I can probably count on one hand the times an actual miracle has taken place in my life, or at least to me. But something happened recently that I really do believe was a miracle. I'll start from the beginning, but promise to get to the point quickly...
So Alisha and I were driving in separate cars out to a suburb about 25 minutes away to look at some land I might be interested in. I was in front and she was following as we were driving down the freeway. Suddenly in front of my wheel line I saw a small black tube-like piece of material and I wasn't able to avoid it and incidentally drove over it. I felt and heard a large clunk under my back left tyre and instantly thought "oh no... I hope I don't have a flat tyre...".
After about one kilometre I heard a faint whizzing sound. I knew I had a flat, but it wasn't doing the usual shuddering sound I was waiting for. I continued driving as I didn't want to pull over with the three kids and Alisha and Olivia and try and fix the tyre on the side of the freeway. I knew I could call Roadside Assist but did not want to wait for an hour or more until they came. So instead I just prayed and prayed I would make it to a quieter part off the freeway so I could change it myself (finally all those Young Womens Tuesday night 'car maintenance' classes would come in handy!).
As we came to a quieter section I still didn't feel I should pull over. By now I had driven at least five Ks since I ran over it. The whizzing was a little more prominent but I still didn't feel the shudder as I had once before with a flat tyre so I assumed it was still ok to go on a little more. I called Alisha to confirm that the tyre was in fact flat. She agreed that it looked lower than the others, so I made a plan to pull over within the next couple of kilometres. But as I came around the various bends I just didn't see a good place to pull over. The car was still making the whizzing sound, and now I could feel a slight tugging to the left and I knew I didn't have long to drive before my time would be up. I kept praying it would hold until I got to the small community I knew was up the road.
The roads seemed longer than I remembered, but the car still held on, however it was now pulling quite a lot to the left. Finally I saw a police station and I knew that would be a decent place to stop. I must have driven close to nine or ten kilometres (maybe even more) since the freeway. I pulled over just in front of the station and Alisha and I got out to assess the situation. The tyre was completely flat. We opened the trunk and I searched around for the the new tyre, jack and the bolt un-doer (forgot the name for it). We had a new tyre, thank goodness, and I also found the jack. But for some reason I couldn't find the bolt un-doer. We tried Alisha's and to our surprise it was too big and couldn't undo the screws. By now we were just laughing. Four kids, two wives, two cars on the side of the road.. What to do? Of course! The Police station!
I went into the station and sure enough one of the police men offered to let me use his screw un-do thing. He brought it out and began changing the tyre. I offered to do it, but he insisted on helping the damsels in distress. So it looked like I wasn't going to get to use my tyre-changing skills after all...
So where is the miracle, you ask? Well, when the policeman took off the tyre, everyone stood back, shocked... This is what we saw:
That's one big hole!!
We were absolutely shocked! We were NOT expecting a hole like that! How did my car drive on as far as it did with that hole in the tyre? And why wasn't anything damaged? Needless to say we were all surprised. Looking at the tyre really made me grateful, and not only that we made it as far as we did. I was also grateful because if I had pulled over on the freeway and tried to change the tyre myself, we would not have had the tools and the tyre would have flattened before we could drive anywhere else. Also I was grateful we didn't have to wait the long time it usually took to call Roadside Assist - not fun with four kids under five years old on the side of the freeway!
So, it was quite the adventure, and I am happy to say we saw it as just that - it was fun and, even though I still haven't changed a real-life-situation tyre, I was still grateful for the experience and the reminder of how following the spirit can lead to miracles. :-)