I've given my husband some extra hugs and kisses this past twenty-four hours.
Because he spent the 48 hours prior to that on a bus, 30 of those hours stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with two feet of snow between each vehicle.
P. led a group of 50+ from our diocese down to Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life on Friday. Thousands of people showed up to to walk down Constitution Avenue and be a voice for the unborn and for their mothers (and fathers!) who suffer physically and emotionally after an abortion. It's always a hugely powerful and inspiring event (which the media generally chooses not to cover despite the large numbers that show up -- hundreds of thousands) and I would have been there if the little bun in the oven was not causing so much morning sickness.
Instead, I was warm and well-fed at home when I got the message they were stranded on their way home from D.C., stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with the snow coming down fiercely and trucks, cars, and buses stopped for miles and miles ahead.
The next 30 hours proved to be challenging but so, so grace-filled for them-- and actually me as I heard the ways God was providing. It's such a beautiful thing when people pray and when God shows up in the midst of a tough situation. Looking back, the stories are just beautiful. God truly uses everything, and he orchestrates good from bad.
The #turnpikemass celebrated by a couple priests on a snow altar on the roadside with hundreds of people attending.
Students posting pictures of them brushing their teeth in the snow, their smiles joyful instead of fearful or complaining.
The firefighters and military bringing water and food supplies to the hundreds of vehicles stranded.
And finally-- an opportunity for P.'s bus to share their experiences with each other from the March for Life...and then the bus driver himself opening up about a past abortion his girlfriend had...mourning his loss and crying for his child. My husband was able to share with him about the mercy and love and healing of our God. I was particularly touched about this moment because of the way God loved this grieving man so much that he used the crazy storm to provide a moment for healing and renewal for the bus driver that might not have happened if they had simply driven straight home.
News reporters and writers published and aired multiple stories on the stranded group and even that had the fingerprints of God all over it. While the media typically doesn't cover the March for Life, they were sharing stories of it now and all were able to see the peaceful, joyful students and adults who were on the trip to stand up for every single life, that every life matters and has meaning.
P. and I celebrated his return last night simply, with Chinese food and football. (MSG-free for me!) But ever since his return, and as I process the pictures and the stories, I'm just overwhelmed by the way our God cares for us and provides for us. As His children...but also as an individual child. He loves us all and cares for us as family, but He also loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to be loved (St. Augustine). So beautiful. If I could rest more in God's personal love for me, I have a feeling it would change my life.
How was your weekend? Are you near the East coast or are you enjoying warmer weather? Where did you see God in your days?
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