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As I drove down the street after my Toastmasters meeting, I immediately noticed my car pulling to the right. And then I heard the thump, thump, thump and I knew I HAD A FLAT TIRE.  I turned my car around and went back to the Nursing Home facility where the meeting was held.  I explained the situation to the receptionist and asked to use the phone to call AAA.  I was quite surprised with the wait time – 4 hours.  I was still on the phone with AAA when my friend Gina, a fellow toastmaster was at my side asking, “How can I help you, Pat?”  She offered to drive me home so I didn’t have to wait 4 hours and bring me back in the morning before going to work to get my car and call AAA again.

I gladly accepted her offer and felt so grateful that I didn’t have to stand around for 4 hours. I told her I would call her in the morning if I needed her to bring me back (which was way out of her way.) When I got into her car, I thanked God for His protection – that I was safe and wasn’t on the highway which could have been a disaster.  I believe that everything happens for a reason and I trusted that God was in the mix. By the grace of God, I focused on what was working: my car was in a safe place, I had a ride home and I wasn’t on the highway alone and stranded.

I called my son and daughter in the morning to ask for a ride back to my car. My daughter was out of town and my son was working. I called another friend, but got her answering service.  “Well God, I trust you will work this out in your time and your way.” With that, the phone rang, “Pat, do you need a ride to get your car? I would be glad to pick you up before I go to work.” asked Gina. “Thank you God for taking care of me and putting it on Gina’s heart to call me and offer me a ride.”   

Gina dropped me off at the facility and I promptly called AAA.  This time it was a 2 hour wait. ”It’s getting better,” I thought to myself. The receptionist was so kind when she heard my dilemma and showed me where I could get some tea.  “Is there a place where I could sit and wait,” I asked. “Of course, follow me.” She escorted me to a beautiful sitting room surrounded with big windows looking out onto the courtyard with bird feeders everywhere.  There were all kinds of flowering plants, a fireplace and a waterfall. 

Again, I was grateful for the lovely surroundings and the peace in my heart. In the past, I might have complained that I was wasting time and not getting things done.  I focused on the present moment and the gifts that were available to me.

As I sat on the comfy chair in front of the fireplace, feeling relaxed and enjoying the moment, Ellie sat down on the chair across from me. We smiled at one another and immediately started to chat. There was a peaceful presence around her that I felt drawn to. “How long have you been here?” I asked.  She smiled and responded, “five days.” I was amazed at her positive attitude and how grateful she was. She was actually having fun in a nursing home and spreading cheer to the other patients.

I grabbed a tote bag before I left the house that had one copy of my book in it.  Loud and clear I heard God say “Give her your book.” I have learned to pay attention to that voice. “Okay, God, I will give her my book.”  She smiled when I gave her my book and said “I am also a woman of faith.” As she left to go to lunch, she smiled and said, “You made my day.”  Actually, she made my day! The message for me was to have fun and keep a positive attitude – wherever you find yourself.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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