I have fully recovered from my trip to West Virginia this weekend! What at trip! The night before was fitful due to little boys who kept checking to "see if mommy was still here", a husband who sat up in bed and said, "so that's why they weren't in church Wednesday night", and a dream that I turned my alarm clock off. At 4:00 I thought, "fiddle....might as well get on the road." The sluggishness didn't allow me to get anything done very fast so I didn't pull out until 5:20. It was a wonderful trip down! Ruby kept saying what a sacrifice it was for me to come all that way. I told her, "Ruby, I can't remember the last time that I was able to sit somewhere for 11 hours in total quietness, no work to be accomplished, no one waiting on me to do something for them, just time to relax, reflect and pray!" What a privilege. But let me say right here: this trip would not have been possible without my husband! He cared for the boys and when I arrived home the house was organized, picked up, dishes done, etc. What a wonderful man I married! But I digress....
As I traveled I realized the car was not sounding right and I prayed that God would keep the thing in one piece until I arrived home. When I pulled into Bill and Ruby's Drive a little after 11:00 something was thumping in the back part of my car (at the same time I lost certain functions...like power locks)and the thought crossed my mind that this thing might not ever start again. I shoved that to the back of my mind and told God that was up to him. I then greeted Ruby....my how good it was to see her! The last I saw the both of them was at my wedding eight years ago.
Bill of course is battling lung and bone cancer. I was shocked when I saw him. Typically someone who laughs a lot, spry, on the go Bill was just a shadow. When I hugged him there was just nothing there. At one point he was down to 97lbs and I don't think he's gained much since then.
Most of what happened are things that are so personal I'm not going to share. But I will say, God did open a wonderful opportunity for me to ask Bill if he's ready to meet God. He answered in the negative but also said that there's nothing he knows of between he and God. I have my own analysis of what is happening but was encouraged that he says he wants to go to heaven and hopes that he does. I shared with him from Scripture the good news that we can know for sure. The talk was very positive from my standpoint and my prayers is 1. If there's nothing between he and God that God will give him assurance of salvation and help him to rest on God's promises 2. If there is something that needs to be confessed and forsaken that God would also make that very clear to him. By the time we finished talking and praying he needed to rest so I talked with Ruby and caught up on the past eight years.
Due to some traveling sickness and other complications we weren't able to go out for crab legs as we had planned (an old tradition) but Ruby sent plenty of snacks for me to munch on as I traveled. After saying some very hard goodbyes, I hit the road about 5:30. When I started the car it was very evident that something was very, very wrong with the car but since it was on, I kept moving! When I stopped for gas at 8:30 I realized after looking under the car that my muffler had rusted off in such a way that it was just hanging (hence the thumping noise) there but try as I might that thing would not come off and I had no tools to take it off. God kept his hand on me and I arrived home 10 minutes before midnight. I would have been home sooner but in talking to my mom I missed 71 south at Columbus and so took 270 the entire way around Columbus which added an hour onto my time. I was able to stay awake but slept through the next morning and took a long afternoon nap!
It was a wonderful trip in many ways: seeing old friends, being able to share God's word and His plan for the redemption of man (which bears repeating even if you do have a personal relationship with God), the hours I was able to spend in fellowship with God over the miles.
God answered prayer in so many ways and I'm very grateful for every blessing!