As we are closing out the year, would you agree that 2020 is not one we will soon forget? The list of tragedies in the lives of so many is long and devastating. If you were to rate this year on a scale of one to ten on how difficult it has been for you, what would your number be? And what would the number be for the loved ones in your life?
The lovely lady pictured in this photo next to me is my dear friend Gloria. Based on the circumstances in her life this year, the number I would give her is most definitely a ten.
In May, on Gloria’s birthday (I have vowed not to speak of her age), she fell and split her forehead open which resulted in a trip by ambulance to the ER for stitches. Shortly after her stitches were removed, she was getting out of the car when the wild Wyoming wind blew so hard it jostled her car door, knocking her to the ground. That fall resulted in a very painful broken elbow, an injury that may never fully heal. If that was not enough, she fell once again in August. The final fall was the most devastating and debilitating resulting in a broken collarbone in two places, eight (eight!) broken ribs, a broken pelvis, and the skin on her upper arm was completely torn off. I cannot even imagine the excruciating pain that came with these injuries. With all she endured physically, our family, which Gloria has been adopted into, feared that she may not survive.
It seemed her attending doctor perceived the same as he told her that the medical staff would keep her comfortable as she prepared to pass away. But the thing is, that doctor and his staff did not know my Gloria! Perhaps giving her the permission to comfortably pass away gave my sweet and spunky friend the determination to prove them all wrong by not only surviving but overcoming well and persevering.
May I remind you here that being in the hospital, in a year of Covid, brings about other challenges? Not only was Gloria fighting to survive her physical brokenness, but her mental and emotional health was also at risk with limited human contact and isolation.
Gloria spent two lonely weeks in the hospital followed by ten weeks of isolation in the rehab center. Can you even imagine?
As holistic human beings, I believe that the problems we have in one area, like an unhealthy physical body are greatly compounded when other parts of our being are compromised like our mental or emotional health. Would you agree? So when adding Gloria’s lonesome heart to her broken body, exacerbating her condition, might you wonder how she persevered?
I’ll tell you exactly how she did it. But let us first go where I always go ... let us take this story and find out how we might relate it to automotive and learn from two real-life overcomers.
A few weeks ago, we received a call from a lady, we’ll call her Ms. T, who was from Texas and was traveling through southern Minnesota when her diesel truck suddenly lost power. Ms. T is a hotshot driver. If any of you remember Mr. T, it might evoke images of a big muscular man draped in gold jewelry. He was certainly a “hot shot” but with a different definition. Ms. T is a hotshot driver as a profession, that is, she is responsible to haul and deliver freight to her customers across the country. She was in the process of delivering a camper at the time of the power loss.
When lifting the hood of her truck, she noticed oil all over the engine. Being a wise motorist, she did not drive further and sought out Google for help. Google directed her to Babcock Auto Care and she called for guidance. We immediately dispatched our friends at Pulver Towing who brought Ms. T safely and swiftly to our shop along with her truck and the camper she was towing.
Upon inspection and diagnosis, it was found that the engine of Ms. T’s 2015 GMC Sierra 3500 HD needed to be replaced. This was pretty devastating news for Ms. T. Not only was it an extremely expensive repair, it was also a time-consuming one and she was on a deadline for delivery of the camper along with other scheduled pickups and deliveries.
Any time we have to deliver such news to a client, it is difficult and we certainly feel their angst. At the same time, we are grateful that we have the team that we do who is able to help.
You see, after extensive research, we were able to find an engine for the Sierra that would be ready to be picked up the next day – though it was a state away. The cost was more than we would have liked to pay or charge Ms. T but due to the urgent nature of the situation, it seemed like the best option that would result in the quickest resolution. We also have a star mechanic and our exceptional shop foreman who were willing to take on the challenge of performing the replacement in half-time by doubling up together.
Ultimately, based on the circumstances of her profession, being in the middle of a job, and stranded so far away from home, Ms. T authorized the engine replacement. At that point, our team got to work – caring for her while we fixed her truck.
As she was traveling with her new puppy, we found a nearby pet-friendly hotel for the pair and also helped her retrieve groceries for her stay. Early the next morning, my husband, Jeremy got up very early, traveled several hours to retrieve the engine, and made it back to the shop by noon. Meanwhile, our super- mechanics were removing the old engine in preparation for the swap.
