Chance Encounters are not chance encounters.
Have you ever wondered “What if” after escaping what could’ve become your ill fate if something or someone hadn’t stepped in and saved you? Just after it happens, you replay all of the circumstances leading up to it and truly get the magnitude of that guardian angel, force of nature, or in our case this time, a flat tire.
We were on a two line highway, traveling South about two hours from our destination on the Gold Coast of Australia. We were singing and laughing and enjoying our long drive. Suddenly, we heard a loud noise and our truck began swerving to the left. We tried to remain calm although we were on the edge of a blind turn with very little space on the side of the road. Next to us was a steeply sloped ditch.
My wonderful husband has many talents and skills but changing a tire isn’t one of them. So, he quickly got out and tried to flag someone down. We were amazed that a woman quickly pulled over and tried to help. She let Dana use her phone but he couldn’t get through to Roadside Assistance. As he was in front of us talking to her, another car pulled over across the street. A warm and friendly face looked over at us and this kind stranger asked if we needed any help.
Meet Matthew Britt. Matt actually passed us and felt compelled to turn around and help. He changed our tire in the hot sun as Dana acted as a shield with the very limited amount of space we had. We were all relieved when the tire was on and after many hugs, high fives and thank yous, headed off in amazement. We kept questioning why he was kind enough to stop and help us. The story doesn’t end here.
A few minutes later, we saw him in front of us waving to get off at the upcoming exit. We followed him and pulled over at a gas station. He told us he didn’t feel comfortable with our family driving all that way on a spare tire and offered us his car to drive the remainder of the way. As we spoke and filled the other tires with air, we learned a bit about him. He’s a daddy to four kids and such a warm and special spirit. We were again blown away by this person and proceeded on the highway en route to Surfer’s Paradise. The story doesn’t end here either.
Five minutes up the road, there were a dozen police cars and ambulances. We witnessed a deadly car accident with sheets over the deceased souls who had no idea these moments would be their last. It was a young family, we later found out.
We were all in shock and saddened by what we saw and the reality of how precious each moment is.
When we arrived at our destination and Matt got out of the car, we all hugged and had a deeply powerful moment. Matt said he had chills when we passed that accident and was in deep thought the whole drive. He then asked, “Have you ever wondered, What If? What if you didn’t get a flat tire. What if I didn’t turn around and pull over to change it? What if we didn’t pull over to switch cars? What if we were up the road in that exact moment? What if that was us?”
These are the moments when you feel the presence and reality of guardian angels. These are the moments when you realize it wasn’t your time yet. These are the moments you are deeply aware of divine intervention and significant connections you are meant to make in this life.
Matt told us how peculiar and out of the ordinary his day had been leading up to meeting us on the side of the road. He said that a strong feeling came over him to turn around and help us even though he could’ve just continued on his way. After changing our tire, another feeling came over him to pull us over and change cars.
We spent the evening hanging out together and we now have a new friend and family member in our lives. Matthew, we are so thankful for you. You are such a special and dear soul and we are so lucky to know you. We look forward to spending more time together somewhere…some day. Until then, we are grateful to be connected in this life.
Matt’s only request as we parted ways that evening was for us to pay it forward. This has been done already many times since then and we will continue to be a family that reaches out to those in need and to help whenever and wherever we can.
Live each and every moment and when you get a flat tire, embrace it. There is a reason for everything.