January, 1976, I was visiting my boyfriend (now husband) in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. A snow and heavy ice storm hit.
I was stuck for several days on one end of the Bluegrass Parkway when I needed to be on the other end where I lived in Lexington.
My boss kept repeatedly calling me telling me I needed to find a way to get back because I was desperately needed at the hospital where I worked as a nurse.
Finally I decided I would try to make it. I would just drive slowly and carefully, I told myself. Surely they would have cleared the parkway.
I inched onto the parkway and discovered it was like a solid sheet of ice. I was then committed. If I attempted to get off, I was not sure where I would be or what road conditions I might find there.
I kept going. I prayed constantly and was in hyper focus. Every mile was a victory. I was about halfway down the parkway when it happened.
The car lurched. It felt like I was being thrown into the air in slow motion.
The car came to rest on the side of the road in a snow bank, driver’s side partially down. I could not get the door open. Did I mention I am claustrophobic?
There were no cell phones in those days. No way to call for help. I crawled over the console in the middle and made it into the passenger seat. The passenger door was then partially raised above me.
I pushed with all my might. It was not enough. I did not allow myself to consider that I might exit earth in a frozen car.
I prayed. And I am sure it was one of God’s angels who helped me get the door open. I squeezed out into the frozen world around me.
Now that I was out, I had a new problem. It was freezing. There was no sign of anyone in sight. I slowly began to process I had not seen another car on the road since I got on the parkway. I was humanly alone. It was very quiet … and very, very cold.
I did not know what to do. I started walking down the parkway, trying not to fall on the ice … and I prayed. I am not sure what I prayed, but there was another Who joined me in prayer.
The Spirit of The Living God prayed with me.
“In the same way, The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but The Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
I had not walked very far at all when I saw a car approaching. The driver stopped and offered to take me to the next exit.
To this day, I cannot remember what he looked like. I just remember how kind he was and how at peace I felt getting in that car with a total stranger.
I discovered later that the parkway had been closed completely … after a man got on at one end and a woman (me) got on at the other end.
We went together to the next exit and found a little country store. The people there were very welcoming of two surprise strangers from out of the blowing snow and ice.
I wanted to call for help, but they did not have a phone. There was, however, a pay phone in a phone booth down the road. (You younger people will have to ask an old timer what that was).
We walked to the phone booth, but it was frozen shut. All of us worked together to chip away the ice. I called my boyfriend and he and a friend came to pick me up.
When it snows, I remember that experience vividly, not for the fear I felt, but for the amazing ways God provided for me and how very very close He was in what turned out to be a winter wonderland.
Later when the car and I were evaluated, neither of us had a scratch. Someone said it was as if a Divine Hand had gently tossed us into the padding of the snow, so we were protected.
I never saw my rescuer again. I wish I had gotten his contact information. I believe his address was Heaven. I know God sent him.
For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways.
(Interesting that the scripture verse = 911)