What If You Gave a STRANGER a Ride and THIS Happened?!?
How many times have you seen someone walking on the side of the road and thought, “Hmm, I wonder if I should stop to see if they need help…” I have a bunch of times, but then the gremlins in my head tell me that he is probably a murderer and I don’t have time and this isn’t my job and all the things.
But what if you took that risk and something beyond your wildest dreams and expectations happened?
Enter, one of my new heroes, Mother of the Year, Jessica! Jessica took her what if’s and threw them out the window when she saw a mother and her two daughters walking down the road right before an impending rainstorm. This mother needed a ride to the women’s shelter after escaping an unsafe situation.
Jessica gave this mom, Nicole, her number and the friendship grew from there. Check out what Jessica says about how this one ride changed both of their lives.
She has two girls and just wants a better life for them. She was kicked out of her shelter because she went to visit her father on Father's Day and her return train was late. When she was late they made her wait 7 days to get back in. With two young kids, I couldn't imagine being in the position of giving up my kids or making them sleep on the street. I rallied friends and family and the moms in the [Mother of the Year Facebook] group, and we got her a hotel room for 6 days. I helped get them rides to apply to state aid for the last couple of weeks.
I was able to get her an interview because my best friend runs a Pilot truck stop in Indiana. She did great at the interview and now has a full time job with benefits. She should have a place of her own in 2 days. I am monstrously stressed and have fallen in love with her kids, but I am not very well-off myself and am starting to stretch myself a little thin. A mom from the group just mailed me a gift card for Walmart, and I will give it to her to help stock her new apartment. One mom rallied her friends and has sent so much support, including suitcases for easier travel for this family.
I am hoping so hard that this will help her get going in life, but I'm pretty sure I will worry about her and her kids forever.
When I asked Jessica why she picked them up in the first place, this is what she said:
I always offer rides when I see moms with kids. I was just without a car for over 6 months and it is so hard to get around. Usually people turn me down, but she said yes! I've gotten help all my life. I just want everyone to try and help everyone!
Jessica, you are amazing and an example to us all.
What’s the lesson for the rest of us? Pay attention. Lift your eyes out of your own circumstances to see, really see, the needs and opportunities that await you. Don’t buy into the lie that you’re too busy, too messed up, too fill-in-the-blank to love people well. God can use your hard times to help others. God can use your good times to help others. God can use you to help others in every day ways.
Now what I’m not saying is that you need to pick up any ole stranger on the side of the road! I’m saying that if you pay attention, God will create these beautiful moments for you to step into. Most of the time, you’ll probably never know the end of the story like Jessica does, and that’s ok. Generally, it’s enough to know that another human’s smile or sigh of relief is because you stepped out of your comfort zone and said yes.
Thanks to Jessica for sharing her story. Thanks to all the moms who sent money, gift cards, and prayers that will help get Nicole back on her feet.
And you guys, listen. Belief that small moments can create big life change is exactly why I created the Mother of the Year Award stickers! So if you’re looking for a practical way to start practicing practical kindness, buy a Sticker Pack today! Plus, if you want to help Jessica by way of gift cards, money, or train tickets, send me an email and I’ll get you connected!