A Prayer and a Puke
The following is a true story . . .
After parking at the Canadian border office north of Fargo, North Dakota, my new bride of one week and I started digging out our driver’s licenses to show the border guards. When my new bride turned her head and looked deeply into my eyes and sweetly said, “My purse! My PURSE!! My purse has my driver’s license, and I must have left it in Wheeling, (West Virginia), at my parents house!!” So much for sweet words! Now we were in a panic! In all the rush to leave on our honeymoon and drive West, she had forgotten her purse.
My classes started the next day at Canadian Bible College in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. In those days there was no overnight delivery of anything, so it would take days to get her ID. We were stuck, so I prayed, “Lord I’ll have to leave my new bride here while I drive on to school–Just kidding Lord! Seriously Lord, we need to get across the border, both of us. Please help us, in Jesus name.” The moment I quit praying, I felt like I was supposed to take our wedding album into the office with us.
It was not a busy border crossing and on entering the office, we only saw two officers. I got out my driver‘s license, laid down our wedding album on the counter, and fearfully told the officer we needed to cross the border but we had a problem–my new wife had forgotten her ID. The other officer asked about the pictures. The next thing I know we’re all standing there looking at the album–I’m telling them wedding stories; they’re laughing, and the four of us are having a great old time! When we finished with the pictures, they said we could go on across the border and wished us well with our new married life. Praise you, Jesus!!
Before leaving school the year before I had made arrangements to rent a cute little basement apartment for the coming school year. I even had the landlady’s approval to bring a small pet since I‘m a critter person. On arriving at the apartment, I introduced my new bride to the landlady and my furry little wedding present–an eleven-inch white, albino ferret. She thought the ferret, named Goofus, looked adorable! Much to our surprise and dismay, at the end of our first month in our cute little basement apartment, the landlady threw us out! I felt really bad that this might give the school a bad name so went to talk to the Dean of Married Students and told him what happened.
The next day he called me in his office and said, “I know about your little pet, but she said it was six feet long! She was afraid it might climb into her bedroom and eat her alive in the middle of the night! We have had students renting from her for years and in general she sounded much different than she had in the past, so, don’t worry about it; I think she might be going through menopause.” Whew! Another Praise the Lord!
We were told it was going to be very difficult to find another apartment with all the local colleges already in session. Still, we prayed and with a lead from another married couple at the college, right off the bat found another basement apartment at the same price and twice the size! The downside was it didn’t have any hot water, and the wall closets were so cold from the extended subzero weather, we kept our frozen meat and ice cream in with our jackets and boots. But the upside was it was another answer to prayer and turned into a great basement apartment that was large enough to entertain friends. We were very thankful and praised the Lord!
Before we got kicked out of our first apartment, my new bride started looking for a job. This was crucial because we only had enough money for one month of school and rent. She had graduated that spring with her Bachelor’s degree, so we thought that would be helpful in her finding a job. She interviewed for a job as a stenographer at the office of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. That’s when we discovered she needed a work permit. However, we were informed by the Canadian Immigration Office that in order to get a work permit, she would have to show that she had a job promised to her and that it was a job no other Canadian wanted! What a hurdle; it looked like a total impossibility!
We brought this up as a prayer request at a church we had started attending. Soon after a lady contacted my wife and said she had a position she was having trouble keeping filled. She was the Director of Housekeeping at the Regina Inn and needed a housing keeping maid. The Regina Inn was the premiere hotel in Saskatchewan and had very high standards, which explained the high turnover of maids. My poor new bride was going from proudly receiving her college degree to cleaning toilets!
The Director of Housekeeping filled out the document we needed, and we took it to the immigration officer. He was a big, burly rather loud gentleman who said he was in a rush for a lunch meeting but would look at our paperwork. He sat down, glanced through it, signed it, told us to give it to his assistant, and left. Next door in the assistant’s office, I handed her the signed paper; she glanced at it and got this weird look on her face. She said, “I don’t know why he signed this giving you permission to work because this now makes him over quota!” Nevertheless, she processed the papers and gave my new bride her work permit!! Our hearts sang with praise, “Thank you, dear Jesus, for this permit we shouldn’t have!”
My new bride came home exhausted from her first day on the job. It was a humbling experience, and though she was grateful for the job, started praying, “Lord, would it at all be possible to find a better job?” The second day on the job, she was cleaning a toilet and suddenly puked in the toilet! The Director of Housekeeping found out about her throwing up in the toilet and asked if she had any other skills, to which my new bride answered that she had been a switchboard operator in college. The Housekeeping Director made a call, and it turned out there was an opening for a switchboard operator at the front desk! Incredibly, another Praise the Lord!!!
During my time in college that year, my new bride happily worked the switchboard. A few months later, she even got to be part of the staff welcoming the Prime Minister of Canada to the Regina Inn, and at another time, to meet George Beverly Shea, the key soloist for the Billy Graham Crusades. By faith–we moved from a prayer . . . to a puke . . . to God’s blessing. Praise the Lord!
“I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.” Psalm 86:12 (NIV)
Copyright © 2010 by William D. (Nick) Nichols