95: AAA Angel

95: AAA Angel

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

AAA Angel

When we are touched by something it’s as if we’re being brushed by an angel’s wings.

~Rita Dove

My best athlete was being considered for an athletic scholarship to a university in the United States. It was very important for her to perform well at our Canadian Nationals in order to secure her spot on an NCAA team.

Chaynade had been injured during the first selection meet, but she performed well in the second. She would have to compete at the final selection meet in order to qualify for National Championships.

I have been involved with the sport of gymnastics for more than thirty years as an athlete and coach and I recognized talent. Chaynade was without a doubt one of British Columbia’s best athletes, but she still needed to travel to Kamloops to compete at our Provincial Championships. I had recommended that she arrive the day before the competition, since a three-hour trip on the day of competition is not ideal for proper preparation. However, other commitments made it impossible for the family to comply with my recommendation, and they had to drive up on the day of the championships.

Since I had several other athletes competing at this event, I had to be in Kamloops for the entire weekend. Friday night, when we received news that many of the highways were closed due to a snowstorm, I began to worry about Chaynade making the trip the next day. I had what I would call a vision or premonition of the family’s green van broken down beside the highway. I had never had an experience like this, but it seemed like I was watching a movie in my mind. I started to pray that nothing would prevent Chaynade from arriving safely and on time. I called my husband and asked him to pray, and to recruit friends who would pray for Chaynade and her family.

I anxiously awaited Chaynade’s arrival the next day, and was relieved when she came to find me in the spectators’ arena. However, Chaynade didn’t just come to say “hi”; she had a whopper of a story to tell. The family van did break down at the top of the high mountain pass on the Coquihalla Highway. The radiator had blown when they were still an hour and a half from Kamloops.

Amazingly, they had just pulled over when a big, brand-new pickup truck parked behind them along with two other trucks loaded with snowmobiles. A man got out of the first truck and asked where they were headed. They explained their need to get to the competition in Kamloops, and then that man proceeded to hand his truck keys to Chaynade’s mother! He said, “You take my truck for the weekend, and I’ll stay here and wait for a tow truck.” He asked where the van should be sent for repair and said, “You can return my truck to my place in Chilliwack on your way back home.” He gave them his address, retrieved some items from the truck that he would need for his snowmobiling trip, and sent the family on their way.

Chaynade knew this was an extraordinary occurrence, so when we met her mom and her grandmother in the arena, I relayed my vision from the night before. I told them that I had “seen” their van break down, and that I had solicited the prayers of several others on their behalf. They were all quite animated discussing the unusual events of the morning, and Nana exclaimed, “That man must have been an angel.”

We were all so grateful to the kind stranger who provided roadside assistance that we dubbed him the “AAA Angel.”

Chaynade had a great competition, and our AAA Angel had the family van ready and waiting when they returned to Chilliwack the following day. After an excellent performance again at the National Championships later that season Chaynade went on to compete for Texas Woman’s University for four years on a scholarship. In 2011, she was named a USA Gymnastics All-American on the floor exercise.

~Lisa Naubert

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