It is April 15th and we are in the midst of the biggest blizzard in 129 years. We have been blessed with over two feet of snow! That's not the blessing I'm referring to. Six years ago, while driving home for Christmas, Jeff and Sammi's car died west of Fargo. I had to get in my car and drive the 8 hours to go rescue them along with Erin and baby Evelyn. It wasn't too difficult, just a pain.
Fast forward to yesterday. Andrew is driving home after his semester in Salt Lake City. His cousin, Evan Hoffman, flew out there to drive home with him. Andrew's car is not very trustworthy. It has it's issues. Using oil being the major issue. Pat and I both offered many prayers that the car would function properly and get them back to Wisconsin. Pat and I were in Milwaukee overnight due to a speaking assignment in the north stake. We were supposed to speak in two units in the Appleton stake on our way home. Due to the blizzard, church was cancelled everywhere north of Milwaukee.
Pat's phone rang just about midnight. It was Andrew. The car had just quit while they were driving. I lay there thinking, "But I begged and pleaded with God that he would bring those men home without incident." We both prayed several times. I felt very let down that God didn't grant me this very simple thing. I felt like just crying but knew that was useless. We made several calls and got no help. They called 911 and a tow truck was sent to rescue them. We told them all the important things to ask the driver. This morning we checked all of our options and determined that they should take a bus to Minneapolis and then rent a car to get the rest of the way home.
Here is where the blessings come in. Evan got a few days off and decided he would like to visit his siblings in Idaho so he volunteered to drive with Andrew. The car died near Miles City, Montana (900+ miles from here) where there was cell service, hotels, a ward with a bishop and where there's a bus stop. They could have been in a place where the nearest city was an hour or more away. They could have been in a place with limited cell service. They could have been where there was no ward and thus no people to help them out. I felt very sorrowful as I contemplated just how blessed they were. They were together and they were safe! I asked my Father in Heaven to forgive me for my selfishness and thanked Him for all the tender mercies he had given. These blessings are not coincidences.
Sometimes we don't get what we ask for in prayer. Sometimes we drive a junker car that the Lord knows will only last so long. He blesses us to get to a place where there are members of the church who can help us. That was the experience from six years ago as well. Wonderful people who took in our children. We do not know what God has in store for us. We do know that if we trust in Him, he will guide us and take care of us. My testimony has grown. My heart is softer and more broken than before. I know there are miracles. This miracle wasn't that the car would make it home but rather the circumstances surrounding the incident.