My Unsung Heroes
Jun 16, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough
A lot has been going on in my life for the past year or more with the result that I have struggled with severe, chronic depression, anxiety, and other personal challenges. There has been much prayer and intercession by me and for me from close Christian friends. Recently, my daughter and I moved to a new place. Through it all, I have had an opportunity to see our good, good Father at work first-hand.
One way that He showed up was through the visits of my brother-in-law and my sister to help us during the transition. My b-i-l came first to help with moving. After he returned home to Maryland, my sister came to help us get settled. How blessed I am to have them in my life!
When it came time to drop her off (5:45 p.m. on a Friday) at Bush Intercontinental for her flight home, we were both teary eyed and grateful for the time we had together. But the Lord was not done!
Because it was evening rush hour, we had noticed significant traffic heading in the opposite direction towards Katy. My sister suggested I stop for a bathroom break and to refuel my car before heading back. That sounded wise. And so, on my way out of the airport, I turned into the nearest gas station like the obedient sister I am.
Before continuing with this story, I have a confession to make: I have been known to act a little paranoid at times! One example is locking all the doors to my car before I get out to pump gas. You know … just in case someone opens the passenger door to steal something. That is being safety-minded. Right?
I pulled up to a gas pump and as always put everything in my purse, opened the driver’s door, and engaged all the locks. It was then that I noticed the accumulation of water bottles in my door’s pocket. Naturally, the sensible thing to do was to get rid of all that trash. So I set my purse down and picked up the water bottles. But I did not account for the wind! As I walked over to the nearest trash can, a gust of wind came rushing in and closed my door shut with all locks engaged!
For someone who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, this was not a good situation! Everything was locked inside my car: keys, phone, wallet, medicine …
After the first wave of panic threatened to overwhelm me, I composed myself and calmly walked into the store. I explained my situation to the attendant, and she offered me her cell phone to place a call. But I do not know anyone’s number since I store them on my phone!
I tried 911. They suggested a locksmith. I called three different ones, but no answer as it was after working hours. I tried 911 again, but the operator literally hung up on me. By then, anxiety started mounting, and I began to claim Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you, and you need only to stay calm.”
My good friend says that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, so I tried to focus on that. Baby steps. I managed to get my anxiety under control and dialed 911 a third time. Success! A patrol car was dispatched and was expected to arrive in ten minutes. The prophet Isaiah says that we should put on the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3). Prayer should begin and end with praise, so I prayed and waited.
The police arrived shortly after, but there was nothing they could do to help except keep me company and try to contact a locksmith or a rescue team. Traffic in Houston was pretty terrible that day, and all we kept hearing were reports about the number of accidents and the unavailability of resources. As we waited, I learned that the officers were Christians. It was great to speak together about our faith and share some encouragement.
The hours passed and I started becoming anxious again. I clung to Exodus 14:14 and prayed some more. Visitors to the gas station brought me water, and one man came over to pray for me as I sat in the front seat of the police car in tears.
Just as the “good Samaritan” walked away, a K-9 Rescue Unit truck arrived. The team opened my car in under two minutes!!
Though I seldom participate in social media, this was worthy of an exception! I found it fitting that the Lord would give me this opportunity right before The Fellowship’s new sermon series about “Unsung Heroes.” I wanted to celebrate the kindness, relentlessness and patience of all the public servants who helped me. I took a selfie with them in the background and posted it on social media along with an invitation for others to join us at church on Sunday!
I believe in the power of prayer with every fiber of my being. However, sometimes, all I can do is call on the Name of Jesus, claim Bible verses, and trust that my battle is already won. And He rewards my obedience with unimaginable faithfulness!
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings
that cannot be expressed in words.