What a surprising story of how the Atonement can come into play in our lives in the most unexpected and profound of ways.
Having your car break down is never a fun experience. But it's especially challenging when it happens at 5:30 a.m. on a cold December morning along a snowy stretch of highway in Idaho.
I had noticed in the days previous to this incident that something was off with our car, but life was so full of to-do's that I ignored the warning signs and simply drove on—until, that is, the vehicle became inoperable and I sat stranded on the side of a long and lonely highway.
Complicating the issue further was the fact that my wife and I were poor undergraduate students, trying to support ourselves and our 9-month-old son on the earnings of two (sometimes three) part-time jobs that I worked while carrying a full load of college credits. At the time that our car broke down, I was set to graduate in one week, and in another few weeks, move my family 2,300 miles to the east coast for my first real job. We had $200 left in our bank account, and the cost of the car repairs exceeded that amount. Because neither of our families were in a position to help us financially, it appeared that our only option was to secure a loan from the repair shop—the kind of loan that charges 20 percent interest compounded on what seems like an hourly basis.
With the burdens of our already precarious financial situation now multiplied by the need for a major car repair, the weight of the world came crashing down on my shoulders. I felt foolish for ignoring the warning signs of my car's declining health. But I also couldn't help thinking "Why did this have to happen to us, and why did it have to happen now?"
The car was not the only thing broken at the moment—so was I.