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Recently I went to lunch with friends and due to a fire truck blocking my normal entrance to the correct parking deck, I found a new place to park. I carefully checked the location, pulled up my Park Mobile app, paid for an overage of time, and headed to eat. When I returned, with just short of 20 minutes ticking down on my app, I found my car had been booted.

I immediately took a screen shot of how much time I had left, noting that this way it would also capture the time I had taken the photo. As I waited for assistance from the company who booted me, I took additional pictures to document what had happened. I'm glad I did - because I needed them.

I handled the situation professionally, and there is more to the story, but suffice to say by the time someone arrived to remove the boot, I was hot as a firecracker. By no fault of my own, I had been delayed and rerouted. I hate nothing more than wasting time. I am *such* a big rule follower, and I was really frustrated that even though I followed the rules I was now stuck in this situation.

On my way to my next stop, now running behind and with adrenaline high, I tried to slow down and calm down. I decided maybe the universe needed to delay me in some way, that my timing was off for something bigger than I maybe could see. This was the only thing that helped me to get some understanding of "why."

I once told a friend a particularly painful story of something really difficult I was facing. I was really struggling. She let me cry and share my hurt filled story. She let me ask why. She just listened, and after a long time, she said, "Maybe God is saving you from something." I've never forgotten the power of that. She didn't diminish my pain. She didn't act like the situation wasn't serious. She listened, she was thoughtful, and she saw something I couldn't see - which at that point was actually hope.

Sometimes we are blown off course for no apparent reason. I won't say these are welcome intrusions, but my hope is there may be a bigger picture that our limited knowledge can know. If there is an area in your life where you are feeling particularly stuck (or booted shall we say), whether it is a mild inconvenience or something much heavier, may you have friends who listen, love, and offer a helping hand. May you know the peace that passes understanding. My you know you are not alone in your struggles or your sorrow.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

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