I Saw His Picture in the Visor
The Road Trip
A few years ago my husband and I were travelling cross-country from Arizona to Tennessee while I was six months with-child (and this was our first pregnancy after an initial miscarriage).
The road trip was a grueling four days and three nights long where we would stop every evening to stay at an inn.
My husband had just been furloughed from his Army contractor job in Arizona due to government budget cuts, and we had to pack up all our stuff and move to his parents home until we got on our feet again, as we could not afford to even pay our rent anymore. This was new to me because I had always worked and been able to support myself, I had a good career which I left behind in Switzerland when I got married and moved to the states to start our family.
Anyway, this story is about how God shows up to rescue His children, in the middle of nowhere, and in any given circumstance.
We were three days into our trip, we had just the last day left to travel, so we stopped at a gas station to refill the tank. I sat in our flatbed truck (which was piled up with our furniture) and in the front seat next to me, I had our little dog whom we had adopted the previous year from the Humane Society in Arizona. My father-in-law had given us his gas credit card to use for our trip to them. But now, I watched as my husband got seemingly 'duped' by some panhandlers (the term my in-laws used) as he filled our gas, he walked over to their car (which was way better than ours by the way) and filled up their tank. Also, we had no idea how much was on it whether there was just enough to get us to Tennessee or whether there was extra, but without consulting me, my young and hasty hubby decided to fill up their tank. Now normally that would be a regular kind gesture, because we always helped others in need, however at this very point in time, we had to ensure that we ourselves got to our family who were waiting for us, in one piece, especially at this stage of the pregnancy knowing full-well what we had endured the first time around.
Anyway, when my husband got back into the car and we started out to finish our trip, I began telling him exactly how I felt – my fears (this was before I had learned to trust God like I do now), like, what if we got stuck without any gas? How would we make it to reach our destination? He flew into a rage saying what a horrible person I was (because I didn’t want to help others in need), and I tried to explain to him that if it was any other day, OR if it was our money, we could've gladly helped, but what he did was downright 'irresponsible'. Being stubborn, he was hearing none of it, he got so worked up that on the freeway he suddenly pulled over, shut off the engine, took the keys and began walking off, leaving me and our little poodle sitting in the truck wondering what on earth he was going to do. How would we get home? Also worth noting is that there was a tornado passing alongside us just a few miles off, and huge semi-trucks speeding by where our truck was pulled off to the side of the road.
I sat calmly in the car and waited for the aforementioned stubborn husband to come back, after about ten minutes he kept walking, clearly he had no plan. I just wondered when he’d come to his senses and start walking back and start to drive again. But before I could even think of anything else, I heard a tap at the window. It was a man, about my age (late twenties) who had pulled over to check if I was OK. He had stopped further up the freeway when he spotted a lone man walking and asked my husband if he needed help (he thought the vehicle had broken down) but my husband responded with “no I’m fine, my wife and I had a spat and I’m just taking a walk to cool off”. That should have been that. But the stranger kept driving until he saw me and the dog sitting in the truck on the side of the road, and decided to check for himself if I was really OK.
I replied that I was alright (physically, at least), and that I’d wait in the truck for my husband to cool off and return. But he warned me that waiting on the side of the road like that was dangerous and any moment a semi truck could take us off the road, he told me to get into his car, and he’d take me to his house where his wife was and I could call my family to get help (we were only about three hours away by now in Missouri).
I grew up in a country that has the fourth highest crime rate in the world – and was even compared to a war-zone. We were taught from a young age to beware of ‘stranger danger’ and I also had watched those creepy documentaries on TV where crazy people in rural US states tend to be serial killers or something sinister. But for some reason, I trusted this man. So I got out of the truck and into his car, taking my dog with me. I was afraid, but I was more afraid of being left alone (pregnant, and in possible danger) on the side of a busy freeway.
I saw the face of Jesus
The strangers house was only about fifteen minutes from where he found me. As we spoke on the drive there he asked what had happened - he listened sympathetically, as I spoke, meanwhile I was still wondering “can I trust this person?”, “what if its one of those stories about getting hacked in the middle of nowhere and the news headline reads ‘foreign woman found in ditch in Missourri’? He introduced himself as *Liam. I was scared, but just as I prayed in my mind for God to keep me safe, I looked up at the visor above me - where the little mirror was - I saw a little picture of Jesus glued onto it. It was a black and white photocopied image. His calm, smiling face just gave me an unbelievable sense of calm, and I immediately said “I like that picture you’ve got there”, and Liam replied, “that's my King” and I excitedly exclaimed “mine too!” Liam could not believe his eyes, here he had picked up a stranger (a foreigner) all the way from another continent who had the same King? Unbelievable! That's when I continued telling him that my grandfather was a well-known preacher in my country, and I had firm faith in Jesus from a young age. Liam was inspired!
We reached the house, he told me to wait in the car for a minute so he could go ‘warn his wife so that she doesn't freak out that he had just brought home a strange pregnant woman who needed to use the telephone’. I completely understood. Two minutes later he came back and said “come meet my wife, and we’ll get you fixed.” She was a joy! No pun intended that their last name was Joy! This Christian couple with the last name of Joy! God takes care of the finest details doesn't he? I thought to myself. They both were a young couple (just like me and my hubby) and yet they welcomed me – a total stranger into their home, offered me dinner (it was quite late by then), showed me their humble home, and Liam proudly showed me his rifle collection which he used for hunting (this was a real treat for me being from a totally different country and lifestyle). Then they took me to her dads house around the corner so that I could use the internet since they didn't have any internet at their house, and I needed the internet to reach out to my in-laws on Facebook since I could not remember their telephone number.
Anyway, my father-in-law would come pick me up. Liam and his wife even agreed to drive me halfway to the meeting point to my father-in-law! But before we left the house, we all stood, held hands and bowed our heads and Liam prayed a wonderful prayer of thanksgiving, and safe travelling mercies over us all. I loved it. I felt so at home - even though I was thousands of miles away from home - being in a Kingdom that my Father Himself ordained! I was beside myself. I could not believe the love that these strangers showed me! I was safe, on my way to my destination, and in utter awe at the whole experience!
Peace in knowing the Lord
Meanwhile, hot-headed hubby had broken down in tears and began to feel great regret for yelling at me and walking away leaving me on the side road, because he had seen me get into a stranger’s car and thought that was the last he’d see me and his unborn child. He drove the rest of the way alone after receiving confirmation from his parents that I was safe and with them. It taught him a valuable lesson on priorities, because from now on he would ensure that his own family was safe before hastily making a sacrifice! Especially during a financial crisis. I'm glad he has a heart to help others, we both do and have helped people all over the world who were in need, it was just that day where we needed to be careful.
Also, I am glad to say that since he has finally come to the Lord, God has done great work in us both; my husband is no longer hasty, high-strung, anxious or hot-tempered, and God has taught me not to be so fearful, for He is our Provider. Life is so much more peaceful now.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Mt. 6:25-34)
Nine months later I delivered a healthy rainbow baby! Hallelujah!
The experience taught me that God is always there when you call upon His name.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”— Romans 10:13
King of My Heart
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