Our Inconveniences Can Be For Another's Blessing

By guest blogger, Heather Galloway

How many times do you leave a fast-food restaurant frustrated that you waited too long? Now you are late and you say to yourself, “I never should have gone through that drive-through.” Maybe you’ve been caught in crazy traffic and you’ve felt your road rage begin to stir.  Sometimes these moments leave you grumpy, annoyed, and frankly in a bad mood. One such night on Tuesday, October 10, I could have been greatly annoyed, but something changed my focus.

My daughter and I were driving home in the rain from her volleyball game, tired and hungry. My husband was at our son’s soccer game, so it was a fast-food dinner for us girls. She wanted Firehouse Subs, and due to the rainy night, I preferred something different. I stopped at my food choice to satisfy my craving. I ran inside because the drive-through was packed, ordered, and waited for my order. And I waited, and waited, and waited. This particular night, it was a longer wait than usual. There were customers in front of me special-ordering and substituting food choices. I thought to myself, “This usually isn’t the case here. It must be the weather.” I finally received my order and jumped in the car. I apologized to my daughter for the delay, explaining the inconveniences I, along with the other unhappy customers, were put through and drove on to Firehouse Subs. 

She and I were chatting as we pulled alongside the building when I saw flashing lights behind me and heard a car honking. I looked in the rear-view mirror. “What in the world? Am I not parking fast enough for you?” I said aloud. Then I jumped as I saw a woman standing at my window, waving her hands at me in desperation, her eyes and mouth wide open in some sort of shock.

I rolled down the window just in time to hear her barely get out the words, “I’m choking!” 

I threw the car into park, opened the door, jumped out and said, “I am going to give you the Heimlich. Are you ready?” She nodded her head in desperation as I wrapped my arms around her midsection and gave a tight, quick squeeze, all the while praying under my breath, “Oh, Jesus, Jesus, please help me. Let this work.”

She began coughing and gasping for breath. I reached into the open car to grab my umbrella to hold over her with one hand while my other hand was on her back. After a minute or so she began to calm down and was breathing more normally. The workers had been standing with the door open asking, “Is she okay? What can we do to help?”

I told them, “I think she’s okay. Just give her a minute.” She nodded to confirm she was fine so we walked inside and sat her down. I talked calmly to her and helped her slow down her heart rate by continuing to take slow breaths in and out. The workers brought her a cup of water and a cold cloth. I placed the cloth on her forehead and with my hand on her shoulder, told her to relax her breathing so her body could calm down. She finally looked up at me with relief and uttered a thank you to me and to the workers standing by. 

I breathed a sigh of relief. I turned and said my own thank you to the workers and walked out to my still running car. My daughter looked at me with awe and said, “Wow, Mom, you just saved her life.”

I replied, “I guess so. That was so crazy.”  I then moved the car to a parking space and sent my daughter inside to buy her food. I took a deep breath and thought through what had just happened. I called my husband and said, “I think I just saved someone’s life.” I relayed the story of my inconvenience at the one restaurant that brought me to Firehouse Subs at the exact time this woman needed help. As we drove home I prayed out loud, to bless that woman and thanked God for positioning me through my delay to help her.

I realize we don’t always walk away with an amazing lifesaving story like this after all of life’s inconveniences.  When you do, it makes you stop to be thankful for the minor inconvenience you experienced that aligned you to be a blessing to someone in need.

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