Traumatic Experiences 1 and 2 - September 2011

"Trust in he Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3: 5,6)

 Whatever difficulties you may face in life, you can be assured that God loves you unconditionally and longs to have a personal love relationship with you through His Son, Jesus.

You just might think, from reading my monthly "Happenings," that nothing "bad" ever happens to me.  Yes, they do. I am thinking of four very traumatic incidences in this past year.

The first one happened in Palacios, Texas on Wednesday afternoon of October 20, 2010.
My sister Cora and I were attending a retreat at the Southern Baptist Encampment that week. We would travel from our cabin to the cafeteria, to the study classes and recreation hall, and lock our purses in my car, so we wouldn't have to keep up with them. I kept the car keys in my pocket.  After lunch, we left our cabin to go to the classrooms. Upon arriving at the fellowship hall, Cora said, "I'm not sure which class I want to be in, and I left my program in the cabin."

I said, "I have mine here." It was among a stack of papers between us in the front seat. I flipped through them, gave her the list, and we discussed the one we wanted to attend. I had already decided, and she agreed with my choice. We were parked across the driveway right in front of the assembly building. As soon as we got out of my car, and I slammed the door shut, I screamed, "NOooooooooo!  I laid my keys on the seat of the car while looking at the programs!"
I was devastated! I felt terribly helpless…never so stranded. Teary-eyed, I spoke:
 "What can I do? Who can I call? Everyone here is from other cities. Even Sam, the camp director, lives just a few blocks from my home in Houston. Would small town Palacios have a locksmith?  Would one have to come from a larger city? Could they come today?  Sam and our morning speaker left to have lunch in another town.  I don't know when he'll return. Maybe Allstate could tell me what to do. I have car insurance with them.  There may be hundreds of offices in Houston, and I don't know which one takes care of my insurance or even my agent's name.  It's all in my purse…with my cell phone! Premiums are sent in a self-addressed envelope to Dallas. The last time my car broke down and I needed a wrecker was on a night in May of 2000 when returning home at 10 o'clock at night from a birthday party across town (story in "Happenings" June, 2000).  I just don't know what to do.  We can only wait for Sam's return."

Wearily, we walked across the driveway to the assembly building.  A group of men were hanging around the door waiting for the classes to begin.  I said to one of them,
 "I just did the dumbest thing:  I locked my keys in my car. Sam is gone, and I don't know what to do."  We all walked inside, and I heard the man ask, "Does anyone have a coat hanger?"
 I wondered why he didn't ask which car was mine. Then I thought, "All the men know the big 1992 Cadillac Brougham belongs to me. It's a "Man Thing!"

After class, Cora and I joined a group of ladies playing a card game. I don't remember the name of it, but it was a fun game. In fact, I don't remember much about the lesson either; and Sam was still out. I would guess about two hours passed when the man came to me and said,
"We got your car door open but we don't know how to turn off the alarm!"  I jumped up from my chair, and said, "I'm Tillie. Could I give you a hug?"  Yes…his name was Alvin, from LaPorte.
No words can fully describe my happiness! Praises to God, an ever present help in time of need.

The second traumatic experience happened at Sam's in Willowbrook Mall on Friday,  Nov. 19, 2010.  Wanda and I stopped to do some shopping on our way to Rachel and Mike's home in  Tomball to see our precious JACOB…her first grandbaby…my first great grandbaby.
All the handicap parking places were taken. Wanda let me out at the entrance. I told the door keeper that my daughter had a membership card, and asked if I could wait in the only motorized shopping cart. She said the cart was broke, but the lot attendant would bring one in soon.

Wanda said she parked in the handicapped section . I would catch up with her soon as I could.  I really enjoyed sitting there at the entrance. I didn’t need to buy anything, and this was more exciting than following her around. It was fun watching the beautiful little children accompanied by parents. Little twins both wanted to sit in the cart seat. The mother explained whose turn it was. It was sweet watching the young couples enter, holding hands or arm in arm.

The lot attendant pushed in a long string of carts. The door keeper began emptying the trash from them into two garbage cans. I was shocked at the number of empty cookie boxes, candy wrappers, soda cans, crumpled brown bags and dirty diapers left in the baskets.
 A young man, clean shaven, nice haircut, neatly dressed walked from inside the store to the two female door attendants standing about 15 feet from the entrance.  He had a lap top computer in his hand and began talking about it. I would guess he was a college student, and purchased a damaged computer, and they were telling him to take it to the Exchanges & Refunds section between the entrance and exit doors. He didn't seem to understand. They both turned their back to him and pointed to that section, talking all the time. This was just the moment he needed to make a flying leap out the door. The women began yelling "SECURITY!" Two guards came running, heard about the theft, hurried out the door as one door attendant yelled, "He's wearing a white shirt!"  Sad, but I had to laugh. This Sam's is on a feeder road beside an entrance ramp to the 249 Freeway. The thief surely was long gone with someone waiting in a car.

Finally, the lot attendant brought me a motorized cart. I drove the perimeter of the store twice, and down several aisles. Wanda was no where in site. At the back of the store, I searched for maybe stockrooms, or back entrance for unloading merchandise…nothing. She had vanished!
I had my cell phone with me, and we often separate and call each other in the store. I didn’t know her number, but there's a list of my family telephones in the glove compartment in my car. On my way there, I panicked wondering if she had been kidnapped.

I wished I hadn't watched that TV documentary, "Confessions of a Serial Rapist."  He watched women in shopping centers, selected one shopping alone, followed her out the door and forced her into his car at gunpoint. Nooooooooo. Not my Wanda. She is a pretty lady with a gorgeous figure and beautiful clothes. I prayed. Wanda had my main car keys, but I had a spare in my purse. I was searching for it when a man stopped his car beside me and asked if I needed some help. He wore a store badge. I explained. When I found the key, he took it and opened the door, handed me the list. I dialed Wanda's number. No answer. The man said, "Wait here. I'll be back" and he drove off. I dialed Wanda's cell phone again. It rang a long time. No answer.

A woman was approaching me. One leg was stiff, and one arm seemed to be paralyzed.  She asked me if I needed some help. I told her about Wanda. She said, "Come with me. We'll go back in the store." When I told her the man asked me to stay by my car, she said, "I told him I'd take care of you. He's the store manager. He won't be back."  She told me she was recovering from a stroke, and that God told her to take care of me! I felt like I should be taking care of her!

She talked to someone and they made an announcement for Wanda Cook to report to the courtesy booth near the exit doors. She didn't come. It was difficult for me to hold back the tears. 

Then, suddenly, there she was…all smiles…hurrying over to me with one small sack.
"Where are the groceries?" I asked. She said, "I already took them to the car…but I forgot some-thing." "Why haven't you been answering your phone?"  "The battery is dead. I've got to get it recharged!"  I introduced her to Sally.  How did we manage to miss each other?  We went in the entrance just as Wanda went out the exit! She did not hear the loud speaker announcement.

My children can't give me any more gray hairs! They're ALL gray! But they keep trying!

TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.

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