July 4th - driving to Laguna Beach. We girls woke up at 7:30 to make it to the beach by 10 & have the whole day to enjoy the water, beach, and watch the fireworks; we took two cars since Alexa had to work the following morning and planned to leave earlier to make her shift. We were ecstatic to escape the desert heat and watch the stars explode over the water, and left in high spirits.
9:46 • Alexa and I heard a “POP” in her car; we pulled over off the freeway since her car was just in the shop two weeks ago, and checked it out. No sign of anything wrong; we pulled cautiously off the road, and everything felt and sounded fine, so we carried on.
10:02 • Grace-Hope calls us from my mum’s car. “We have a flat tire.” After calling AAA (God bless those people) and meeting up with them, Jorge the tire-fixer, announced there was no hole in mum’s tire, just that it was a “bad tire.” It perplexed even him that it wasn’t leaking from any apparent spot, just wouldn’t hold air. The crazy thing? She had just had her tires checked and rotated the day before. He put on the spare, instructed us to a Sam’s Club, and sent us on our merry way. We were grateful that they were even open, and that the wait wasn’t too long.
Apparently there was an earthquake, which Alexa and I had wondered, between the first escapade & the second. It had been the largest shake in 20 years in CA, and we were thankful as we prayed over our car and our trip in the little parking lot where my mum and the girls had pulled over, I was confident there was something we were being saved from & toward.
12:07 • Alexa and I took Grace-Hope in our car to get gasoline at Sam’s Club while mum and Aunty Eunice checked mum’s car in to get the tire changed. Bryan, the mechanic, was the kindest soul, and helped them calm down. We were waiting in the gas line when Alexa and I heard the second POP; suddenly her steering was completely mangled, and the car was resting on three wheels. Alexa lost it; I jumped out; Grace-Hope shrunk down in her seat.
For the second time we called AAA. A flatbed tow-truck was sent out as we called my mum from where we were, and tried to explain to my dad over the phone what had occurred *this* time (pretty sure at this point he was relieved he had skipped out on our day trip). They decided there was nothing to do but have the car towed home (thankfully we had just enough miles to get us home). As Gabriel and Marcus assisted us with the car and we loaded everything from car no. 1 that had ended up in car no. 2 into grocery carts, we couldn’t help but laugh at the irony.
And then the two men told us, “if you two were on the freeway or even a remotely busy road, you two would have been killed, and probably others too.” And that’s when I knew. My mouth dropped open a little bit as I thought back to Alexandrea’s and my prayer that morning. “Put us in the right place at the right time.” I looked at my mum. “So that’s why you had a flat tire.” She looked at me a moment. And then she got it, too.
3:20 • We arrived to our original destination. Much later than we had planned, but beyond grateful for the grace shown and realized earlier. Just because something seemed coincidental, doesn’t mean it is. Having Jesus reveal His specific reasoning to us for an unexpected, unreasonable flat tire was actually an honor and a sign that we’re meant to be here. And for that, we’re truly thankful.