For lack of a better title, “A Car Story”

This week, I found myself somewhere I’ve never been.

A title loan store.

Simply the act of driving past one of those places give me the creeps. There’s one in our town across the street from my bank that I often pray over when I pass by. I might just throw a party the day it closes. They are crooks, plain and simple.

So my heart started racing over the fact that I had to actually go inside one in order to get the title to our new [used] car.

The single mom we were buying the car from was hesitant to sell it. Once we met up at the place, I could see it in her eyes and for a moment the thought crossed my mind that she was about to back out of the deal. But she didn’t. We went in the store and as she took care of business, Brian and I sat, looking busy with our phones, in chairs facing partitions. On one side, a man made phone calls. Collections phone calls. Very typical. On the other side, a lady helped the seller of the car as she sat there trembling. I could only see her back. I tried not to listen too much – it really wasn’t any of my business – but I was appalled at what I did overhear. And I knew very quickly that her trembling was that of great relief.

She had told me when we test drove it a few days prior that her daughter was old enough that she was starting to watch her and how she handled money and so she felt like she really needed to be wise with it and do the right thing. To her, that meant she wanted to get out of debt and had to sell her car and drive a beater for a while. She didn’t know where B works, so it really touched me that she wasn’t giving me lip service. Her goal was what we long for so many to truly desire to do.

When she had finished up and had the title back, she turned and came over to us and we signed the bill of sale and title paperwork. I handed her the cash for the car and she told us some things about it and that she hoped we would enjoy it. I could tell she was fighting back tears. I felt horrible.

On the way home, B said, “Heather! Don’t feel bad for her! Selling this car IS for her, what your entertainment center was to you. It’s really, REALLY good. This is huge for her.”

About a half hour later, she called me and had forgotten something in the car and wondered if we could meet up. We did, and she got her things and standing by her car door with the car running, she said, “Dave would be proud! I got a beater! I’m doing it!”

I felt like telling her, It’s just temporary! I promise it’s worth it for now! You’re doing the right thing! But all that came out was, “You’re doing good! It’s gonna be great.” Easy for me to say. I just bought her car that she loved.

The thing is, she didn’t know that it was also the car that I loved. It was the make & model that, when Brian asked me what kind of car I might like to have someday, I didn’t even dare mention, because, it seemed down the road for us savings-wise. Why would I ever set my mind on something I didn’t think we could currently afford? And I didn’t feel bad about it all. I just, didn’t consider it.

But isn’t God good?

He spoke to my heart driving it that afternoon, that maybe the Jeep didn’t break down to inconvenience us at all. Maybe the Jeep isn’t even part of the equation. Maybe God just wanted to shock me and my practical, guarded, anti-climactic heart by giving me what I didn’t dare even ask for.

Or, maybe we’re just conduit. Maybe our Jeep died so ultimately, this mom who lives an hour away could get out of debt.

I’m not trying to spiritualize anything, but I know that God does all things well. He does all things with the end in mind that He gets the glory. Each of us is so blessed by what has transpired.

I could hear that she had Dave on on the radio as she was leaving the building that day, and as I climbed in the car and turned the building to drive away, he took a new caller. Her name was Andrea. Her car blew up, Murphy moved in, and she didn’t know what to do. Dave sympathized with her because he could. He told her to get a beater and get out of debt. No car payments. Get this stuff cleaned up and then upgrade your car in a few months as you’re able. And he was really, really gentle in talking to her.

I gotta tell you, I had tears rolling down my face knowing that this precious woman we had just bought this car from was driving away, listening to this show in her own “new” beater. And all I could do was thank God, over and over and over for how she must just have felt the biggest hug from Him right at that moment.

And you know, I did too, because I felt like I was indirectly witnessing it. How could His perfect timing be an accident?

No. No accidents.

She emailed me the next day. She said as she was paying things off the past couple days, she knew it was best and next months budget is already smiling at her.

So awesome. Oh, how he loves us!

I’m smiling too, and my sinuses still burn a little from holding back tears when I get in my new ride. And ya know? It’s not because I feel all special in my new car or anything, because I don’t. It really is JUST a car. But it’s the one the Lord knew I wanted and directed us to somehow, I still don’t know HOW I found that car, and provided – under budget. Because He does all things, really really well.

If you had told me years ago that if I sold my well loved SUV to get out of debt, drove old cars for a while, and years later I would have a vehicle I favored, it would have made selling the other one easier. But I don’t think God calls us to “easy”. He calls us to walk by faith. Not by sight.

I feel so very loved right now and it’s not because there’s something new parked in my garage. It’s because I am known by my Father in Heaven. Because I have woken up many mornings the past few weeks, curled up in a ball and with tears streaming down my face and into my pillow before I even raise my head, I have only been able to cry out, “DADDY! I need you NOW in so many ways.”

Oh, how He loves us. And oh, how fast He can run.

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~ by hthr on January 30, 2010.

9 Responses to “For lack of a better title, “A Car Story””

  1. He does care about those little things. I do think He wants to lavish us, but not at our own expense, so He does it when we can handle it. You go girl!

  2. Thanks for sharing your walk by faith and not by sight car story. God truely does love us, even when we are in tears and can’t see the forrest for the trees. I am proud of you!

  3. Aaahhh! How amazing.

  4. Thank you! I REALLY needed to hear (read) that. God has been “tapping me on the shoulder” all weekend and reading your blog this morning just confirms that I need to get back on track. It’s so hard sometimes, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

  5. What a great story, Heather. I’m praying my brother will be “tapped on the shoulder” someday soon the same way God has touched you and Brian these past few years.

    NOw…I’m dying to know….What car did you get!

  6. God is good and there are no circumstances that happen by chance. God had his hand all over that situation and that is a great feeling that He was there and you can recognize it. And, then be able to share it. It’s so encouraging. Thanks, Heather.

  7. Hi, Heather! It’s so encouraging to read your posts, just to remember that God is in small things, too. That has always been the harder concept for me to really really grasp. I’m thankful that you can tie all the facts together so neatly! I wish we lived in the same town. I feel like we’d be getting together for coffee and talking about everything except raising children–a rare friend that is for me these days!

  8. Awesome!!!! Awesome!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. […] on a mission and we hung our stuff back up and walked silently to our gas-loving planet-hating God-given SUV and drove 20 more minutes home in […]

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