It was a day or two before our Michigan wedding when my mom woke me up early.  “It’s your pastor in Cape Town,” she said, holding out the cordless phone.

My heart thumped hard in my chest.

Why would he be calling me from South Africa?

“Hello?” I answered, terrified of the news that may follow.

“I’m really sorry to have to tell you this,” he said, “but your car has been stolen.”

I’ve never been more relieved.

Not that the car was gone, of course, but I was convinced that someone had died.  In comparison, a stolen car was no big deal.



Photo credit: Ken Hawkins, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo credit: Ken Hawkins, Flickr Creative Commons

I had left my Jetta with a friend while we were in the States, and he had parked it on a side street one evening while attending a Bible study.  When he came out of the house, the car was gone.

This experience was one I look back on and see the Lord’s hand so clearly.  So much worse could’ve happened.  Someone could have been hurt during the theft.

Friends of ours graciously lent us one of their cars to use for our South African wedding preparations and the honeymoon road trip that followed.

Through what could have been a very negative situation, the Lord brought about so much good.

He kept us all safe.  He provided for our needs.  And He reminded me that the car was never mine to begin with.



The car was never recovered and the insurance payout was less than desirable, but it was one more opportunity to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18).  And we were grateful.


How has the Lord used a potentially negative situation to bring about good in your life?


This is Day 14 of 31 Days of Life in South Africa and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.  Have you been writing along with us?  What have been some of your favorite prompts to write about?  What did you write about today? 



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5 thoughts on “gone {day 14 :: away}

  1. I have a story of how God turned a negative into a positive….Today would have been my little girl’s 40th birthday! She was the second baby born to my ex-husband and me. Then we were done. I was scheduled for a tubal ligation the next day. However she was stillborn and the doctors wouldn’t perform the surgery. Exactly one year later I gave birth to my baby son, Justin. He is the best son a mother could ever ask for. He has been my rock these past 3 years in taking care of my husband with end-stage Parkinson’s. I do not know what I would have done without this young man in my life. So all those well meaning people who told me when my baby girl died, that God knew what was best for me were right.

    • Wow, thank you so much for sharing that testimony Paula! So powerful. I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your daughter. Thank you for giving us this glimpse into your story and for giving God the glory in the midst of hardship and trial. Blessings to you.

    • what a great story. Prayers for you and your family as you walk through this difficult time. God is an amazing God. What a wise doctor you had back then!

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