My boyfriend Dave had called to give me the good news. "I just got my drivers license!" he said. "I'll be over to pick you up right away."
I was excited. Our first date! I quickly got ready and waited by the living room window in anticipation. The first storm of winter had set in. The snow was steadily falling, and the weather advisory warned against highway travel.
My parents had gone out for the evening and wouldn't be home until late. I knew they wouldn't approve of us going out on a night such as this, but I figured I could make it safely home without them knowing. So when Dave arrived on my doorstep a half an hour later, we headed out the door, anxious to take his new car for a spin.
Dave's new car was a standard. He changed the gears slowly, as the car spun out of the driveway and onto the gravel road. The snow came down heavy. Dave turned the wipers on full speed, craning to see the road up ahead.
"Maybe we should turn back?" I suggested. "The storm's getting worse."
Dave ignored my comment and kept driving down the lonely country road. We passed several cars in the ditch and nearly hit the back end of a truck. I was really starting to panic now.
"Dave, I really think we should turn back!"
"I think you're right," he said, squinting through the blinding storm. "I just need a place to turn the car around."
We drove for a few more miles, before the road branched off in different directions. "I'll have us back home in no time," Dave said with confidence.
He pressed on the gas and to our horror, the car spun around in the high drifts. The snow was coming down so heavy we couldn't see where we were going. I opened my passenger's door to find we were stuck in a ditch!
"We'll never get out now!" I yelled.
Dave continued to press on the gas, while I got out and pushed. It was no use. We couldn't get out, and it was becoming more blustery and colder by the minute.
I got back in the car and started to cry. "I never told my parents where I went. I should have left a note."
Dave put a comforting arm around my shoulders. "It'll be okay. We'll get out somehow."
"We should have never gone out! It's all your fault!" I shouted.
Dave turned to me in anger. "I didn't force you to go out!" he shouted back.
We stayed in the car as darkness set in. The hot air blowing from the car heater felt good. We sat in silence for the longest time, both of us too angry to talk. Then the car choked and sputtered. I leaned over and noticed the gas gauge was on empty.
"Oh great! Now what are we going to do?"
Dave slammed his hands down on the steering wheel. "I don't know. What do you suggest?"
I peered out the window and shook my head. "I think we should stay here and try to keep warm. Maybe with any luck someone will find us."
After checking the interior of the car, we discovered there was no emergency equipment, or blankets stored inside. The temperature was dropping rapidly and the heavy snow covered the car, completely boxing us in.
My teeth started chattering. "Do you know where we are?" I asked, blowing on my hands to keep them warm.
"I've been down this road with my parents before," he said. "I think there's a farm house just through there," he pointed in the distance. "Why don't you stay here, while I get help?"
I nodded in agreement as Dave buttoned up his coat and disappeared out the door. I was all alone. The moment he stepped out, his broad figure was swallowed up by the storm. I sat in the car biting my nails. This is ludicrous! How could he find help in this weather?
"Please God, help us," I prayed.
I waited as the storm continued to engulf us with all its fury. I checked my watch. Dave had been gone for half an hour and there was no sign of anyone on the road. I became very worried. The most absurd things started going through my mind. Maybe Dave got lost in the storm, or was lying frozen in the snow? I sat back and prayed some more.
"Please God, watch over Dave and keep us safe."
I leaned my head back on the seat and started to doze off. It was freezing, my breath coming in short cold bursts. I had just closed my eyes, when I heard the distinct crunching of snow outside the car. I peered through the frosted window and to my amazement, the storm had subsided and the full moon came out. Someone was walking towards the car. It must be help! My prayers had been answered!
The driver's door swung open and to my surprise, Dave stood hunched over, with someone hanging on his arm. He helped a fragile young woman into the backseat of the car and closed the door behind her.
"I found her in the snow," Dave said breathlessly. "She must have lost her way in the storm. We need emergency assistance right away."
Just then a faint light appeared up ahead. I blinked, trying to make out the object. It seemed to be moving closer. It wasn't until the vehicle pulled up next to ours, that we realized it was a tow truck.
Two men got out as Dave rolled down his window. "Did you call for a tow truck?" they asked.
"No I didn't. But we need help! I found a woman in the snow and we're out of gas."
The men quickly assisted the woman with their emergency gear and called for an ambulance. It wasn't long before she was taken to the hospital and the tow truck had us back home safely.
When we walked through the door, my parents were there to greet us. Needless to say, they had been very worried. We told them what happened and asked for forgiveness.
We learned some valuable lessons that day, about forgiveness, faith and trust. But I think the most important lesson we learned, came from God. We realized that God was looking out for us on that cold stormy night, when he answered our prayers, and saved more than one life.