Two Paths Collide

Wow! The end of school had finally arrived. The kids had a half day of school. I was just coming home for a few minutes in the middle of the day to check on them. My plan was to
write them a schedule so that they would keep busy and stay out of trouble. I warmed up my chicken and noodles for lunch and got in the car. Before I backed up, I set my chicken
and noodles on the pad between the two front seats. I dialed my patient and told them that I would be there in 15 minutes for a physical therapy session. I hung up the phone,
placed it on the seat beside me and proceeded to back up the car.

Looking over my left shoulder, I saw that things were clear and continued backing up.  In a split second, there was a huge bang. My chicken and noodles went flying everywhere! All at once, I was dealing with a jarring impact, shock from the loud bang, and a question of what just happened. The noise from the impact was so loud that my oldest son heard it in the bedroom on the opposite side of the house and driveway. I stepped out of the car and to my dismay, I found that I had backed into a tiny tree adjacent to the driveway.  A tiny tree, I might add, that was as solid as a rock and did not budge at all.  My backup sensors did not go off and the tree just happened to be in my blind spot. The impact had displaced the left rear tire so far forward that the car was no longer drivable.

After I called my husband to let him know about the accident, it was apparent to me that it would potentially cost us thousands of dollars. It was in that moment that I made a conscious decision (for the first time in my life) that I would not allow something that (in appearance) was detrimental to me to ruin my day. I even remember saying to myself,  “If God would allow something so small to cause this much damage to my car, He must have His hand in it. He must have something else planned for me today”. (It was strange that my backup sensor did not go off; it usually goes off when I am even remotely close to an object on the side as well as the back of the car.)

I called the tow truck company, who came in short order. I then called Enterprise, who said that they had a person to pick up 2 miles down the road from me, so they would already be in my area. This interested me. Knowing God, I had pretty much determined in my heart that this “other person” was the reason why God allowed this accident to occur.

Having recently put out a CD album, I grabbed three CDs from the garage. I gave one to the tow truck driver, one to the Enterprise driver, and one to the “other person”.  I introduced myself to all and the “other person” introduced himself to me as Marshall.  The young man named Marshall sitting behind me in the van was a thirty-one year old African American male. I mention his race for the purpose of illustrating that God works and interweaves our lives with the lives of others regardless of race.  Marshall told me a little bit about his family. He stated that he was married and that he had a boy and two little girls. Marshall also shared with me that he was a cook at the local Lizard’s Thicket restaurant in Blythewood and that he was barely making enough money to cover his gas. He was discouraged because he had had a difficult time finding a job to help him support his family.  He agreed with me that everything happens for a reason and he believed also that God had put us on that van together that day.

I very happily told Marshall that I would be willing to pray daily for him to get a new job. I volunteered to pray for him at the onset of his workday (I was thinking that
his workday probably started around 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.). I said, “What time do you arrive at work every day?” Marshall replied, “5 a.m.” In my mind I was thinking, “Really??? Are you sure it’s not later than that???” So I agreed to set my alarm and pray for him daily at 5 a.m. and I did just that. As an aside, I asked Marshall to pray with me before I left Enterprise, and we did pray together on the sidewalk of the Enterprise building that day.

Every morning, no matter how exhausted, I would pray for Marshall and his family. I prayed that God would provide a better job so that Marshall could provide for his family. It was my pleasure. I prayed believing that God would answer my prayer. Several weeks went by and when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I bumped my prayer time up to 8 a.m. 🙂

Marshall and I have kept up with each other on Facebook. Our short conversations have mostly revolved around God, His goodness and His intervening in our lives. This past
Tuesday, Marshall sent me a message on Facebook that read, “Guess who got the job at Michelin tires.” The minute I finished reading that line, I knew that God had answered my prayer and that he had provided a better future for Marshall and his family. I had goose bumps from head to toe. He thanked me for the prayers and he gave God the
glory. I, too, thanked God for the answered prayers!

I believe that God wanted to accomplish the process of Marshall getting a better job through meeting a complete stranger who would commit to prayer for him and for his family. I believe that through this process, both parties’ faith has been strengthened. Marshall even verbalized that very thought to me in a message. I believe that God has
fully received the glory in both of our lives through a very expensive accident in my driveway. The accident ended up costing us slightly over $2000 out-of-pocket and also cost our insurance company slightly over $5000 for the body work. The insurance adjuster jokingly said to me that he didn’t think I could have messed up the car any worse if I had intentionally tried! Lol.  As a final aside, I went on (the day of the accident) to have one of the best days that I’ve had all summer!

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