A Holy Moment in a QT Bathroom

After waiting all year for our journey to the Home Place, it was hard to see it come to a close (and there is a post coming with all the things that this visit brought!)…but yesterday there was an encounter – orchestrated only by the hand of God.

Having left New York on Tuesday we headed first to Aunt Karoline and Uncle Tim’s home in Northern Indiana.  After being there for a couple of days we began the journey across America to our home.

We love road trips: the car ride itself, the scenery, the talking, singing and the laughter…such a privilege to drive across this great, breathtakingly beautiful land of ours…

As we headed toward St. Louis my iPhone navigation system told us the steps of the route – which I read aloud to Dw.  Since it would be awhile on one long highway, I turned it off until we got closer to the actual city.  When I turned it back on again, I was surprised to see that they had added some new steps. I told Dw and he was kind of baffled as well. He turned on his cellphone app “Waze” and it showed an entirely different route.  I re-booted my navigation system and again it had added thd extra steps in which we would get off of Interstate 44 but rejoin it further down the road.IMG_9357

Both Dw and I were perplexed at the different route options…wondering why we couldn’t just stay on 44.  We talked as we tried to decide what we should do.  The big beautiful arch was now in full view so we needed to decide quick!!  Dw said, “I’ll just follow what your iPhone is saying…even though it seems weird to take us off 44 and then dump us back on 44.”

Exiting Interstate 44 we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful older homes completely boarded up and I was oohing and aahing over the historic architecture, pointing out different features to the kids.

Since we needed gas Dw pulled into the first one he saw.  He asked me, “Do you think we should stop at this one?”  I thought it looked good until he reminded me that he would need to get Vern out to go to the men’s room and as I glanced back at the gas station I wondered if it even had a handicap bathroom.  I said, “Well, probably this one doesn’t look so good for Vern.”

Dw pulled out and drove further down a few blocks and there was a much larger, much newer looking QT…it looked perfect for a bathroom stop.  The girls and I climbed out as Dw got ready to fill up with gas.

As we entered the QT the air conditioning felt so good to the sharp contrast of the muggy 97 degrees we were walking in from. Opening the women’s room door we found the stalls empty…but at the sink was a young mom bent over a car seat trying to soothe a teeny, tiny baby and beside her was a little boy, who was at the most probably 2 years old.

When I saw the baby’s wiggling teeny-tiny toes I couldn’t keep quiet, “Oh look at the tiny baby. What teeny toes! Girls!! Did you see the tiny toes?”  The girls, who had walked toward the stalls, came back to peek.  The young mom didn’t glance up and it was then that I gathered that something must be wrong.  The little toddler was adorable as he stood staring at us.

We turned to use the restrooms.

While using the restroom I heard the baby begin to cry.  It was that very-newborn cry that sounded so upset.  She was clearly not happy!  The young mom was trying to soothe her.

While washing my hands, I wondered what I should do.  Should I ask if she needs help?  Was she homeless?  Was she running from an abusive spouse?  It  was the longest hand washing session I’d done in a long time as I tried to buy time to pray and think what I should do.

About that time the mom’s cell rang and with the size of the bathroom, even if we had tried, it would have been impossible to not hear her talking. She was right beside me!

From the conversation I gathered that her car had broke down, the baby needed to be nursed and it was too hot to sit in the broken car (that wouldn’t even start) and nurse the baby.  Because of the heat outside the tow truck was behind in calls and would be at least 45 minutes.  The young mom was beginning to cry as she explained that every person she had called could not come to help.

And friends, this is where I have to say, it would have been easy to go on my way. I mean, what could I really do? And besides Dw was waiting for me to come to the car to take Vern to the bathroom!

But had I ignored her and her little ones I would have missed out on a beautiful opportunity to minister.  All I could imagine was what if it was one of my grown married daughters?  Abi? Sarah? Autumn? Emmy? Savannah? What would I have wanted someone else like me to do?

Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan?  I would have been theoretically stepping aside because I “already had something else going on”…

I prayed as I washed my hands…and finishing I turned to her, “I’m sorry, but I overheard your situation.  You need to nurse your baby…why can’t you nurse in the handicap stall? No one will care. Here, let me help you.”

And I started grabbing paper towel after paper towel out of the wall dispenser.  I went into the handicap stall.  Having that mama-in-charge attitude, she gathered up the car seat and together with her little fella’ they followed me.  I neatly laid the paper towels all out like a little rug on the floor against the wall to make a clean little place for her to sit on.

She plopped down and instantly began to nurse her sweet little babe.  She looked up and thanked me with tears in her eyes.  She said she was praying what she should do.  I then asked her, “Can I get you something to drink?”  She insisted she was fine.

Apparently the mama-is-in-charge thing works better with this sweet young mom because I then said, “Listen I nursed several of my babies and I know nursing moms need something to drink! What would you like? CHOP! CHOP!  I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer!”

