In Mary's Arms


By: Lindsey Mitzel


Recently, my family decided to take a trip to the zoo. It was a great trip, and we all piled back into our car exhausted. We started for home, over an hour away, expecting the baby to fall asleep, and the toddlers to settle into their chattering back and forth. Then our tire blew out. It happened so fast, my husband just had enough time to pull over to the side of the expressway. It was naturally rush hour, and the flat tire was naturally on the side of traffic. We both got out of the car, expecting to retrieve the spare, change the flat quickly, and be on our way home again. However, we unpacked all the strollers and gear, but couldn’t find the spare. Our trunk is deep, and there wasn’t even room for it. Next came the owner’s manual, which, listed under tire, said nothing about spares. Did the car even have one? We called roadside assistance and gave them our coordinates. They were going to send a tow truck. How we would fit three kids in car seats in it, we didn’t know. We asked about the tire, but they didn’t know either. This was the point where I started to feel anxious. And this was about the point where the baby lost it too. We pulled out YouTube and finally figured out that the spare was placed between the front console and the back seats, right under where my feet were. We wedged it out, and my husband went out to start to try to jack up the car. Then the tow company called. They had sent someone out and wondered where exactly we were. A little back and forth, and we both realized that roadside assistance had called someone to help us that was located more than five hours away.

Meanwhile, I’d stumbled into the hole where the spare had been while trying to help the baby, and now all three kids were crying. I started panicking. My husband was having trouble getting the car fixed with all the traffic, and we were out of options. I googled anything close to us, found a fire station, and called to ask if they had any ideas. They told me they couldn’t help, but to call 911. I didn’t feel comfortable doing that, since we weren’t really having an emergency, so ended the call feeling discouraged and tried to help our screaming children. I had no other ideas. Out of desperation, I started to sing the Salve Regina. It’s what I’ve sung to our kids as a lullaby, so I was hoping it would somehow help. After singing the very last notes, I heard men talking outside our car, and wondered if my husband had called someone else to help. I turned my head and saw two firemen installing the spare. Their truck was parked behind us and just over the line so that traffic had to go around where the spare was being installed.

Later that evening, as I reflected on the craziness of the day, I had a vision of Mary’s arms in place of the firetruck as we merged back onto the highway. I had felt so out of control. She showed me the grace she has been given to protect and guide us back to where we are meant to be. The reason it hit me so deeply at the time is because the situation hit on my weakest points. Think of what you struggle with trusting the Lord with the most. For me, it’s my kids. They are entirely super precious to me. I’ve suffered deeply with giving my kids over to God in the past, and it’s really hard to continue to do it and not worry that I will suffer deeply again. The truth is, though, I will suffer again. Maybe not as deeply as I have, but I will suffer, and it could be that deeply again. Mary’s son went to the cross, and we are called there as well. Here is the sweetness, however, that I have found with Mary: she will comfort and guide us through any cross we’re called to bear, for Mary’s prayers for us are so powerful that the Memorare states, “Never was it known that anyone who [asked for her help] was left unaided”.


Lindsey is a mostly stay at home mom to three girls and a nurse practitioner. She loves photography, decorating, painting, reading, and warm places in the middle of winter. She dreams about writing children’s books, gardening, and maybe owning a horse someday. She also cannot say enough good things about coffee.