Working the weekend at the marvelous West Coast Christian Writers Conference in Pleasanton, California, topped off weeks of preparation for my role as the Critique & Coaching Director. I’d suffered a recent, personal loss & God gave me this task to keep me busy & affirm me going forward. Organizing appointments & interacting with both faculty & the attending writers were activities I enjoyed. (Loved.) So I put my heart into performing the job well & found myself rewarded at every turn. God knew this writer needed a win & it was a huge one. I left on Saturday night uplifted beyond expectation.
I was joyful! And exhausted. So weary, in fact, I worried about falling asleep on the drive home. Adding to my concern was a little matter of massive flooding on Interstate 5 – my usual route. Several times I’d received news of two-to-five-hour waits on the freeway and single lines of cars led to safety by police. Was it foolish to risk getting stuck out on the road? Alone? Should I stay another night? Probably wise.
But I so wanted to go home. I’d made a date with my pillow & longed to keep my end of the bargain.
Trying not to fret, I determined to check for traffic conditions once in Vacaville. If reports still sounded negative, I’d grab a motel rather than venture out. An hour later, I pulled into a gas station in Cordelia Junction. Better fill my CRV’s tank. What if I became a fixture on the freeway for hours? With hungry engine idling?
I’d sent up several prayers for protection & for guidance as I drove, the evening darkening, rain threatening. More nervous with each passing minute, my hand shook as I aimed the nozzle into my vehicle’s gas tank opening. Once the fuel flowed, I gazed toward the bright blue car parked on the other side of the pump.
The gal in the front seat sure reminded me of my friend, Becky, from church. Maybe feeling my stare, she turned toward me & her big eyes opened wider. I’m sure mine did, too. It was Becky!
No, it was Christmas. Or felt like it, seeing my friend open her car door and rush over to me, laughing. We hugged, amazed to see one another. What were the chances? In fact, Becky told me they’d just decided at the last minute to top off their cars before going on. As I waved to her daughter Sarah, sitting in the passenger seat, husband Jeff appeared. He asked if I was on my way home. When I said yes, he warned me not to take Interstate 5. Instead, he recommended opting for Hwy 99, the old highway. A safe, dry route.
What a relief to have a plan. Jeff explained how to get on the right road by choosing a certain Sacramento exit. After explaining it to me a couple times, Becky intervened. “We have two cars. Why don’t you follow me? Jeff will stay behind you and we’ll just shepherd you all the way home!”
I almost cried. God’s provision was so sweet. Plus, Becky used the word shepherd. A perfect word. I pictured Jesus, the Good Shepherd, carrying one of His lambs protectively close. Near His heart.
With Becky & Sarah in the lead car, Jeff’s vehicle guarding from the back & me in the middle, we set out. Caravanning through myriad small towns, all dressed up in nightlights, we trekked along Hwy 99. Once, our vehicles sent off sprays when we splashed through a short strip of water. But it seemed good fun, like a child playing in a puddle after the rain. None of the flood trauma I’d envisioned.
Throughout the weekend & all the way home, the Lord carried me above my sadness. Gifting me through His people & through the work itself. Later, secure in my comfy CRV, I wore an unabashed grin at the beauty of God’s kindness as dear friends guided me home. My time had been blessed from the moment I was offered the assignment to the last mile driven, shepherded between His own.
Why do I ever worry? His Word promises He will care for me. And again, my experience agrees. Maybe it’s a simple cliché, but whatever the problem…God’s got this!
He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11 (NLT)
18 responses to “God’s Got This!”
Although you shared this story with me, I cried when I read this post. Tears stung my eyes, but I smiled. Because I know. I know the pain. I know the feeling of being alone, of needing to be shepherded through the darkness. Thank you for being a beautiful light of encouragement in my life, Cathy. And thanks for sharing your stories, your heart for Jesus, and your love for people. I look forward to seeing what our Good Shepherd has in store for us as we continue to move forward with hearts filled with praise and confidence fueled by trust in the One and Only who is the same yesterday and today and forever. Yes, Sister. He has this . . . and He has us tucked in His mighty and merciful embrace. I love you and am praying for you.
Oh, thank you, Xochi, for your tender reply. I appreciate it so much! And thank you for your prayers, too. Always kind, always compassionate. That’s you, lady. 😉 May God bless you for it. 💜
Just what I needed… encouragement that the Lord has us in the palm of His hand! You have shared a delightful account of His tender love and provision…thank you!
You are most welcome. Hard NOT to share such a lovely account, no? Thanks so much.
When you initially shared this story, it really hit me how much the God and Creator of the Universe really does love each of us – His kids. And takes care of us however we need. I love it when we get to see Him intersect in our lives – in big and small ways. It is such a privilege to experience that tender, gentle care. I love your post, Cathy! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Eileen, for the encouragement. It is something how He responds to each individual need as if it was all He cared about. You, my friend, were a key part of His provision that weekend…before the trip! Thank you for all you did to make our endeavor a success.
Just read your story and I like it a lot! Of course you know I don’t agree with the ‘credit’ part, but I did like your story. Is that what you’d call ‘divine intervention?’ I’d just credit myself with making it on my own, with or without help. [ð] Funny. We’re so different and yet so alike…
Donna, thank you for reading my blog & leaving such a nice comment.
I loved this story. That is the same God I know. He always shows up! Our job is to recognize and praise. We are the witnesses and what a blessing to be called by such a loving father. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Katie. You said it all so well. Nothing to add except, thank YOU for reading & commenting. I appreciate it so much.
I’m so sorry for the loss you’ve experienced. It was sure a blessing to read your post today. You helped arrange my meeting with Judi Braddy at the conference. I love how God shepherds us when we need it. I was scared to schedule a meeting and you were like the shepherd for me. I was so encouraged by her! Your post really spoke to me because one of my biggest fears is driving on freeways during road conditions like you experienced and not really knowing where I’m going. I just love how God placed people in your path to lead you home. How sweet that God loves us through fellow believers!
Valerie, thank you for your kind words! Truly, it was a privilege to set you up with Judi Braddy. I’m so glad your appointment went well, though I’m not surprised. At. All. Isn’t she lovely?
I so agree about how God loves us through fellow believers. I consider myself not even a hangnail on the extended, loving Hand of God, but hey. He uses all of us! Even a wee hangnail. Thanks again for your comments. I’m uplifted by them & by you, today.
Wow! Cathy, what a wonderful story about always keeping faithful in times of distress. God has a great plan when we need him most. Blessings to you Cathy.
He DOES! Well said, Joe. Thank you for the wise comment.
We all need this amazing reminder of the God/Father/lover of ours souls who watches out for us. Thank you for a sharing that brought tears to my eyes!!!
Ah…He touches us all with kindnesses like mine. Thank you for reading my blog & for the sweet comment, Normajean.
God is so good. Thank you for sharing this.
He IS good. All of the time, right Nancy? 🙂 Thanks for reading it! And commenting. I appreciate it.