Deflated & Flat


True story: in the past 2.5 months, my husband and I have had four, yes FOUR flat tires.  I mean, seriously?!

There was the one that was completely my fault, or has my beloved Cher Horowitz from Clueless would say, “My Bad!”  In my defense, the wall I backed into, shredding my tire to pieces, completely came out of nowhere!

There was the one that crept up on B as he was pulling out of his parking garage coming home from work on a Friday night…talk about the LAST thing you want to deal with on your Friday night commute.

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There was the one that mysteriously occurred in a five minute drive from our house to a nearby restaurant (in our brand new car), just as we pulled into the valet parking place.  We got out and said, “Ummm…before we give you our car, we need to change our tire first.  Wait just a minute.” We then pulled to the side where we my husband proceeded to change the tire on “the strip” in Virginia Beach (ie: the touristy part of town).  Thankfully, there were some nice men on vacation who thought it would be fun to help us out!

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But the one that takes the cake happened in Washington D.C. on our way to our friends’ wedding.  We were on the GW Parkway and all of a sudden, the tire went completely flat.  The problem?  The GW Parkway is basically a busy highway with nowhere to pull over!

So we trudged along, praying we could make it.  We ended up pulling off on the Key Bridge ramp, which takes you into Georgetown.  By then, the tire was off the rim, so we pulled off the ramp, onto the grass.  30 minutes until the wedding…tick tock, tick tock.

In addition to a flat tire, our jack was broken and our car requires a specific jack, so at 7 months pregnant, in a cocktail dress and heels, in the heat of summer, I had to stand in the middle of a DC intersection, attempting to flag down a certain type of car so we could borrow their jack.  Add this to the list of “Things I Never Imagined I Would Do…Ever”

Eventually, I found a kind soul who was graciously willing to help us out.  (Think being pregnant definitely helped!)

He starts working on the tire with B, and I get back in the middle of the intersection to hail a cab to try to make it to the ceremony, when out of nowhere, a guy walks across the intersection and says, “Elizabeth?  Elizabeth Robertson?”

It turns out it was a friend from high school that I don’t think I’ve seen in 10-12 years, but he saw me in the middle of the road pregnant, and all dressed up with nowhere to go, and figured I needed some help.

“Do you need a ride somewhere?”  he asked.

“YES!  Yes, I do!”

I ran back to him and hopped in his car with his girlfriend and her new puppy.  They shuttled me across the Key Bridge and I made it to the wedding with five minutes to spare!

I can’t tell you what an answer to my prayers they were!

B got the tire turned around arrived just a few minutes behind me.

In the words of Olivia Pope, the D.C. tire catastrophe had officially been “handled.”

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Deflated, but not defeated!

I now drive around in fear of every single bump and noise that I hear, waiting with baited breath for our next flat to occur.  At our current rate, our next flat tire should be arriving in the next week or so…with our luck, it will be on the way to the hospital to deliver this baby.

At this point it’s just comical.  Instead of crying or getting stressed, we’re at the point where this is laughable.  But I keep wondering, “God, what are you trying to teach us?”

Always have a spare on hand?

Replace you car jack when it breaks, so it’s ready for the next time?

When you’re pregnant, play up the “pregnancy card” for sympathy and additional help?

Watch where you’re going when you back out of a driveway?

Who knows…

But one thing I’ve learned in all these disasters is this: tires can’t run on three wheels–they need four, all driving along at the same level and pace.  When something is off-balance, you can’t go anywhere.  (Deep, I know….and it only took me FOUR flat tires to figure it out!)

In our lives, we all have different “wheels” that move us along.  They may look different, but a broad category might look like this:

  • Spiritual
  • Relational
  • Personal
  • Professional

Are all of the wheels in your life balanced?

Are you so busy taking care of others, that you forget to take care of yourself and rest, exercise, eat well, or take time to yourself to do things that make you come alive?

Is work so hectic and demanding that you don’t have time for anything else, letting your relationships slip?

Has it been so long since you’ve pumped some air into your spiritual tire that you don’t even know where to begin?

Where in your life do you feel flat, lifeless, and immobile?

Where in your life do you feel so full that you’re about to pop?

Take a look at your life and ask God what might need a little inflating and what might need some deflating.

This “Tire Gate” debacle has definitely shown me the importance of having all four wheels pumped up and ready to go.  When your wheels are off balance, you may rumble and tumble along for a little bit, but eventually you’ll have to pull over, getting you nowhere.  

On the flip side, when your wheels are aligned and balanced, you can cruise along smoothly, safely, and efficiently along the road God has set before you, operating at full capacity!

  • Cally Robertson Everett

    I feel like you are over the flat tire phase now that you blogged about the lessons learned 🙂