Monday, November 1, 2010

I Couldn't Make Her Get In...

This still sounds crazy to me, even as I'm typing it, but I feel an odd tie to this story and I wanted to share it. I hope it doesn't seem like a presentation to anyone, because it's not. It's just something that happened, and I'm still trying to figure it out. I wish this ended in a neat bow, but it doesn't.

It was cloudy and cool, a nice day to drive with the window half way down. I picked up all three of my children from their various places and had promised them a Popsicle when we arrived home. As I approached a wide intersection on the highway, a woman came into view on my left side of the road. I slowed the car, asking God out loud if He wanted me to do something. Her face looked perplexed, her walk wandering. My foot danced between the gas and the brake, trying to decide what to do. The gas won.

I drove for half a mile before feeling an overwhelming need to turn around. Keagan of course wanted to know what had gotten into me, so I told him I'd like to see if the lady needed a ride. Going the other direction now, I stopped beside her and asked if she needed a ride. She shook her head and said she was fine, but thanked me. I asked if she was sure, and she nodded. Confused about the strong urge I'd felt, I turned around again, heading back toward home.

I kept watching her in the mirror as we drifted farther from her. Suddenly a man in an orange striped shirt ran across the highway and joined her. Immediately, I wondered if this was a welcome man or not. He was not. She pushed him away and he persisted. Again, I felt a gnawing at my gut to turn around and make sure she was okay. I found another turn off and tried to explain to Keagan that we needed to check on her again. I'm sure he thought his mommy had completely lost it.

By the time we reached her again, the man had left. I rolled down the window, unsure of what on earth I was about to say to her. I knew I looked like a crazy person, but I couldn't ignore the heaviness I was feeling for her. "Are you okay?" I finally said to her. She frowned and looked at the ground. "Please, let me take you somewhere." She looked into the car, clearly questioning whether she could trust me or not. "I'm just a mom with kids, that's all," I remember saying. She nodded and said she was the same. "So, let me take you somewhere safe then," I said again. I asked where she was going, to which she replied she didn't know. I said I could take her somewhere that he wouldn't find her, but she kept scanning the highway, obviously expecting him to return any moment. "I feel like I'm supposed to take you somewhere," repeated. She kept saying the same thing: "I'm fine." I couldn't even believe I was saying it, but I pleaded with her, "You're not fine." Her eyes searched mine, and for a second I thought she would open the door and climb inside. But she didn't. She thanked me and said she wanted to walk.

Praying out loud as I turned toward home yet again, I asked what I was supposed to do. "I can't make her get in, Lord." But He was silent. As I passed her to get back onto the highway, the gnawing just wouldn't stop. I noticed a large rock in her hand and I wondered about it. I knew I'd lost my mind when I pulled over one more time to ask her to get in. (I swear, I've never done this before.) This time I actually told her that I felt like I couldn't leave her. I began asking her questions that just came out like fluid. She had a husband and a boyfriend and wasn't sure if she'd have a place to live. The rock was to smash in her boyfriend's window when he came back. I had no idea what to say...what to do. I wanted to help her and felt like someone would be in real danger. At this point, Keagan stuck his head out the window and asked if she'd get in the car. "We just love for you to ride," his precious 4 year old voice called to her. She smiled and lied, "I'm fine." Somewhere in the midst of this, I had gotten out of the car and was standing with her on a gravel driveway. (I don't even clearly remember getting out of the car.) But there I stood with her, a complete stranger whose will I couldn't break.

I couldn't make her get in.

All I could offer was a phone number and a request for her promise that if she needs a place to stay or something that she would dial the number. She promised. She shared a bit more about herself and I felt like it was time to leave her alone. She hasn't called, and I didn't really expect her to. I'm not sure what God was doing in all of that. She became smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, and I felt helpless as I asked God to keep her safe. I know He loves her, and I am trusting that He will keep her in His hand. It was the oddest thing, but I felt like I was letting go of someone I knew well, giving her to the One who cares, and cares deeply.

I drove the rest of the way home in a daze, with Keagan asking if the lady would be okay. "I hope so, baby." Once I rounded the corner to our street, I realized that I had not been nervous at all through each moment. I felt a soft, gentle peace surrounding me and my children. I want to add that I NEVER stop for anyone on the side of the road, especially if I have my children! I knew God wouldn't be prompting me toward something that would harm my children, which is the only explanation I have for the peace I felt.

I know He has a point to all things, and sometimes we can be people who point to Him. I pray that He showed Marissa a straight arrow made out of crooked sticks today.

Pray for her with me tonight.
Peace of Christ to you,


  1. I can't get this story out of my head. It was very caring of you to try over and over to help her. If she had needed the help I'm sure she would have been grateful. A friend last night was talking about something similar and said something very true "You can't fix everyones problems" But at least you tried.

  2. Oh... Cara! I know it's not your norm to stop on the side of the road. I know she didn't get it. You may never know why God gave you such and urge (and a peace) about doing it. I am thankful that you are obedient to his moving upon your heart to do so... 3 times! I've thought about this ever since Wednesday night when you shared it (didn't see when you blogged it). May God bless you for your tender heart, your compassionate heart towards others, and your willingness to be used. Love ya!