We are convinced that these encounters on the road are not accidental but orchestrated by the Author of our faith and the One who has taken the wheel (ie Jesus take the Wheel...great song Carrie Underwood!) We have earnestly prayed for opportunities to share the Lord with people on this journey.
These are two recent stories...
In Texas: Liz, Aidan and I were out on a shopping trip and decided to stop in a little Mexican restaurant for lunch. It had five stars and despite looking like a little shack on the edge of the road, we decided the reviews don't lie so we went in.
It was the kind of cafe where you place your order at the till and they bring it to you. So we placed our order and sat down. The cashier, Christine, brought us our drinks and struck up a conversation. I shared where we were from and that we were on an extended RV adventure. She opened up and basically shared that she was a single mom of three kids, aged 15 (youngest) up to adult. The oldest has just gone off to the army and she took the job at the cafe to help keep her mind off the fact that she was missing him. Her youngest is a girl and she shared her battle with raising her. It opened up the conversation for us to share the Lord with her and we told her to stay strong, stay the course, not to give up, and that we would pray for her and her family. It felt wonderful to share the goodness of the Lord with her. We know that she is not alone and He watches over her and she had some measure of faith already (based on her response). We are very thankful for the opportunity to sow some seeds that we can continue watering with prayer.
In Alabama: Yesterday was a four state drive. We left Tennessee from one campsite headed towards our current destination, also in Tennessee. The highway took us from Tennessee, to Mississippi through Alabama, then we touched down in Georgia for a hot minute, and back into Tennessee (not necessarily in the correct order as I'm not looking at the map). I actually had to look up which state we had lunch in. Turns out it was at a Cracker Barrel in Madison, Alabama.
|These are as good as they look. Cheesecake stuffed pancakes.
|The front of the store is lined with these irresistible rocking chairs.
Our server Sharon was a lovely and hospitable lady who when she took our order, asked if she should bring out Aidan's drink with his meal. Liz and Aidan had gone to the washroom so I said "yes please! You must be a mom". Only a mom would KNOW that a kid is going to drink all the juice first and then not eat his meal.
Her reply took my breath away. She said "I had one child, a son. He was murdered when he was six years old. Drowned." Of course, I gasped, covered my mouth as you would at hearing this shocking news and then immediately told her how sorry I was. She told us he her was her only child. I'm still reeling at the hearing of her story. Part of me was mad at myself for making this flippant comment. But how could I know her story? God must have known we needed to hear it. We prayed for her after she left our table and will be continuing to do so. Such a tragic story. When she returned I said, "Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can't imagine how horrible that must have been for you. We will be praying for you." She sent us off with a God Bless You.
And with that we set off for Tennessee to our next camping spot. The cheesecake pancakes were awesome and the experience unforgettable, both for the food experience and also for hearing of this sweet lady's tragedy.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.