Chloë and I have spent the last week and a half moving her and all her stuff from Boise to Columbia. It’s been a crazy, emotional, and exciting time for both of us. We left Boise after an amazing going away party Chloe’s oldest sister threw for her. It was fun to laugh and eat and play games with her family, especially since we both knew it would be a while before we’d see them again.
We left early Saturday morning, and by early I mean 4am! We did our usual (we’ve made this leg of the trip more than 5 times) 18 hour trek to Omaha to crash at my parents. We had breakfast with them, which was so great for me because I hadn’t seen them since Christmas, then we hit the road again driving another 18 hours to Columbia.
The way we went from Omaha to Columbia was different than any other time we’ve made that drive. We decided to go south into Kansas City and make our way through St. Louis, Nashville, Knoxville, Asheville, and down into Columbia. I think we both enjoyed being able to see new things and new places. And 4am Monday morning we made it to our destination!
Driving across the country isn’t new for us, as some of you might know. This was actually the third time we’d done it together and my fourth time. But this time was different. Each time holds a new adventure, excitement about what’s to come, and anticipation for God to do something awesome. And this time it still had all that, but there was more.
We got to see God’s protection and provision like never before. Before the trip even started we both had a little more money in our bank accounts than we realized. Now this could be a calculating error or it could be Jesus providing for us knowing we’d be eating too many meals on the road and have to spend hundreds of dollars on gas.
As we were driving we got to see more of His creation, like armadillos, which are super creepy looking, and fireflies. I grew up catching fireflies, or lightning bugs, but this was a whole new experience for Chloë! We were stuck in traffic at dusk, just outside of Nashville, and all the sudden we could see little lights turning on then off and I realized they were lightning bugs. To say Chloë was excited is an understatement! It was childlike faith and wonder happening right before me and it was awesome.
The biggest way we saw God, which we didn’t know until later, was through His protection. We got into Nashville around dinner time so we stopped and got something to eat and switched who was driving and got back on the road. It took longer than we wanted to get the food, but there wasn’t anything we could do about that. As we started to drive down the road it was not long before we hit bumper to bumper traffic. It was Sunday evening so we were a little confused, but slowly we got to the reason, a pretty bad accident involving a semi truck. In that moment I realized maybe our food took a little longer to protect us from what happened there.
Not long after that, we were cruising again, and the low tire pressure gauge lit up. We knew we were going to stop again in Knoxville so we waited until then to check the tires. Once we did, none of them seemed super low, but Chloë did notice that the back driver side tire was a little low. We were going to put air in it, but it only took quarters and who carries cash on them these days? So we left it alone and drove the rest of the way to Columbia.
We were maybe 30-45 minutes from home and the car started to be wavy, like it was windy out. We didn’t think too much of it, especially since it was 3am and we just wanted to get out of the car. We made it to our exit and as we got off the tire was making a really weird sound. We were confused, but knew the house was just a short ways up the road. We pulled into the driveway and I got out to look and it was completely flat! We couldn’t believe it, but knew right in that moment that God had protected us. He knew that we wouldn’t have any clue what to do if we got stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere! So He made sure we made it to our destination before it was completely flat. We were both in shock and awe about it all. And the next day when we went to get it fixed it ended up being less than $80 to replace the tire and get a lifetime warranty for all of the tires on Chloë’s car!
Sometimes seeing things like that can come across as over spiritual or like we’re trying to fit God into what’s going on. But I know that it was Him protecting us. It’s hard to see how He works in the stuff that frustrates us or costs us money or just doesn’t make sense, but He’s in all of that! Through this I am learning to look at things through the perspective of His hand at work and not Him just not showing up. It’s not always easy, but I believe it’ll bring more depth to our relationships with Him!