Photo by Chelsea Jo Photography
The snow was blowing sideways and the wind was howling. It was becoming dusk and hard to see. The car’s engine was starting to miss. Being in the middle of this snowstorm was no fun, and we were in the middle of Nebraska heading toward Omaha. And…I was six months pregnant. What were we to do? Lord, help us.
My husband and I have family and friends in Gothenburg, Nebraska, and decided to visit for New Year’s weekend. Friends were going to be there from other cities and it sounded fun. So we went, not knowing that a big storm was on its way to the Plains.
Saturday night, it began lightly snowing and when we went to bed, the wind picked up. The next morning was Sunday. Normally, we would relax, go to church, have lunch, and head home for the three to five hour trip. But when we looked outside, bright sunlight was shining on 10 inches of snow. It was beautiful, like diamonds glistening in the sunlight. Ten inches is a lot of snow and we didn’t know how the highway would be, so we decided to leave right after breakfast. We were driving a rear-wheel, Chevy Caprice and had taken only the minimum amount of clothes, none of which were helpful in storms. We did have coats and gloves, but we hadn’t taken any boots or hats. No extra blankets, flashlights, or food. We had no tire chains and in 1971, no cell phones.
We headed out to the interstate highway. It was smooth sailing from Gothenburg through Kearney. But as we arrived near Grand Island, the snow started falling. We had caught up to the storm. It started out very light but within 30 miles had increased to where we slowed down to 30 mph and started using the windshield wipers. We continued and started seeing cars in the ditches. The roads were snow-packed. The snow blew sideways, hindering our vision. It looked like a transparent veil. We slowed our speed to a crawl.
It was late in the afternoon and starting to get dark. Semi-trucks were disappearing off the road to stay at truck stops. Traffic trickled down to very few cars. It was at this time that our car’s engine started to miss and sounded terrible. My husband said, “Start looking for a hotel or place we can stay, because we are not going to make it home today.”
As we approached exit after exit, we looked for a hotel sign. There was none. I said to my husband, “I think there is a Stuckey’s gas station and quick shop at the Seward/York exit. Maybe we should get off there.”
As we approached the exit, we could see that the exit ramp was completely full of cars and semi-trucks, and with the snow, we couldn’t pass them. The ground blizzard was creating two-to-three-foot drifts. My husband brought our car under the overpass and parked it there. “We’ll just have to walk to Stuckey’s on a direct path because the frontage road will be all drifted in,” he said.
We got out of the car, buttoned up our coats, put on our gloves, and climbed up the hill next to the overpass. Keep in mind that I was six months pregnant and wearing slacks, a loose maternity shirt, a dress coat, and penny-loafer shoes. My husband was wearing slacks, a shirt, a man’s dress coat, and dress shoes. Fortunately they were tie shoes. Not exactly blizzard-worthy outfits.
How did we feel that dark, snowy, windy, and cold night? Anxious. Were we doing the right thing by getting out of the car and walking a half mile to the Stuckey’s? Would we get caught in the snow? Would anyone find us? As we made our way across the field separating the frontage road and Stuckey’s, we abruptly came upon a chicken wire fence. We hadn’t seen it as we walked, due to the snow and wind in our faces. We had to climb the fence!
My husband went over first and helped me over. One shoe dropped off and promptly filled with snow. It was found and we continued walking. Snow filled both shoes as I attempted to plow through the drifts. I said to my husband, “I can’t make it.” He said, “You have to.” I said, “My shoes keep falling off and I have to find them. I’m getting too tired.”
We looked up to see two men walking from the Stuckey’s store toward us. When they got to us, one picked me up. I’m not a little girl, but 5’8” and pregnant with child. The other gentleman took my shoes and my husband, and led us to the store. When we got there, we stepped into the entry, shook the snow off our coats, and turned to thank the gentlemen.
THEY WERE NOT THERE.
We asked those around us if they had seen the men that were with us and had brought us in. NO ONE HAD SEEN THESE MEN!
Had God sent angels to rescue us? We believe He did. Our fears had been in vain. God’s merciful hand had provided help…and He promised He would never leave or forsake us. In God’s love and kindness He provided His precious Son, Jesus Christ, not only to save us in a snowstorm, but to die for our sins, be resurrected in power so that we might have a relationship with Him, and live with Him eternally in Heaven.
Our time here on earth was not finished. God had other plans for us. Our times are in His hands. As believers, we know we are in His hands and He is molding and perfecting us to be more like Him until He takes us home.
We have gone through many “God sightings” since then and have recognized His hand and are thankful. These trials have grown our faith that He will never leave or forsake us and will be with us always—for which we praise His Name.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.