Let’s “Tuesday Talk” about Transmissions…

“Huh. The van seems like it is shifting rough all of a sudden.”

I made that comment not even two minutes before the van gave a giant lurch and the engine revved as it shifted, followed by the check engine light and TCS (Traction Control Sensor) turning on and the Drive gear indicator flashing.

Face palm.

We were 50 miles from home, on our way from family picture to Costco, with three pretty grumpy kids in the backseat. This was not good.

Allen pulled into a parking lot where he turned the van off and then back on. The check engine light was still on, but that’s it. That’s a good sign, right?

He took a cautious drive around the parking lot before we headed toward Costco again. The van was definitely not shifting smoothly, but it would be okay… right?

Around this time I started crying, my anxiety kicked in, and I tried to pray more than worry.

We made it to Costco. We shopped. The whole time, I had a knot in my stomach. It was our quickest and cheapest Costco run to date.

After loading kids and groceries into the van, we started for home. Once we hit highway speed, things were okay… until the big hill that takes you across Eagle River. On that hill, the van started lurching and shifting hard again. I may have screeched. And we made the command decision to pull over in Eagle River and just call MTR for a tow truck.

So we call… and they say they can’t pick us up in Eagle River. And then I really started crying and begged Allen to call MTR’s owner, who we are good friends with from church. I guess it helps to know people because about 3 minutes later, we got a call:

“I guess were coming to get you after all. Where in Eagle River are you?”

Thank you, God.

We gave our location and contacted a friend-like-family to come pick us up. And then we just waited.

But as we waited, I started cleaning up the van, putting all our stuff into my bag. I reached down and picked up a card I had never seen before.

“Allen, where did this come from? It isn’t my handwriting and it isn’t yours…”

“No clue. What’s it say?”

I handed the card up to Allen. He read it, smiled, and handed it back. I wanted to cry again because this is what it said:

Thank You, God.

We pulled car seats, kids, and bags out and piled them on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the tow company arrived and the driver was friends with my dad before he retired. Then another man who works for MTR and goes to our church randomly drove past and stopped. They were both concerned about us getting home safely with our kids.

Thank You, God.

Our friend arrived and all three car seats fit in the back of her car. And she agreed to stay with the kids at our house while I picked up Allen in the Jeep.

Thank You, God.

They hooked the van up and prepared to leave.

MTR drove the van to our auto mechanic, where Allen left a note and the keys (and a voicemail). I picked him up there and we moved the groceries from the van to the Jeep.

Home. Dinner. Bed time. Sleep.

Yesterday, Allen took the kids and a plate of homemade sugar cookies to MTR as a thank you and to pay our towing bill… and was told, “Something ate it. There’s no bill to pay.”

Thank You, God.

We have so much more to share about how God worked this out.

  • Teaching a Sunday School lesson to middle schoolers that morning about God doing the impossible in our lives.
  • Ruth napping through most of the waiting and Clara quietly and patiently playing in the backseat.
  • Knowing that the car seats will all fit in the Jeep while we have just one operable vehicle for a while.
  • Having countless friends and family who did their part to care for us.

Thank You, God.

We still haven’t heard what is wrong with the van. Transmission something-or-other. We are praying it isn’t serious (or expensive) to fix. But we are also saying

UPDATE: The van needs a new transmission. Please pray with us for wisdom in moving forward and for God’s provision.

Thank You, God.

Thank You for giving us safety. Thank You for giving us friends and family to show us Your love and care. Thank You, most of all, for Jesus.

5 thoughts on “Let’s “Tuesday Talk” about Transmissions…

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