I’ve heard Kris Vallotton say, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”
The plan was set! I grew more and more excited as the minutes ticked by. There was the threat of a winter storm making our plan a bit iffy. The morning proved we did have added snow coverage, but not enough to interfere with the plan. My car trunk was packed to the gills and so was the back seat.
I gave him a kiss and hopped into the car. “Thanks Babe for loading all this stuff. You really are my forerunner.”
“Have a great time! See you when you get back.” He waved as I drove away.
Man, I really love my guy!
As I pulled into Jeanne’s driveway, I noticed all the snow was cleared. Hmm? She told me she needed a bit of extra time to clear her drive. It really looks good. She’s been a busy beaver.
We loaded Jeanne’s things in my already full car. I had that “an adventure’s about to begin” feeling. I backed out of the beautifully cleared driveway. We hadn’t even gone two houses when she said, “That’s my neighbor Bill who came over with his snowblower this morning to finish clearing my driveway. He’s so good to me.”
Oh, it makes sense now. She had a neighbor’s help. I’m so glad. It was a lot to shovel.
I looked to the left and saw Bill. He pushed his big orange snowblower proudly out in front of him. His heavy black coat stood out against the all white winter backdrop. Black earmuffs protected his ears either from the cold or the noise, I’m not sure which. He approached the end of the drive.
I lowered my window and hollered, “Thanks Bill for clearing the snow! Have a good day!” I raised my chin up and smiled. I wasn’t sure he heard me above the hum of the snowblower.
“Yikes! It’s so cold.” I squeeled.
Surprised by the cold’s forceful tumble in my warm car, I desperately wanted to put my window up to protect myself from the elements. I reached for the button to power the window up. Then, there was a clunk sound and an noise after it. It was an ineffective hum. I sat frozen for a moment, frozen in time. Crud!
“Jeanne, I can’t get the window back up.” I admitted as she sat in the passengers seat unaware.
“What?” She replied.
“Seriously! I can’t get it to go back up. And it’s freezing!”
We just sat in the middle of the street. I tried to push the button but it still wouldn’t work. I tried various other things too. Nothing worked.
I called my husband. He had a few suggestions and a question. I tried them immediately. He’d already been so helpful to load my car, but one question he asked during our brief conversation ticked me off.
“Did you really have to roll down the window? You couldn’t just wave and smile at the neighbor?” He asked.
How is that question helpful? Why are you shaming me? Yes, I MEANT to lower the window. It was intentional so I could say, “THANK YOU!”
I didn’t truly hang up on him. I just said. “Okay. Bye!” I knew he was in a hard position as he was half way to work. BUT I was in a pickle of a situation too. His hands were tied.
BUT my front driver’s side window had sunk to the bottom of the driver’s door and was not coming up at all. I was not too happy about it. (First world problems, I know.) But adversity introduces a man to himself. Rachel, Don’t loose your joy! You’ll figure something out. God knows all about your weekend and every need.
Wow! Oh, how the imagination runs wild.I pictured traveling 90 minutes in the frigid temperatures with wind-blown hair and icicles hanging from our nose hairs. Next, I could see a good thing happening. I envisioned us getting the window up. YAY! Only to have it fall back down again during the drive. BOO- HISS! I could also see the forecasted snow we were supposed to get on Sunday all coming in my open window. As it sat abandoned in the parking lot for the weekend I pictured a foot of snow on my seat.
Neither Jeanne nor I are incredibly automotive savvy. “We can’t stay here in the middle of the road. Just back up.” She instructed. “Rachel, We can take my car if we need to.”
We both waved at Bill, like goofballs and drove back to Jeanne’s driveway. I did NOT want to unpack all of the stuff we had just packed. (Although Michael loaded most of it.) There was SO much!
I suggested we try to get the window up by reaching into the door and pulling it up. We tried with our fingers. Index and thumb weren’t small or strong enough to hang on. I couldn’t keep a good enough grasp. My hands were so cold and stiff.
“Do you have a set of piliers or something?” I inquired.
“I’ll see what I’ve got inside.” Jeanne said as she walked away.
When she went in, I called Michael back. I knew I needed to.”Babe, I know you are on your way to work and I’m sorry. I was short with you, but your question didn’t feel helpful.
“I know.” he said. He too apologized.
Jeanne emerged with some sort of tool that was too flimsy for the job. I suggested a piece of rubber to hold the grip.
“You know like what you use when trying to remove a lid from a glass jar?” She had a rubber piece and we tried it next, but it didn’t do the job..
Jeanne also handed me a small red bag clip. The kind you seal a package of potato chips with. It was way too flimsy and was plastic. Why did she give me this? What in the world good will this baby do? I’ll give it a try I decided. As Jeanne walked back inside to find something, I broke the bag clip in two seconds flat.
I just stood there. I had a busted window, a broken bag clip and no way to get the window up. We did some jockeying of position with cars. She pulled her car out of the garage and I drove mine in. Next, we unloaded ALL of the items I had in my trunk and transfered them into her car:
- hanging bags
- Baskets of T’shirts
- Luggage of product and jewelry.
It was quite an ordeal. But we did it! Adversity introduces a man to himself. I kept thinking. Plan B wasn’t really that bad. It truly all worked out. We had overcome adversity and we didn’t allow it to rob our joy.
The rest of the morning and afternoon was smooth and went according to plan. Actually, it went better than planned because God had His hand on the plans. He planned good things for the weekend and for all the women in attendance including Jeanne and me!
PLan B included:
- Fantastic weather with sunny skies
- Everything fit into Jeanne’s vehicle
- No problem with directions- until the very end. No biggy!
- Loaded everything in the conference center early
- A beautiful restaurant available without leaving the resort
- Salads and butternut squash soup
- The waiters undivided attention because it was so early and not busy
I love this story, Rachel! It is so easy to let ‘incidents’ like that rob us of our joy, but when we persevere & pray (& even apologize when need be, yahoo for you!) GOD Blesses us!
Loved experiencing God’s plan B together.
Such a blessing and bonus new friends from the retreat! God ALWAYS knows what he’s doing!!!!
I sure liked having you with me at the retreat you were a huge blessing to me and a joy to all you encountered.