Saturday, February 14, 2015

Experiencing Grace through a Traffic Stop

Have you ever experienced what looks like an everyday moment, only to realize you had just had a "God moment"?!  Sometimes God has to hit me over the head and I am so grateful when He does.  Let me explain...

Like many families, we have our ups and downs but recently we have had some pretty big challenges.  As much as I like to think I have this forgiveness thing figured out, I get yet another opportunity to go deeper into areas of my Christian walk where God has decided I still need some growth.  (You know what I mean?!)

I had come home from an experience that tested my ability to offer grace and forgiveness to someone I dearly love.  It's too personal and detailed to offer on this blog but trust me when I say I was in a struggle.  My heart was hurting and I felt betrayed... and within all that I was focusing wayyyy too much on self.

I headed to our local grocery store later in the afternoon to try to pull some dinner together.  As I pulled out of my street I was aware of someone across the street getting pulled over by law enforcement.  I got totally distracted, focusing on trying to see if it was someone I knew.  I sat at the corner in all that distraction while the car, now released, was across from me with a turn signal on.  I realized I needed to do something so I made a left turn.

With a brain that wasn't in full gear,  I proceeded to the next stop sign and turned right having no idea that the public safety officer (from the sheriff's dept. actually) was behind me the whole way.

Next thing I know, he is pulling me over. What?!!!  (I found out later he was the real in THE sheriff.)  This man was beyond kind.  He pulled me over because, not once, but twice I used no turn signal.  I apologized (sincerely) and agreed that I should use my signals.  He checked my license and registration and very gently told me he would not give me a ticket.  I believe his kindness was all I needed to prompt some unwelcome tears on my part because I suddenly felt that lump in my throat and the tears welling up behind my eyelids.

I mumbled something about how much I appreciated it and that it had been a very difficult day.  He walked away from my car  leaving behind a cheerful greeting.

Well don't you know, being honest first thought was, "I did NOT need this today!"  Seriously. But just that quickly I had one of those "loud thoughts" (no, I don't hear voices!):  I call them promptings or convictions from the Holy Spirit.  (JUDY, THAT STOP WAS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEEDED EXACTLY WHEN YOU NEEDED IT.)  That sheriff had every right to ticket me...but instead, offered me grace.  (And that was before the water works started!)  He let me off the hook and I did nothing to deserve that kindness.  I was "guilty as charged"!

Then I envisioned Christ suffering on the cross for my sins.  Who am I to withhold grace and forgiveness from my loved one?  (or anyone for that matter)  Who am I to judge?  It was a powerful moment and God's lesson/reminder was offered to me when I most needed it!

So thank you to that wonderful sheriff who allowed himself to be used by God. And, yes, I now use my turn signals at all times!

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