By Betsy Cederquist
I have had many wonderful Christmas memories over the years, but the Christmas memory that really stands out did not involve special gifts beautifully wrapped in brightly colored paper or my favorite foods lovingly prepared or even the joy of a new baby--even though those are all wonderful. It was a Christmas I unmistakably felt God's presence in my life.
I was 22 years old (just like my daughter is now) teaching in a town 3 hours from home. The last day of school before winter break was December 23. Rather than starting home that night, I chose to leave in the morning. That year the weather was brutal with 30 below zero temperatures. I grew up in the northern part of Indiana and was used to cold weather. I bundled up with coat, hat, gloves, long underwear, thick socks and boots, loaded my clothes and the brightly colored packages and started on my way. About an hour into my trip, I realized I had no heat in the car, so I stopped at a McDonalds, warmed my hands with the hand dryer in the restroom and set off again with a cup of hot chocolate. I stopped again at another McDonalds and repeated the hand warming process. By the time I got to the area of State Road 31 near Grissom Air Force base, the road was solid ice and there were numerous trucks and cars in the ditch. That's when it happened. My car slid and I ended up in the median perpendicular to the road. I got out of the car to survey my situation. The car was not damaged. There was barely any snow, and the ground was almost flat, but I needed a tow truck to get out. This was before cell phones and there was no pay phone in sight. Just then a woman stopped on the road and called to me. She was on her way to her home nearby. I could call for a tow truck from there. When she called the towing company she was told the winches were frozen and that the area of the road was closed until morning. I stayed with the lady that Christmas Eve, helping her prepare for her Christmas dinner for the next day and assembling a TV table she had just purchased. She asked me if I had been afraid to get in the car with a stranger and I think it was then I realized, God had sent the woman to protect me from the cold, which was the real danger.
On Christmas day, my step father, who drove a semi, was able to easily pull my car out and take it to a nearby truck stop, and then pick me up. He said there were 4 foot snow drifts on both sides of my car, but very little in front of the car. The snow had blown under the hood making it look solid white, but the engine started without trouble and I was able to make it home on Christmas Day. I cannot tell you what was in any of the packages that day or what we ate, but I know that God kept me safe and it was a Christmas I will never forget.
Trinity Advent Devotional
Welcome to Advent, 2020, a season like no other. These readings, throughout the Advent season, have all been written by staff and members of Trinity. We hope you’ll enjoy the opportunity to get to know one another better through these prayers, devotions and stories. Even in this challenging time, we celebrate this opportunity to grow in love and service through our relationships with God and with one another.