It was not quite the adventure I had in mind when we left a rainy Branson, Missouri morning.

On our way to visit the first town mom and dad lived in after they married, we stopped in Joplin, Missouri. There we visited Grand Falls, The Route 66 Mural Park and the Precious Moments Chapel with plans to stay over in Wichita, Kansas. We envisioned eating a nice steak dinner in Wichita, (well except for the one vegan member of our party), and resting before our two-hour trek north to Concordia, Kansas the next day.

About an hour from Wichita, we stopped for gas and a rest break. As soon as I turned off the car, I got a message that my car remote was missing. I didn’t worry immediately, as I thought it had just slipped off the console and I’d just need to find it and get it close enough to the ignition as I had done before.

That didn’t happen. We found only loose change and trash scattered from our four days on the road.

I remembered unlocking the car from a distance at our last stop. But that was as far as my memory went. Evidently, the car will start once without a remote, but you’d better find it because that’s the only chance you get without a remote nearby.

After an hour-long wait at the gas station, OnStar was still unable to locate an Uber or Lyft driver to come to our location and take us to Wichita. We did get a tow truck for the car. And Richard was nice enough to offer us a ride with him; however, dad definitely couldn’t make it up into the truck. And he certainly couldn’t carry all six of us, much less the scooter and a week’s worth of luggage. He suggested a better drop-off location and a closer hotel.

Desperate to get my parents settled into a hotel for the night, I called the local county Sherriff’s office at the suggestion of the nice ladies working at Pete’s convenience store. At first, they turned me down, but at the suggestion of Deputy Taylor Cordell, the Sergeant agreed to let her drive to pick us up in the inmate transport van and take us 40 miles to the next town. Four hours from our initial stop, we gratefully walked into the hotel lobby.

Why did Taylor do it? She said she had been stranded recently and knew how it felt. I believe God sent her our way. She made conversation the entire way, making us feel at ease as well as teasing my boys about the ankle cuffs in the back seat. We even have pictures to prove it.

A lesson in blessing

So why am I sharing this? I kept thinking God must have a lesson from our predicament. Taylor knew how it felt so she wanted to help us.

Can we also stop for a moment to think of situations we’ve been through and how, because we know how that experience feels, we can be a blessing to someone else?

That’s what I wanted to do by writing Grief Unwrapped: Discovering Joy in a Season of Sorrow (launching November 5). And I won’t think twice about being the hands (or wheels) to someone else in need.

I know you’ve been in desperate situations too. You know how it feels to depend completely on someone else to help you get through it.

Take some time today to think of how God has rescued you, and how He’s put people in your life to get you where you need to go.

Do you know someone going through a trial? Think about how you can stand in the gap for that person. It could be through a prayer lifted. It could mean making a visit. It could be providing a meal or even a much-needed ride with a smile on your face and kindness in your heart.