Know in Whom You Believe

filed under: Miscellaneous on July 7, 2011

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. 



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  • Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    So glad that you all are okay – that heat could have been bad news! You know in these kind of situations I like to take it as a wake up call. But don’t be slow in giving yourself a little grace too. Perhaps your response was just what Jeff needed at the time.

  • Paula says:

    Congratulations to your sister and brother-in-law on the safe arrival of Baby Henry. I’m sure you and the kids are anxious to finally get to meet him…with your tires fully inflated!
    I’m sure that seeing Jeff pull up to get you all back on the road and out of the heat was such a relief for all of you and he was a good samaritan to make the drive out to help you.
    Perhaps your response of *Amen to that* was the perfect response in that maybe it was your time to just hear what Jeff wanted to share with you.

  • Renee says:

    Glad to hear you are all ok after that heated time out on the road!

  • Gianna says:

    Hey, it suddenly hit me that I KNOW Ryan. I was just going along with your story until I smacked myself on the head and said, “you KNOW Ryan!”
    anyway, on with the other (more important) part of the story. I bang myself on the head over and over again, too, when it comes to sharing my faith. I’m not trying to make excuses for you, but you were probably trying to say, “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” Although it is a good idea! And Jesus called us to do that, but that is besides the point.
    If you had said, “I see” you would probably be beating yourself up over that too because he wouldn’t have realized that you didn’t agree with him or some other reason.
    I would have been mad at myself! So now that you’ve had the experience, you are more prepared. You will get more chances and you will be able to say more again.
    Plus, now thinking about it, the best thing to say would have been, “What do you believe?” I can think of that in a hypothetical conversation when there is no pressure, but not in the heat of, “I need to say something. I need to say it right. I better not misguide him!”
    Besides, how hot was it? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
    I love you! I get you. Hopefully, you get what I’m saying!

  • Bethany says:

    Good thoughts! I love how God gently calls us to His words and asks us to continue to be more sanctified. Never condemned though. 🙂 Only God knows what seeds were sown.

  • cheap soccer jersey says:

    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.

  • Trooppetrie says:

    it seems like I stutter and forget everything i know and leave feeling worthless. but you know what God puts it on our heart and he guides our words even when they do not make sense to us

  • Suzanne says:

    I completely understand! I sometimes try to please the person I am speaking to (even if it’s a total stranger) instead of honoring my God. Why do I do that? I beat myself up about it later, and pray for forgiveness… Hopefully it will get easier in time.

  • Ruth says:

    Or maybe the reason for the flat tire and encounter with the man WAS to show you that it was time to step up your game.

  • Marie says:

    Maybe the purpose of your interation with Jeff was to make him think about the question? He’s probably mulled over the conversation since it occured. Sometimes our interactions with others are tools to creating actions in them, not us.
    Phew on getting the tire sorted though, but naughty, naughty for not being able to change it yourself! 😉 I remember when I first got my driving license, my Dad wouldn’t let me out on my own in the car before I could show him that I knew how to change a tire. It’s definitely an important life skill.

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