I had plans. Pretty great plans I might add. Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, I went to church with my oldest son Caleb, then afterwards drove to DFW airport to pick up my youngest son, Levi. With grand anticipation, I would be with all three of my boys for Thanksgiving; the first time in four years. MY PLANS included a road trip the next morning to Missouri to see my Mom and extended family for a huge Thanksgiving feast. I was the designated turkey baker. We would stay until Friday morning then return home. I could just imagine the memories to be made.
How exciting it was to see Levi at the terminal and welcome him after his flight. On our return in Dallas traffic (another topic altogether), we were on the toll road when all of a sudden my car lost power. Not being one who knows much about the mechanics of cars, I somewhat panicked not knowing what to do. Put me in a medical crisis, and I can manage at least appearing calm. Cars? Not so much. Steadily, Levi told me to put my hazard lights on, cross over lanes and get to the shoulder. With no power, it was quite a maneuver, but I accomplished it. I had my battery changed the month before, so it was highly unlikely that was the issue. Levi tried starting the car several times with no success. I called AAA for assistance. They told me the wait was at least an hour. As my headlights went from dim to dark and my hazard lights were fading, I felt extremely vulnerable as the traffic whizzed by at top speeds. We were barely visible. I decided to call 911 as the situation became scary to downright dangerous. The 911 operator transferred us to the toll authority and they sent out a truck. I was so relieved to have them behind us with their bright lights shining. By this time, even my hazard lights ceased. The driver was also concerned about our position as he had seen fatalities in the same situation. He had me steer the car down the exit ramp with Levi pushing while he slowly followed. There was a gas station at the bottom of the ramp. The tow truck from AAA arrived and took my car to the nearest AAA station while Caleb, Levi, and I Ubered home safely at 1 AM.
I was more than exhausted and my stress levels had been tested to the extreme. I made a corporate decision to cancel our road trip and spend a quiet, simple Thanksgiving in my new home. I did not have a running car at the moment either.
A friend of mine had a friend who was a reliable mechanic, so instead of leaving my car thirty miles away to be diagnosed, I chose to have it towed the day before Thanksgiving to a trusted source. This mechanic fit me in and got my car repaired the same day. I had a faulty alternator. He recommended a transmission service with the next oil change. I was more than happy to have him take care of my car’s needs.
I thought that was the end of the story-safe from a potentially lethal scenario, a repaired car, and a quiet holiday with my kids. My Plan A turned into Plan B. It happens. But there was more that God had in store.
I took my car back to the mechanic this past week for the routine oil change and transmission service. He did a thorough inspection and called Caleb and me into his office. As I began to sit, he asked me if Caleb has Down Syndrome. Of course I said yes. He told me that four days after I brought my car in for the broken alternator his wife and he had a son born with Down Syndrome! This beautiful little guy-yes, I saw pictures from the doting Dad of precious Jake-was just released from the hospital recently, so these new parents were in the very early stages of navigating services and getting oriented to something unexpectedly marvelous. I was thrilled to come along side of them at this stage. I remember it well, even though it was twenty-five years ago. And God saw fit for me to help pave the way for this new family.
In the grand scheme, my plans were minuscule. They were not bad plans, God just had better ones. It reminds me of the book of Isaiah where in Chapter 55:8-9 NIV’84 we are told, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Whatever situation you are in, crisis or otherwise, allow your plans to be changed. Do not begrudge how things appear. Let God show you His Higher Ways. Many times the unseen has far greater purpose than what is seen.