Old Katie would have been sooooooooo freaked out.
Old Katie probably would have cried.
Old Katie would have been pretty dag on pissed (pardon Old Katie's French).
End of the week.
Totally excited get on the road to WV; to come back to Buckhannon and see my folks, my cuz, and get my Jeep worked on.
Get to the parking garage.
Jeep won't start.
The moment that I turned the key and the engine wouldn't turn over.....this was a defining moment. What would I feel? What would I do?
Looking back, I am actually quite proud of myself for the way I handled it all. Maybe that is why it worked out so perfectly.
Okay, so back to the story....
The Jeep won't start. I turn the key a couple of times, but to no avail. In that moment...I surprisingly felt peace. I didn't get upset.
I have never really had any huge issues with my vehicles before so I didn't really know what to do. Long story short (yeah right) a wonderful man from hospital security comes and tries to help me out. We try jumping the Jeep. Nada. So, he then drives me to the nearest gas station in DC rush hour traffic so I can try and see if maybe there isn't any gas in the Jeep (which by the way...I knew there was gas in it because I just drove it when me and my BFF drove it to go get some lunch....but you never know). Luckily he and I both have a sense of humor because we ended up getting gasoline all over us while trying to get the gas from the gas can and into the Jeep (not like that scene from Zoolander where they spray gasoline all over themselves...but you get the drift). Still didn't work.
So...now it's tow truck time. $4 per mile. 30 miles home. I called the guy that works on my car (Cedar Grove auto repair in Damascus, MD if anyone is looking for an awesome place to go) and he told me that if I had it towed back to his shop he would take a look at it first thing in the morning. Done. So as I am waiting for what seemed like millions of years for the tow truck I pass the time by talking to my cousin Heather. As we are talking I tell her that this whole situation seems really strange to me...in a good way....in a God way. I had just driven the Jeep a few hours before this and I have never had problems with it, so it seemed strange to me that it stopped working just as I was about to bring it home to get it worked on. Then I tell her that I know that reason I have so much peace about it is because I know in my heart that it is totally part of God's plan. I couldn't see why yet...and maybe I would never know why...but I knew it was for a reason. I told her that one of the reasons that I was coming home that weekend was to get new tires on the Jeep because the ones that are on it are so bald that I fishtailed on some wet roads in Georgetown one day and almost wrecked....totally freaked me out. So I told her that I was coming home before it started raining because I knew that my tires weren't safe on wet roads.
Then Heather says to me..."Well, I know for sure that God most definitely has a plan. He is so amazing and so good. And....who knows....maybe you were saved from a car accident, or maybe your Jeep would have broken down in the middle of nowhere, OR maybe...MAYBE.....the tow truck guy is your future husband!! You just never know, you know!? Or maybe he is super creepy and dangerous and might try and hurt you (Heather is a constant worrier...and she is totally not kidding)...and in that case...we're going to need a code word that you can text me....and I'll call the police."
So I respond, "I guess you really do never know....it would be pretty crazy if after waiting for two hours in a parking garage, smelling like gasoline, with my makeup running down my face, and one eye watering because there is something in my contact...that my future husband would drive up in his tow truck and save the day!! Why not!? That would be an interesting, yet decidedly non-romantic story to tell the grandkids. But what if he IS super creepy? It's gonna suck pretty bad to be sitting beside him in a truck all the way to Damascus. And why do we need a code word? If I'm able to text you....can't I just text you...'hey this dude is super creepy, send help'?"
To which she says..."But what if he reads your text and it makes him even madder (again...she is serious)." Knowing she is seriously worried about me I then say, "Ok. Then a code word we shall have my friend. The code word for 'hey this dude is super creepy, send help' is......um.....pickle. And if he just so happens to be my future husband and I am swept away and we are getting ready to elope, the code word is....pickled. Very similar. I know. Make sure you write that down, so that you don't get them confused and send the cops out after my future husband." And the sad thing is...I am pretty sure that we were both really serious and that if....as a joke.....I would have texted her the word 'pickle' she wouldn't have spared a second in calling the police. LOL! Ok....I am sure that the above dialouge is actually not funny at all unless you were there. Or maybe it would never be funny to anyone other than Heather and me.
Anyway...back to this riveting and fascinating story.
The tow truck guy shows up. On our ride to home, I talked with Alex...the world's kindest, most helpful tow truck driver ever. We had plenty of time to get to know eachother since he wasn't allowed to take any parkways on the way to 270 we had to take all the busy highways. He told me about how he had just moved from LA and didn't know that many people. He asked me about myself and how I ended up in DC. I even got to talk to his mom when she called to see how he was. He helped me brush up on some Espanol. He told me stories about his experiences as a tow truck driver in LA and DC. We had a great time.
What struck me half way through the drive was just how much fun this evening had actually been. Everyone had been so helpful and kind to me. The hospital security guard was so amazing. I never once felt upset or mad or worried. In fact...I had a great time getting to know everyone. While I was in the parking garage, Eva, one of the wonderful women that work with me stopped and gave me her number and told me to call her if I needed anything. SO SWEET! My wonderful brother and his wife said they would pick me up and drive me home from the repair shop. Everyone was so helpful.
As Alex and I were nearing my exit he said to me, "I just feel so bad that this happened to you this evening. I mean, you were going to go back home and see your family. I just feel awful that you had to spend your Friday night going through all of this." Immediately after he said that it started to absolutely pour the rain. At that moment I looked back at my Jeep and thought to myself..wow...if I would have been driving right now I would be in the mountains and probably in the middle of a rain storm.....with my tires they way they are (probably so bad they aren't legal) I could have easily been in an accident. So I turn back to Alex and said, "You know what, no need to be sorry for me at all. I have had a wonderful night. God has a plan. There is a reason for everything that happens. Yeah, I could have looked at this night as totally inconvenient and been mad that my grand plans had been interrupted. But for some reason, from the first turn of the key...I have been thanking God the entire time because I knew that this was all a part of His plan. I don't know if it was to save me from a wreck or for something else....but my heart tells me that this is a God thing." Alex then looks over at me and says, "Are you a Christian?" And I said, "I love Jesus!" He sat there for a moment and didn't say anything. Then he looked back at me and said, "I can tell you do. And I do too!" He then proceeded to tell me his testimony of how he came to know God. It was so amazing that I got chills. Hearing what he had been through and how much he loved Jesus just made my heart melt. On our way to the repair shop we drove by my church so I showed Alex where it was. He told me that since he is new in the area he hasn't really found a church that he feels at home at so he said that he would love to come to mine and see what it's like.
So as we parted ways that night, I knew that if for nothing else, God edified my faith by putting Alex in my path that night. Hearing about Alex's life and his faith was well worth it all to me. God showed me that if I look for Him in every situation...I will find Him. I am sure that lots of people would look at Alex..covered with tattoos and lookin' rough and assume that he is bad news...but as soon as he opened the door to the truck, I knew in my spirit that there was something very special about him. After a few minutes of talking to him....even though he hadn't mentioned God at all...I knew that he knew Him. I can't explain how I knew...but I just did. When God's spirit lives in you...no matter what you look like or what you do....His heart and joy pour out of you. I honestly don't care if my Jeep ever starts again because I have complete and total faith that all things are for the greater good of God's plan. God has a plan for my life. Plans to prosper and not to harm. I could have missed out on a totally amazing experience if I had been pouty and self-centered that night. But because I rested in the knowledge that God is good....I met an amazing friend and got to see that there are so many wonderful, helpful people all around me. Thank you God! : )