I never thought I would share this story because of what happened but I realized I don’t live my life in fear. There is plenty of evil in this world. I have seen my fair share of it. This is a story of an evil person out there but God reminding me He is in control and protecting me at all times.
Anyone who knows me knows I travel for a living speaking all over America on my experience of abuse as a child and my mission of “Erin’s Law.” 99% of the time I travel alone but on March 16, 2011 I wasn’t traveling alone. I was on my way to Indianapolis to speak at the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault conference. I was their keynote speaker opening the event in the morning. It would be a 3 1/2 hour road trip from Chicago. My younger sister and her friend Dan who became her boyfriend a few days after this event were taking this road trip with me. Dan goes to college in Indianapolis and it worked out perfect for him to catch a ride back to college with me after his spring break.
It was a beautiful day making for great driving conditions. A few miles after I crossed into Indiana I suddenly felt my car jerk and knew immediately I had a flat tire. I had to cross over two lanes of traffic with people going 70mph to get to the side of the road. I had never had a flat tire before but I knew just by the way the car jolted it was a flat tire. Unfortunately where I was able to pull over was a dangerous place. It was at the top of a hill with cars driving past between 65-80mph and it just so happens the flat tire was the back drivers side.
When we got out to check the tire I could not believe what I saw. The tire was completely gone and we could actually see it just as I had stopped the car flying down the intersection and people trying to dodge hitting it. We thought we were going to witness an accident. My sister and her boyfriend couldn’t believe I was able to handle the car so well and get over two lanes of traffic and keep the car in control on three tires. We knew it was too dangerous to try and change it without getting the police behind us since it was a blind spot for cars when they got to the top of this hill. Not giving cars enough time to get over once they saw my vehicle. We called police and notified them where we were. They said they were sending someone. We waited and waited and waited some more. Finally we realized we would be sitting on the side of the road forever if we didn’t try doing something about it ourselves. We even had a Indiana state police car pass us.
Dan tried changing the tire but a wrench to change the tire in my car was missing when we went to get the spare tire. There was nothing he could do without it. We tried flagging down anyone to help us but nothing was working. After standing on the side of the road for an hour I finally said, “Dan get in the car so no one can see you. Nobody is going to stop if they already see we have a man with us. If someone sees two ladies on the side of the road with a flat someone will stop.” Dan listened to me and got in my car. My sister and I stood behind my car looking helpless and within a minute of me telling Dan to get in my car so no passing cars could see him a man in a truck stopped.I knew it would work.
The man realized we were missing a wrench and he didn’t have one. There was no way we could get this bolt off without a wrench. I said a prayer and a few minutes after the first guy stopped and had pulled in front of my car another truck stopped behind me and he just happened to be a handy man who had a truck full of tools including a wrench. Even with the wrench it was extremely difficult to get the bolt off. The first man who had stopped was jumping up and down on this wrench. He was getting so frustrated and couldn’t believe how tight this bolt was. I got sick watching them fearing with these cars flying by they were going to get hit. In the end we were on the side of the road for nearly 2 hours.
I happened to ask the first man what his name was. He told me it was John. He asked where we were headed and told me I could not drive another 170 miles on the spare tire. After getting the spare on he told me to follow him he would drive me to a tire place to see if they had the tire for my car and if they didn’t he would take me somewhere else until we got the right tire. So after two hours on the side of the road I followed this very nice stranger who was going above and beyond for us. I followed him as we took the next exit and made a few turns until we came upon a place called Tire Barn. We pulled in and John wrote down the number tire I needed and went inside with me. He gave them the number and asked if they had the tire I needed and they did. They told me it would take 20 minutes to change. I tried offering John $20.00 but he wouldn’t take it. I thanked him over and over for spending the past hour and a half with us. My sister, Dan, and I couldn’t believe how nice he was. Not only changing the tire but also taking us to get the spare changed. John went on his way as my sister, Dan, and I headed across the street to Starbucks while the tire was being changed.
When we returned the man at Tire Barn said, “I noticed something changing your tire. It looked like the valve stem had intentionally been sliced. It looked like a new valve stem and it had clear slices in it. Do you have any enemies?” Suddenly I felt this overwhelming anger come over me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. As I went in to pay for the tire he said before you leave I am going to check the rest of your valve stems just to be on the safe side.
A few minutes later my sister came running in and said the rest of your valve stems have been sliced. They told me someone intentionally did this to my tires and that if he didn’t check I would clearly be on the side of the road again with another blowout. He said by slicing the valve stems it eventually will make the tire do exactly what it did to mine when you get to a certain speed. He explained to me that this is considered attempted murder and that I needed to file a police report to document it when I get home. You could have been in a serious accident. He said.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I went from a flat tire to being told someone intentionally did this and it is considered attempted murder. He changed all my valve stems and told me to be safe before we continued on our way. As I got back on the expressway I was extremely angry. My sister was on the phone with our parents informing them what we were told. Of course that only worried my parents even more. Just as I got back on the expressway a truck cut me off pulling right in front of me. The message was right in front of my face. John 3:16. The man who came to our aid and changed the tire happened to be named John. The date this occurred happened to be 3-16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.- John 3:16
Suddenly all the anger I was feeling was lifted. I knew God was protecting me and he sent that man named John to my aid. In that moment I knew I had nothing to fear. God is protecting me at all times. I also knew I had to in my heart forgive who was ever behind this evil act. I couldn’t stay angry. Instead I know I am safe with the Lord watching over me.
Made it safe to Indianapolis where I spoke the next morning. Pictured here with my sister.
With evil in this world I need to protect myself and this incident was a huge wake up call. Since this happened I have taken serious precautions for my safety. I now rent cars for all traveling purposes. I now have tightened my security. Not to give away details but anyone who tries to do anything to me or my property will be caught immediately. I have a body guard now who is training me for my own safety. The pictures say it all.
Not bad for my first time shooting.
I’ve got pretty good aim too! This is from 50 yards away.
Sorry Satan you can’t hurt me or stop my mission. God is protecting me at all times.