Do you remember the documentary “Scared Straight?” The show that took kids inside a prison to talk with the inmates there? Scared me half to death, and I was an adult when I saw it.
Well…I was ‘scared straight’ a few weeks ago. My hubby and I were traveling to a doctor appointment in a near-by city, and we stopped at the first rest area that we came to while on our way there.
My husband stayed in our vehicle while I went to use the restroom. I entered the rest area and inside to my left was a young man I would guess to be in his late 20s. I have to confess…I immediately got an uneasy feeling and judged him by his looks. Actually by his hair.
I said good morning to him and he responded good morning back as he scrubbed the front window of the rest area; which made me assume he was a worker there. I can’t lie. I was extremely uncomfortable about this and touched my coat pockets. At that moment I realized I didn’t have my cell phone on me.
If my phone would have been in one of my pockets, I would have gotten it out and sent a quick text message to my husband asking him to come into the building and wait for me there.
“STOP IT,” I thought to myself.
“Stop judging and just go use the restroom.”
So, in spite of those little nudges, and in spite of just the worker and me being in that building, I entered the ‘WOMEN’S’ bathroom and did what I had stopped to do.
While I was still in my stall, I heard the door of the restroom open. Again, I confess that I became troubled and thought “please let that be another woman who just came in here!”
I can’t deny it…I got SCARED! I had no idea who was in there?
I flushed and walked out. When I rounded the corner that separated the stalls from the sinks, there stood the young man between me and the door; the only way out of that bathroom.
Fight or flight did NOT kick in. When I saw him standing there, I sucked in my breath and held it…
And literally froze.
Froze with my eyes on him at all times. He was standing between me and the door; his body facing me but his head turned looking at the sinks on his left. What seemed like forever but was probably only a few seconds, he slowly rotated his head and briefly looked at me.
Then turned and walked out the door.
Dazed, I ran my hands under the water before my senses returned. That is when flight kicked in, and I scooted out of that bathroom so fast, and walked 80 miles an hour to our vehicle where my husband was oblivious to what had just happened.
What just happened? What was that, Lord? What was that kid thinking? Doing? WHAT was that???
I did report the incident to the DOT in that state. The person I talked with said it was not okay for a man to enter into the women’s bathroom when that man CLEARLY knew I was in there. Um, no kidding.
I have always had a strong faith. This incident has strengthened it even more. I didn’t pray for protection that morning, but obviously I was wrapped in it. Jesus was in that rest area with me that day. He truly is with us, wherever we go! I believe it!
Nothing happened to me that morning. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you!!
I don’t know what that young man’s intentions were. Maybe he is mentally ill? Maybe he wasn’t a worker after all? I don’t know. I do know it terrified me. He clearly knew I was in that bathroom, and yet he did not use the normal que of “anyone in here?” He should NOT have entered that restroom.
Ladies…keep your head on a swivel. Be on the alert. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you get that uneasy feeling, pay attention to it! And, have your cell phone close by.
You can guarantee that the next time I get that uneasy feeling, I will act on it. I will always take my phone with me into uncharted territories. AND, my husband will always, ALWAYS accompany me into a rest area!
Keep calm and stay safe, ladies!