I was simply sitting, waiting to get my car washed at our local Auto Bell.
All of a sudden I found myself in a place that didn’t feel very safe. I texted Brian that there was a situation going down and I needed to get out.
A young lady ran through the doors yelling she couldn’t breathe and headed straight towards the bathroom. None of us knew if she was having an asthma attack or what was happening. A few minutes later a guy came running in after her. It was obvious he wasn’t happy and she was being chased as he screamed out expletives.
This is when I decided it might be better for me to step outside. Several customers had already confronted the gentleman to leave her alone in the restroom and the managers dialed 911.
Within minutes the parking lot flooded with police cars and I just sat waiting. My clean car was boxed in and I wanted nothing but to get away.
For the next few moments I watched as the gentleman was confronted, then handcuffed and taken outside. The girl never came out. The patrol cars finally moved. I got out of dodge, aka Auto Bell.
As I drove along and continued on my day, I wondered about the girl in the bathroom. What’s her story? What happened in those frantic moments leading up to her locking herself inside a carwash bathroom?
Should I have been braver and stepped up to help? Was it the right thing for me to get out of a potentially dangerous situation because of fear for my own safety? What if she desperately needed help?
I didn’t know anything about her story so I prayed for the girl in the bathroom and thanked God for keeping us all safe.
She had just fled an apartment where she was being choked and held at gunpoint.
Police seized a gun from the guy chasing after her. This story hit our local news headlines last night after many details unfolded of what the next 12 hours brought about in this situation.
My heart sank.
This trip to Auto Bell could have had a seriously tragic ending. I just went for a clean car!!!
Scenarios flash through your mind when something like this happens. What if it had turned out differently? What if I didn’t come home to my husband and kids last night simply because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Of course, we can’t live in fear – God reminds us of that truth all throughout the scriptures.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Isaiah 41: 10 NKJV
I do believe God can teach us through situations like these about how life can change in an instant. When we least expect to be caught up in the midst of chaos, there we are, right slap in the middle. Hello!! I didn’t sign up for this, Lord!! You could be sitting, waiting on a car wash and find yourself in the middle of an attempted murder.
We don't get to choose. This is the reality of life.
Cancer hits. We don’t get to choose.
Spouses walk away from marriages and families. We don’t get to choose.
Cars crash into us. We don’t get to choose.
What do we get to choose?
This isn’t a cop-out, I promise.
We get to choose peace.
When our circumstances seem like chaos, peace in Jesus can be the only constant.
I’ll admit, the peace of God doesn’t make sense.
The peace of God is what gave my grandmother the ability to look doctors in the face and smile when they told her there was nothing else they could do.
The peace of God is what carries a grieving mother to speak and encourage other moms days after suddenly losing her 10 month child to pneumonia.
The peace of God is what drives a mom to forgive the drunk driver who took the life of her innocent daughter (have you read the story behind Forgiveness by Matthew West?).
In Him, we can choose peace.
Listen to the nightly news for 5 minutes, you’ll have all the proof you need that this world is full of trouble and sorrow. Our minds can go into overload with all of the what ifs of this world.
But take heart, friends. He has overcome the world!
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