Hang On—Help Is On Its Way
Surrendering to the Support of Others
Getting in my vehicle after writing with a friend at the library, I put my key in the ignition and turn it, and it clicks. I laugh because my friend just handed me a book titled The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein. In this moment, I feel relaxed despite my dead battery. It’s the third recent mishap involving my vehicle, and things seem to happen in threes. My friend offers to get me my favorite drink from a local coffee shop. I find my AAA membership card and call for emergency road service.
It’s cloudy, windy, and chilly on this autumn day as I stand next to my vehicle feeling peaceful and looking for the AAA truck. My friend returns. I thank and hug her, so grateful for the warm drink. She drives away knowing I’ve got this; I’ve been living single for over two years and this situation seems entirely manageable.
The AAA truck arrives and the driver gets out. He’s a handsome young man wearing an army ball cap and the AAA fluorescent yellow jacket. We strike up a conversation as he checks my battery. I quickly learn that he serves in the Army Reserves and he is engaged.
“I hope I’m not being too personal, but how did you propose to your fiancée?” I ask because I’m genuinely interested and because he’s so open and chatty that I figure why not? He then tells a story of sharing his decision with his parents, asking her parents for their blessing, collaborating with his mom on the purchase of the ring, getting the ring, being awake for 24 hours in different airports making his way back to his girlfriend in Columbus, and finally “taking a knee on the 20-yard line” in the Columbus airport in front of his girlfriend, circled by family members who cheered and cried. She said yes with tears of joy and surprise. He shows me the photo of the moment on his phone.
I’m thrilled to be meeting a man who relishes the telling of the proposal story as much as many women do. It’s heartening to know men like this exist. (It’s not that I didn’t think they did; it’s that I hadn’t had personal experience with them.) I ask him his name and he shares his first name. I feel a motherly bond with this young man as I tell him excitedly, “That’s my son’s name!”
During this conversation, I get a call from a friend, who offers to bring me lunch because she happens to be in the neighborhood and wants to see me. She arrives with sweet potato fries and veggie burgers. While the young man installs the new battery and processes the paperwork, we hungrily eat our fries in her warm car and I share the happy experiences I’m having during this battery breakdown. As I notice the man finishing up, I climb out of her car and shake hands with him. He now feels like my son might be in five years.
“Be certain to keep looking for new ways to love your fiancée! She’s so fortunate to have you in her life!”
“Oh, I will! I’m cooking dinner for her tonight. She cooked chicken Alfredo last night, and I will cook her a delicious dinner tonight!”
He climbs into the AAA truck and drives away. I stand in the chilly wind, warmed by joy and inspiration. That’s what love does: It keeps looking for new ways to express itself as kind deeds, appreciation, inspiring stories from a stranger who starts to feel like a family member, and a new battery full of life and energy to drive my vehicle into a future of more possibilities and loving experiences.
Maybe the Universe or a higher power always has our back, and perhaps our higher power is assisted by loved ones—the sort of people who show up to hand us tea and sweet potato fries on a chilly autumn day. In my case, a higher power also showed up as a kind, talkative man who, in addition to installing a new battery, shared his light of service and joy in being alive and in love. I imagine that reading Gabrielle’s book will be validation and reinforcement for the strategy of being ready for whatever comes my way, comfortable leaning into others and knowing it will be all right.
Here are some ideas you can try to build trust that help is on the way:
I welcome your comments, insights, and feedback!
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“Love your space, love your life”