Last August, I was visiting my in-laws, about half an hour away from home and, just as I was thinking of leaving, there was a huge thunderstorm! It rained hard for about an hour then brightened up. I was debating which route to take home as it was now the rush hour. I knew one route tended to flood somewhat when water drained off the hilly field alongside, but it was a main road which would be quicker and I reasoned that as it had only rained for an hour it would be fine…
Oh, how wrong I was! As I rounded a bend, all I could see was a queue of traffic and what looked like a turbulent, dark grey river across the entire carriageway, which stretched forward for some considerable distance! We crept along, but the more shallow side favoured the oncoming traffic which, very ungraciously, refused to give way! The camber on the road is quite steep, so I knew the other side of the road (our side) would be under much more water. Every now and then a car from our direction managed to get through, but the gap between the waiting vehicles was closing, so that it became impossible to turn round and go back the way we’d come.
When an opportunity came for the car in front of me to go through, the next oncoming car sped up to block the gap. The driver was clearly not prepared to give an inch, so the car before me, and myself following close behind, had to move into the middle of the carriageway. As the car in front ploughed through to the other end of the flood, a large oncoming van then pulled out, face to face with me (already in way deeper than I wanted to be!) and was giving me no choice but to move over even further into the really deep part – just because he had a large vehicle and he could bully me to move! It was an absolute free for all!
I have driven through quite substantial floods in the past without trouble, but I was now really out of my depth (pun intended!) I prayed out loud and struggled on, but my battery light came on and my engine died…
Strangely, at this point, all my stress and anxiety just evaporated and I felt a strange sense of calmness and inevitability. A real sense of peace actually. The worst I could imagine had happened and I could do nothing to prevent it. I rang home to report my predicament and then rang the fire service for help. I sat in my car as the foot-well slowly filled with cold, dirty water and waited to be rescued. As buses and large vehicles confidently powered through the deep water, waves slapped up against the side of my car and pushed me closer to the opposite verge. It was like being helplessly adrift in a rowing boat and not a pleasant experience!
My rescuers were wonderful. They didn’t laugh at all but were sympathetic and eventually pushed me out as they couldn’t connect to the towing eye which was well underwater. I rang for a breakdown truck and waited. I was beginning to feel cold and shocked. Eventually a nice man turned up and winched my car up onto his truck, as what looked like half a lake poured out of the vehicle.
The next day my poor car was officially declared a write-off and I was devastated. That vehicle had been my private place of prayer and worship, and somewhere to be on my own and think as I drove. It was also my sole means of transport to go visit and help the people I supported, as public transport links are poor where I live.
My husband started looking for a similar car online for me. I didn’t have a lot to spend on one and had no idea how much I would get back through the insurance on my 15 year old/95,000 mile vehicle. Surprisingly, he found a car quite quickly, at a dealer less than an hour’s drive away. It was exactly the same make, year and model, but with only 32,000 miles on the clock! It was within budget – and even the first half of the number plate was the same! How ridiculously amazing was that?! I rang the garage, we went to check it out and I bought it! We agreed that God does indeed have a great sense of humour as he fathers us!
Also, the insurance payout yielded exactly twice as much as I’d figured I might get – a double portion you might say! In spite of my sudden and shocking loss, I felt very blessed, loved and provided for by Father God. And had I not had this situation happen to me, I might not have appreciated the exceptional love and care that he provides for me every day!
But why am I telling you all this…?
Because two months later, when my husband was lying unresponsive on the floor, with me desperately performing CPR and calling him to come back to me as I waited for the paramedics to arrive, a thought flashed through my mind. In an instant, I knew that he was going to die and I could do nothing to save him, but the Lord was telling me it would be ok and to let go.
As I heard the ambulance pull up and the clatter of doors, and voices outside, I laid down beside that dear man one last time and felt the warmth of his body next to mine. It was only for a handful of seconds, but in that moment I surrendered the love of my life into the Lord’s eternally loving care and let him go.
I remembered the peace I felt when my battle through the flood was over and I knew I’d lost my car. I felt that the Lord had allowed this to happen so I was prepared for this much greater loss and ready to look to him for comfort and provision, which he is always willing and able to provide in the most unexpected and miraculous ways.
I’m not going to say it’s been easy. It hasn’t, but I am blessed. And my husband was blessed to leave this world suddenly, without pain or suffering. In spite of my shock, it’s what I would have chosen for him had I been given the choice. I mourn my loss, and my sons’ loss of their dad when they are only young men themselves, but I rejoice that he is with Jesus and will know only perfect peace, perfect joy and perfect love for the rest of eternity. ❤
If you know Jesus, you are never alone, never abandoned, always loved unconditionally and with a passion. The Lord has been, and remains, my Rock! I hope and pray that if you are going through something really difficult right now, he is your Rock too! His love never fails.