This will be another story about how God protects His own. Yes, I know that sometimes He chooses to have His children die young, but He often cares for us and protects us from harm.
Today, I was driving on I-44 from OKC headed toward home. When crossing the bridge that goes over the Candian River, I heard thumping noise coming from the front driver’s side tire. I was sure it was flat. The area I was in was pretty desolate. The rain was also coming down. I had Calvin and Charis with me. I did not think there was even enough of a shoulder for me to pull over, let alone for me to try to change the tire myself.
So I drove further on to my exit–about a mile. I found a quick lube place, and even though it wasn’t part of their list of services, they changed the tire for me free of charge. (I did get an oil change though, just to be nice.) We were on our way once again. I got less than a mile down the road, and I heard thump, thump, thump. I pulled into a plant nursery parking lot, and looked at the tire. It looked fine. I assumed the thumping was just from the imbalance of the spare tire with the other three tires. I pulled back onto the highway. Less than a 1/2 mile down the road, the front tire flew off the van and down the road. I struggled to keep the van under control, and managed to get over to the side of the road. Unsure what I was going to do, I sat there for a moment. Then, out of nowhere, a police car appeared. The officer came up and offered to help. I was sure glad of it. Our cell phone is on a prepaid program, and I only had about 8 minutes left. So I hesitated to make any calls because I wanted to be sure I would be able to keep the connection. The officer took my driver’s license and my AAA card, and he called a tow truck for me. He had to leave, but he had another officer come to sit behind me with his lights going until the tow truck came. (There is absolutely no shoulder on this highway, so having a police car with lights there gave me a much more secure feeling than just my measely little emergency lights did).
The tow truck arrived. The driver was very nice and helpful. He helped me with all my baby stuff and even held Charis while I climbed into his very tall truck. A passerby told us they saw my tire roll into the parking lot of a bbq restaurant up the road, so the tow truck driver pulled in to the place to recover the old tire for me. Then we proceeded to a garage less than a mile down the road.
When we arrived there, an older lady who worked there was very happy to hold Charis while I retrieved all of her things from the van. I called Mark, and we waited for him to come for us. The mechanic and his family who run his shop were also very kind to us.
Ultimately, I am thankful that I and my children are alive. The details sound pretty unremarkable when I retell the story here, but when I consider all that could have gone wrong, it is really amazing that we are all ok. The original tire could have blown on the interstate and made us lose control. When the spare came off, I could have easily lost control and swerved into oncoming traffic. When the spare tire flew off the front of the van it was going so fast it went up hill before it landed in front of the bbq place. I am so thankful that no one came along in another vehicle at the time it was barreling up the road.
So, in the end, I am thankful all we have lost today is a little time and some money for the repairs to the van. We also may have to agree to some settlement to pay for some minor damage done to the bbq place by the out-of-control tire.
If it wouldn’t have ended this way, I know that God would have had a plan. But I don’t want the day to get away without acknowledging His protection of us and thanking Him for it.