She smiled, “Okay, just an ice water.”  I questioned what her little guy would like.  She thought maybe an apple juice.

I partially shut the handicap stall door and off with my girls I went to grab some cold water.  We found a nifty squirty apple juice bottle with a fun robot kind of top for her little guy that we thought would be more exciting then a normal bottle of apple juice.  As I walked to pay I grabbed some M&Ms as well.

Dw came in the store about that time and I told him that I was taking care of a young mom in the bathroom and Liberty was able to go sit in the car with the others so he could begin to get Vern out and into the QT.


Going back into the bathroom, I gave her the water, the apple juice and as I handed her the M&Ms I told her, “Because M&Ms always make everything better.”  I remembered to give her the receipt so no one would wonder how she got the things she was now carrying.

As I helped her little guy open the apple juice, I asked her name and it turns out that it was one of my older girls names (how sweet was that? I told her that her name was one of my big girl’s name as well) and then I asked her if I could pray for her..so I took her hand and kinda scrunched down beside her in the handicap stall and I prayed…for a quick resolution to the car situation, for their safety, for God to minister to her and comfort her…when I finished she had tears in her eyes.

Just before leaving I asked if I could give her my cell number.  I told her that the momma in me would be wondering how she was…so she typed my number in her phone and called me.

Later I texted her to see if all was well and late last night I received this text from her:

Yes! I can’t thank you enough. I needed my Jesus with skin on him and you showed up! Thanks so much for being obedient. I was so convicted at the impact of being reminded that He is MY ever present help in every time of need. And he always sees us and that is more than we’ll ever need. HE brings me M&Ms and apple juice and water while walking through a fire so I will not be burned.

Somehow it seems easier to have faith for other people but forget how much he loves us too that. We should also expect him to help us when we call. Love you sister. I hope I can be the mother you seem to be in front of all your treasures! What an awesome example. That must be why God has trusted you with so many!!


Friends, I could have easily missed it.  Dw and Vern were waiting.  We were trying to make time.  And lots of other reasons…

OH but if I’d gone on…I would have missed it…and what a loss that would have been…I’m so grateful I stopped.  Seriously.

Forget the “hurry”.  Don’t miss the holy moment!  Don’t miss the joy of loving others!  And to think – the crazy mid-stream i-Phone route change was without a doubt, from Him.  If we had not exited Interstate 44 we would have missed the opportunity to minister to her.

Each day there are so many opportunities to minister His love in tons of way all around us. Don’t hurry past the needs He graciously allows us to meet, giving us the undeserved opportunity to be His hands and feet.

This I know…there is no doubt that even though she said we blessed her and her little tribe yesterday, being able to be His hands and feet blessed us a bazillion times more!!  It just felt soooo stinkin’ good.

18 thoughts on “A Holy Moment in a QT Bathroom

  1. Wonderful story! I hope you can keep in touch with her. Sounds like the beginning of what could be a wonderful friendship.


  2. Tears stream as I read this. I was one of the neighbors she called who didn’t pick up the phone (was napping). When I woke and listened to her voice message I felt awful and even wondered why God “let” me sleep. But now I know at least some of the why. So beautiful to hear how you cared for her. So grateful for your listening to the Spirit’s nudge and caring for her in the midst of your travels. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! – Melissa

    1. Awww Melissa – this is amazing!! I remember her saying that “So-n-so and Melissa weren’t answering…” That’s YOU!! Wow. The Lord is just so good and faithful and our very-present-help in time of need! Praise His name. Your friend is a treasure and I am so grateful for the joy of briefly lending her a bit of help!! xo

  3. I may have misunderstood the part about the route change, But is it possible that God turned you toward that service station for such a time as “this??”

  4. Love this SO very much. Blessings both ways, no doubt! Thank you so much for sharing this story. Oh, that we all might heed the seemingly crazy directions of our awesome God to be “Jesus with skin on him”!! Still hoping for a Saunders invasion sometime soon. 😘

  5. Wow, Linny, thanks for sharing! It is so encouraging to read about how God uses his body to reach out and touch. The way he loves us is so personal and real. Thanks so much for blessing us with your stories! Love from Leipzig!

    1. Awww sweet friend!! You and your family are such wonderful blessings to my far away loved ones. Thank you. So glad you were encouraged by God’s faithfulness in this sweet bathroom story!! He is our ever-present help in time of need!! Sending hugs and love back to you!!

  6. I’m from St. Louis and have been annoyed/frustrated lately by the construction on 44 making my commute take longer. Thank you for sharing this – I’ll definitely be looking at the positives and possibilities such situations bring!

  7. I so look forward to your posts, Linny. Your courage and obedience is really inspiring to me, and I am from Missouri! I lived right around that area that you pulled off the highway at. My Mom and her husband live in Washington, Mo , which you passed by on 44, also! Praying for a safe return home!

  8. I love that you are always paying attention!!! And have such a great way to relay the story! Puts feet to all of our faith!

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