
What I know now is that I was not prepared. That even though God specifically calls me to know what I believe and Whom I believe in, I was not ready to share that.
First Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"
The whole situation was a spiritual wake up call.
I am just so thankful that I was blessed with the opportunity to make things right. Now I just need to make sure that I do.