My family really lives a crazy life if you think about it. I know it is only by God's grace that we are taken care of and early this past Monday morning He proved it. We were a little over an hour outside of Indianapolis for a meeting on Sunday and Monday, the hubs was going to fly from there to Managua, Nicaragua for a missions trip. The plan was then for me to then drive about 5 1/2 hours south to be with family while he was gone. Here's the catch. His flight left at 6:30 am and he wanted to be there by 5:15 am and we had to drive an hour and fifteen minutes to get there which meant we had to leave at 4 am. Guess when that meant getting up? 3:30 am at the latest.
I have never been good with anticipation. When I was a kid, I would make myself sice getting excited over field trips or my birthday and then miss them altogether. I have gotten somewhat better as an adult but if I know I have to get up at some crazy early hour, I usually can't sleep at all. Such was the case on Sunday night. I tried everything I could think of but I just could not make my mind shut down. About 3:15 am I asked my husband if he was awake (he wasn't) but we decided to get up anyways. We got the baby in the car and packed up and headed out. I was hoping that adrenalin would get me through but was getting nervous as the rain was coming down pretty hard. I don't do well driving in the rain, in the dark, on the highway. That's like my tri-fecta of awfulness.
We got to the airport and I kissed my husband goodbye and started praying. For two hours I drove through a rough storm, praying the entire time. I switched from radio station to radio station as soon as I lost one, not caring what was on but just needing to listen to something. I wiggled my arms and legs trying to keep the numbness out but I could feel my body giving out, just wanting to slip into slumber. I knew my trip was just beginning though. Around 6 am it was time to stop for gas. I was only going to stop for breakfast if my daughter woke up. She did and there just happened to be a McDonald's right across the street. We went inside and I knew we must have looked interesting to the table of regulars with there morning coffee: a young mother by herself with a toddler in McDonald's at 6 am on a Monday morning. A very sweet young girl working there saw us waiting at the counter for our food and immediately went and got a toy for my daughter and handed it to her. It was very sweet and definitely not something you would expect. We only ate about half of what I ordered but it was enough to get me going again. I called my parents to let them know what was up and get some encouragement. Also, praise the Lord, the sun came up while we were in there. With re-newed confidence we set out once more.
Around 7:30 am I found myself in Louisville, KY rush hour. It was still raining so I was driving very carefully. I tend to like the far left lane as I always go (at least) the speed limit and would rather get out of people's way then try to pass people in the slow lane. I was in the left lane when traffic started to slow a little. A car came up very fast behind me and went around me to the right before I could move out of it's way. It weaved dangerously around someone else and then tried to merge into the next lane only to collide with someone. This caused the car to spin out and come to face me in my lane. On the highway in the rain I was suddenly looking into the headlights of another car! I felt like I was watching the whole thing in slow motion. I hit the breaks and somehow had just enough room to pass the car on the left. There was a very small shoulder but there was some kind of pole that I also had to avoid. When it was all over I really felt that God had guided my car on the exact course it needed to take the avoid the one that was suddenly in my path. It was also a miracle that the car behind me did not hit me either. Once I was around it I just kept going, too rattled to do anything else.
I made it about 45 minutes and 2 or 3 hydroplanes further before the fatigue was just too much. I found the next exit and pulled off. It had a Pilot gas station with a Subway restaurant. I had every intention of parking and crawling into the passenger's seat and sleeping. My daughter was asleep in her car seat so I thought we would be alright. I called my Mom to let her know what I was doing and to ask her to call me in an hour to wake me up. I got my pillow and laid down but then my daughter woke up as she often does when the car shuts off. I was really disheartened then. I considered looking for a hotel which is what my husband had told to do if I needed to, but I was afraid that even if I did find one, it was way before check-in and my daughter most likely would not let me sleep anyways. I looked it up but the closest one was over 15 miles away so I let that idea go. I decided to get my daughter out of her seat and take us both inside. I went and sat down in the Subway and I was really not sure what to do. My body and brain were both exhausted and the steady rain was making it very hard to drive as well. I really didn't think I was going to be able to continue and I was on the verge of tears. I gave my daughter a snack and called my mom. She said that maybe I should see if my grandparent's could come and get me. I really didn't know if that was the best idea as I was still over two hours away. Plus, I didn't think either of them would be too comfortable driving in the rain. I called my Grandma to tell her what was going on and waited to see if she suggested it. She did not, as I thought, but she did pray with me. After that, I was resolved, no matter how many times I had to stop, I was going to keep going. I had to.
I scooped my daughter and all of our stuff up and went to the gas station part of the store, looking for candy. I found the most yucky sounding flavor of Mentos and bought them and headed out to the car once more. It was still difficult, but with much prayer, I finally made it to our destination. The rain never stopped but I never felt like I was falling asleep again either. Honestly, I really felt like the prayers of my family were holding me up. I'd never felt that before. When I got to my grandparent's house all of us just praised God for His goodness. It was a true faith experience for me and I praise God that He got me through it. With Him all things truly are possible!