by Kimberly B. Southall

The weather was harsh that day in January 1985. Despite warnings to stay at home if at all possible, I had ventured forth that morning to go to work as soon as I heard that I-77 had reopened. I drove the 35 miles to work at a snail's pace through the deep snow which reached more than halfway up my car's tires. God's presence and brave (or foolish?) truckers were my only companions on this bleak interstate.

Through God's grace I safely reached the law firm in Charleston, WV, where I worked. I was the only one who made it into the office that day. I still did a few hours' work as my boss dictated letters and documents over the telephone. Wanting to reach home before darkness descended on the icy roads, I left work early that afternoon.

Once again, God saw me safely all the way to Ripley. It was when I reached the curvy, treacherous road where my home lay that I earnestly began to pray, for I knew when I reached home I would be faced with climbing a very steep driveway. And if my car couldn't climb that driveway, there would be nowhere to park. It was much too cold to park far away and walk home, and it would be far too dangerous for other drivers if I parked on the road. There was no alternative; my car had to make it up that driveway.

But doubts assailed me as I remembered that no vehicle other than those with 4-wheel-drive had ever made it up that hill during weather conditions like this. I pushed those thoughts out of my head and prayed harder as I neared the driveway.

Accelerating as I began the ascent, my car climbed more than halfway up the driveway. When I reached the steepest portion of the driveway, the car progressed no further. Remembering the first rule of steep, icy driveway climbing, I kept my foot steady on the accelerator. My prayers kept that car from sliding back down the hill, but why weren't they helping me go the rest of the way?

I prayed to God for the wisdom to know how to make it the rest of the way up the hill. God immediately answered that plea by placing an idea in my head. The studded tires were indeed digging into the ice; wouldn't it work better if they weren't just digging deeper in the same spot? Thus, I began working the steering wheel from side to side so the studded tires were digging in different directions. The car began to inch forward.

Inside my home, something else was taking place. My brother, with his 4-wheel-drive vehicle had already climbed the driveway and was inside with my mother. As they watched from the window, my brother commented, "Now just what does she think she's doing? She'll never make it up the driveway!" My mother, a woman of great faith, told him with assurance that I would make it up the driveway. Then she prayed. At that moment, my car shot up the remainder of that driveway as if a giant hand had given it a push.

You see, I had prayed hoping that God would help me. My mother had prayed knowing that He would.

Copyright © 1997 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.