When I realized my car was losing traction, I was able to drive to the shoulder of the busy three-lane highway, slowly and carefully. Once safely on the shoulder, I tried unsuccessfully to start the motor vehicle. I felt the heat rise in my face as I silently pleaded with good ole “Lolli”, my beloved Volkswagen, to stir and wake from her slumber. I pushed my foot firmly on the gas and Lolli cried out in a loud grumble without budging an inch. What a mess, I thought. This cannot be happening on today of all days. I frantically adjusted the gearshift and tried again with no success. I looked around my car frantically trying to figure out my next best move. I tried adjusting the gearshift again. I tried second gear, yet my car did not move. I then tried putting my car in reverse, nothing. I felt like I was in a living nightmare. It was then I began to pray to God. “Please Lord, help me!”, I interlocked my hands and pleaded, “Father God please, send angels to watch over and help us.” I squeezed my interlocked hands tightly asking God over and over for help. I tried my car gears again, praying in expectation.
After trying for an hour in the car, praying, quietly crying, and hoping for a miracle; I realized my car’s transmission was dead. I threw my hands in the air in frustration. “This cannot be happening.” I said aloud. I got out of the car to stretch my legs and take a gulp of fresh air. The cold wind whipped around and ushered me back into my vehicle. “Mommy is everything okay?” my seven-year-old said groggily as she awoke from her nap. “This is awful.”, I thought. I looked at my daughter and four-year-old son’s little faces staring at me from the backseat and felt a deep pain in my spirit. “What am I going to do?”, I thought. I could tell the children were frightened. I had to say something to reassure them that we would be okay, even if I was unsure of it myself. “The car isn’t working. We will find a service station to get our car repaired. All is going to be okay guys, don’t worry,” I said in faux cheer. My seven-year-old gave me a look of horror, asking, “Do we have to walk in the cold?” I was feeling an overwhelming sense of defeat and the anxiety of the situation gripped my windpipe, making me unable to speak. I looked into my daughter’s beautiful eyes, somberly shaking my head yes. I could not believe my luck. It was the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and about 30 degrees outside. My cell phone battery was dead; and, in my haste to run errands, I forgot my phone charger at home. Without a charged cell phone, I could not call anyone for car assistance. My mind began to spin.
I could not believe I was in this predicament, and with my children in tow. Just at that moment, a huge tractor trailer zipped past us shaking our car and worsening our fear of walking along a busy highway. “Lord, help us!” I thought. It was then I realized I could not put this journey to the service station off any longer, we needed to get going before it got too dark outside. “Kids, I am sure the gas station is close, bundle up. Everything will be fine.” I said, with authority. “We are going to pray before we get out the car. God will protect us.” The three of us held hands as I prayed with all our might for God to protect us. I again, prayed for God to send angels to watch over us and provide help. “Are we going to make it home for Christmas?” my 4-year-son old asked. His large brown eyes and quivering shoulders melted my heart. To console her little brother, my seven-year-old daughter confidently stated, “We are going to make it back home in time for Christmas. God will send his angels to watch over us. Do not worry. The angels will come and help us.” My daughter’s optimism immediately improved my mood. I looked to the backseat, ensuring the children had their hats and gloves on. I stepped out the car, feeling the wind whip across my face. “Burr!” I yelped out. It felt like the temperature was dropping even further as I walked around to the backseat. I the children a warm smile and said, “Let’s go!”, opening the door to the backseat.
Just as we started down the shoulder on the highway, a police cruiser pulled up in front of us. “You look like you are having some trouble.” stated the Officer. The Officer motioned for us to sit in the car, opening the doors to the backseat. The children both cheered as we were thankful for the heat. As the Officer pulled back onto the highway, he explained that the station had received several calls stating that a woman and her children were walking on a highway, on Christmas Eve, nonetheless. The Officer said he made it a priority to see if we were okay, offering his charger. I powered up my phone and was finally able to call for car assistance. “Thank you, Lord!” I thought to myself. It was such a long and stressful day; I could not wait to get home.
We finally made it home in the tow truck, our car firmly on the flatbed. I hugged the children as we walked up the driveway. Home sweet home! As I wiggled the key in the front door, my seven-year-old looked up at me with a warm smile. “Thank you for calling the angels, Mommy. Merry Christmas!” As I ushered the children into the front door and out of the cold, I replied, “God always provides for his children, never forget that.” While many holidays have come and gone, my children and I will never forget how God sent his angels to help and protect us on that chilly Christmas Eve. #nbholidaycheer