So last night I was heading home after visiting my mum-in-laws. It was after 10:30 pm and I had my doggies in the truck with me. I'm heading down 69North towards home. No stars or moon that I could see and this particular stretch of highway is pretty deserted. No houses, few businesses and four lanes of traffic. All of a sudden, I see a girl walking down the road. She's on the side of the road - not hitch hiking. Just walking. I am used to seeing hitch hikers. But she wasn't. Just walking.
And my heart felt like it was being squeezed.
I had this overwhelming burden to stop and ask if she was okay. Something was absolutely d-r-a-w-i-n-g me to her. And I couldn't explain it other than to say, it was a God thing. And so I said "God, you've got to be kidding. I can't pull over and ask this girl if she is okay. What if she is a murderer? I've got the dogs with me. Like, come on, what if I scare her when I pull over? I can't stop." And truthfully, I wasn't scared of being murdered. It was an excuse I was trying to use to get myself out of this overwhelming sense that I had to stop.
Of course, by this time, I was way past her. A few miles past her. Minutes away. I was on my way home. And then I turned around. Without thinking. I just did it. And at that moment, I said "Woe. Okay God, I get the picture."
And I started to look for her again.
And again I argued with God. "Um, so once I see her, then what??" And my heart was squeezed. "You know I can't stop right?" Squeeze. "Okay, I'll just drive by to make sure she's okay. There are no houses for miles and miles. Where is she going? Fine, I'll just drive by." SQUEEEEEZE. "I get the picture."
I see her. Still walking. Head down. Back pack slung onto one shoulder. Walking. I drive past and turn around in a parking lot. I drive by her again. SQUEEZE.
I drive to a parking lot and call 911. What else could I do? Could I really stop? I didn't feel like it was an option for me so I called someone who could maybe offer her a ride or see if she was okay. The police.
"Hi. This is Mandi Cresswell and I am heading down 69North towards the Valley and there is a girl walking on the side of the road. She's not hitch hiking or anything but there is nothing around for kilometers. I was just wondering if there was anyone in the area if they could just stop and see if she was okay."
"What does she look like?"
I described her.
"Does she have on a blue coat?"
"I believe it's a blue plaid coat."
"I think that's our missing girl! Hold on a second."
She puts me on hold. I had no idea about a missing girl! None at all!
"Mandi, I believe this is our missing girl. We've had officers out looking for her for hours. We'll have an officer there in about 3 minutes."
AFter the phone call, I drove by the girl again. No police had arrived. But then I saw them, lights dim (not flashing), driving slowly. Searching for her. And by the time I turned around, they were with her. She was in the car.
And I drove home. Feeling good. No more squeezing. Feeling warm. It was 11:30 by the time I got home. It takes me 20 minutes to get home from my mum-in-laws. Follow your heart.