Answered prayers: An unexpected blessing from God

Traffic at 3 p.m. near Collegedale Academy. Heavy traffic surrounds this area due to parents picking up their kids and students going to class.
Thursday, February 10, 2022. (Photo by: Maiya Banks)
Traffic at 3 p.m. near Collegedale Academy. Heavy traffic surrounds this area due to parents picking up their kids and students going to class. Thursday, February 10, 2022. (Photo by: Maiya Banks)

I was desperate. When I was a freshman here at Southern, I wanted so badly to go to my first-ever academy alumni reunion, but it was looking less and less like I would be able to. I didn’t have a car. My roommate did, but it had a manual transmission. And, despite my parents wanting me to learn, I didn’t know how to drive one, at least not for 11 hours to Michigan by myself. 

A few weeks before Alumni Weekend, I thought I had a ride, but it fell through. I texted and called everyone I could possibly think of who might be going — classmates, other alumni, a staff member who used to work there. Nothing. I even resorted to just randomly asking friends and acquaintances if I could borrow their car for the weekend. That went about as well as I expected. No one said “yes.”

I was praying the whole time. It’s not like this weekend was huge or anything. I just wanted to see my mom, my sister and my friends, and I wanted a break from being a lonely  college freshman for a couple days. For some reason, when I was praying about it, I had a really comforting peace that if God wanted me to go for some reason, I’d go. But if He didn’t, then I would be happier staying here. It was a cool feeling!

The days passed too quickly, and all of a sudden, it was Friday morning – basically the last chance I had. I woke up, had devotions, prayed again and decided to pack — just in case. I didn’t have an overwhelming impression; I just thought if I did have to leave all of a sudden, it would be a good idea to be ready. 

I had back-to-back classes from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and then I had choir at noon. In my morning classes, my professors asked if I had found a ride yet, and I said “no.” Up in Michigan, my sister and her class prayed that I would be able to make it. I texted my mom and told her that if I didn’t have a ride by the end of choir, I wouldn’t be able to come. I walked to choir, and before I sat down in my usual seat, my friend Renée came and gave me a hug. She asked if I was doing ok, and I resignedly explained what was going on. 

“It looks like I won’t be able to go,” I told her.

Another friend, Heather, turned around and asked, “Are you trying to go to Michigan?”

“Yes,” I responded.

“I can take you halfway.”

“Today?!”

“Yes! I’m going to Alumni Weekend at Indiana Academy!”

I was so surprised and happy that I didn’t know what to do. She told me when she was planning on leaving. After choir was finished, I called my mom with shaking hands and a breathless voice. I told her what had happened, and we began to figure out how I would get the rest of the way up to Michigan. Now that I knew I was going part of the way, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me!

The whole way up to southern Indiana, where my aunt was to pick me up, I thanked Jesus. On the way to Indiana Academy, where we spent the night, I thanked Jesus. The next morning, driving the five hours to Great Lakes Adventist Academy in my uncle’s borrowed truck, I thanked Jesus. I got there about five minutes after Sabbath School started.

The weekend was fun and refreshing, even though I didn’t get much sleep. I got to spend time with people that I love, at a place I love, worshipping the God I love.

I still don’t know if there was some big reason why God wanted me up there. Maybe it was just because I needed to know that He loves answering prayers. Maybe I really needed that break. Maybe I had a meaningful conversation with someone that I’ll never find out about till Heaven. All I know is that the experience strengthened my faith like nothing else. I’m so grateful that He answered that prayer and showed me His love in yet another way.

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