Here is the review Ms. T recently left for us on Yelp:
“I can’t say enough good about the professionalism and speed that they took care of me! I am a hotshot driver and was hauling a trailer to Montana when my engine blew. Got towed into their shop and they got on it immediately. Complete diesel engine swap in 3 days is IMPRESSIVE! Prices are more than my mechanic at home but for the time involved and speed they got me back on the road, it was worth every penny! I even got a call seeing how things were going with the engine the next day on the road! They went above and beyond offering shuttle service to hotel and stores and when I came back to pick up the old engine they were extremely helpful and professional again. I really love this shop and the crew here! Hopefully, I won’t be back but if I do break down on the road in the area or one of my fellow drivers do, I sure know where to send them! Oh ya pet friendly too! Thanks guys! I appreciate all your help and hard work!”
It brings me great joy to hear or be part of any story that brings about joy in others. It seems crazy that a repair costing so much would result in the positivity and goodness that has come about for Ms. T. This coupled with the togetherness of our team and the care they exude absolutely blows me away.
Do you know what else blows me away? When we are able to see the blessings, goodness and feel great joy and peace even in a year full of such heaviness. This is not natural. Being fearful, having a heavy heart, feeling discouraged, and experiencing other negative, sometimes overwhelming emotions is typically the norm in such circumstances.
Who wants to be normal anyway? Wouldn’t you rather learn from Gloria and Ms. T?
Now I can’t say that I know Ms. T’s heart or her beliefs, though her words give us a little glimpse. But because I am blessed enough to know Gloria, I’ve had more than a glimpse into her good heart – I have experienced it.
If you knew the details of Gloria’s past and all she has overcome, it would knock your socks off. Gloria grew up in Brooklyn as an Orthodox Jew (she has the sweetest accent that I could listen to all day!). Through an incredible set of awful circumstances, she ended up in Casper, WY many years ago. She was penniless, homeless, and had nobody. She has had such hardship in her life that I would give her a ten on the life scale of difficulties just like her number for 2020.
Yet Gloria’s joy in life and the peace she has, allows her to continue to finish well – not in the doctor’s timing but in God’s. The reason for this, she would say, is attributed to one reason only – the reason God brought her to Casper, WY – to meet Jesus. It is because of her faith in Him that she is an overcomer, glorious survivor, and my dear sister in Christ.
It seems fitting, in this Christmas season, that I share another snippet of my Fruit of the Spirit book with you – two qualities of the fruit that Gloria encompasses perfectly.
JOY is the next part of the fruit –
Do you wonder what JOY really is?
It’s the rejoicing deep in your heart
Because God says you are His!
JOY comes in praising Jesus
With hymns and worship songs.
JOY is knowing with all your heart
Being with God is where you belong.
JOY means serving Jesus,
Then Others and finally You.
If you serve in this special order
You’ll have a JOY that is true!
JOY is reading scripture
And memorizing God’s good Word.
So that when you’re feeling sad
You can be joyful in what you’ve heard.
JOY comes with gratitude
Being thankful to God in prayer.
When you count all your blessings
Your JOY will be declared!
JOY is dreaming of Heaven
And how wonderful it will be.
Being in the presence of God
Will fill you with JOY and glee!
JOY is a joyful feeling
That can only come from above
Because God is the source of JOY,
It comes from all His love.
PEACE is the third quality,
It is the calmness in your heart.
Even when there are troubles
Right from the very start.
“PEACE be with you” means
Trust God in all His ways.
Even when you begin to worry
Any time throughout your day.
PEACE is when you are relaxed,
And not feeling tense or stressed.
In times you’re lacking PEACE
Seeking God will give you rest.
You are called to keep the PEACE
As far as it depends on you.
Be in harmony with everyone
From Jesus, take your cue.
So let the PEACE that comes from Him
Always rule within your heart.
For you are called to live in PEACE
And always do your part.
You may not agree with others
Or understand what they say.
But you can keep the PEACE
By not reacting in a negative way.
You can ask the God of hope
To fill you with JOY and PEACE.
Then you won’t be so weary
And any fear inside will cease.
Friends, we are in the last weeks of a very difficult year. Moving into the New Year does not guarantee that our troubles and trials will be gone. God says in John 16:33, “In this world, you will have trouble”. And then He continues, “But take heart! I have overcome the world”.
God is the Overcomer. He sent His Son into our broken world, filled with broken and sinful people, with the purpose of saving us by His grace. If we want to live a life filled with hope and His fruit, including Joy and Peace, we must put our trust in Him. Jesus is the only One we can depend on and trust.
We do have options. We can live in fear, we can rely on our own understanding and the understanding that is filtered through the media, and we can put our trust in things of this world like politicians and vaccines. Or we can be like Gloria. We can follow Jesus – trusting Him, His timing, His ways, and being full with so much good fruit that even when we are incredibly broken, we can overcome because of the Overcomer.
Let us alter our scale and not rate this year or our lives in terms of difficulties, but let us reflect upon goodness and blessings like people we can help, people we have to love, and people we can learn from like Ms. T and my glorious Gloria.