Lent, Day 12: The day I called 9-1-1 about my car.

Do you know one of those people who have stories and at the end of them, someone kind of laughs and says “that WOULD happen to you, of all people.“? I am one of those people. Here’s a new tale for you.

This week I will be in San Francisco with my favorite people in the world. I was going to leave Friday, but decided to stick around and see this…


and then yesterday had been invited to Roland’s 80th birthday party, and stayed for that. Which I’m so glad I did, but I’ll write about that later.


I was driving on I-5, listening to Legally Blonde the Musical and pretending like I could hit half of those notes when this big ugly light came on. My battery light. I gave it a few minutes before I called my dad.

Long story short, I was talking to my dad about what to do when the lights inside of my car started growing dim. I quickly pulled over to the side of the freeway and my car stopped. I’d like to pretend like my reaction was “oh weird,” but I’d be lying if I didn’t fess up to “WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I DO???” while crying on the phone.

You see, I didn’t really know where I was… just that I was a few hours away from Covina and that I hadn’t hit Bakersfield yet. and it was getting dark.

So you know what I did? I did what any reasonable, calm person would do. I called 9-1-1. The lady was really nice, didn’t think I was a weirdo at all. She put me in touch with highway patrol, who didn’t laugh at my attempt at humor when she asked the color of my car. but she did call a tow truck for me and told me she’d make sure officers knew I was there. Which was great, because yesterday morning Aleen and Hannah and I had a big discussion about what we would do if we were ever attacked. My response was: DNA. Collect it & leave it. So I kept thinking about that, preparing for the worst.


It was getting cold in my car and I was wearing a skirt and realized that I had pajamas in my suitcase which I’d decided to put in the backseat instead of the trunk. But when I went to reach for my suitcase, I realized that I had a pair of cozy pink sweat pants sitting on the passenger seat. I even had a pair of slippers!

The police officer came and I sent him away because I am kind of intimidated by police officers.. they like to give me tickets and pull me over and I’d just prefer he was not there.

I got in touch with Nancy in Bakersfield who said I could stay with them and that she’d pick me up wherever they dropped my car off.

My car got towed safely, last night I stayed up talking to Katie until my eyes couldn’t handle it, and this morning I woke up and got to play with Spencer.


Right now I am across the street from Pep Boys, in a McDonalds, enjoying free wifi and pretending to enjoy a latte and wondering why I didn’t notice the giant sign for oatmeal before I ordered.

The car will be ready soon, and I will be back en route to Camp Redwood Glen, a place I rarely drive to without collecting some weird story.

Last night I made a pretty big decision. I’ve had my Bible for almost ten years, and I’ve only highlighted one verse. 2 Corinthians 12:9. But I’m going to highlight those words Eli spoke when presented with consequences. “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.” I prayed that last night a few times, telling God that whatever happened when that annoying light went off, be it a weird fluke or something major, that I would trust Him, that I would try to understand that what he chooses to allow to happen to me is not out of apathy or torture, but that he holds all understanding and truth and that I would submit myself to him.

That verse, in the past week and a half or so, has changed and shaped me more than anything I can remember in awhile. It’s redefining how I view God, how I look at the world, how I am responding to God. I wish I could squeeze you all inside of my heart and let you sit there and understand, but instead I will just hope you maybe get it.

My car was right. I’m about to go pay for my new battery and my new alternator and then I will properly get on the road to see a bunch of people I love, a bunch of people who will laugh at my misfortune with me and will be happy I made it there safely, and whose love and joy will overshadow this entire ordeal. Because that’s just how it works. Joy comes in the morning with 2 cinnamon rolls, 2-year-old Spencer, coffee, and adventure. Joy comes in the Lord doing what is good in his eyes and all of us trusting it.