Have you ever been somewhere and gotten a text message that makes your jaw drop? And not in that no-way-please-tell-me-that’s-not-true jaw-dropper, but more like in a no-way-did-something-THAT-amazing-just-happen-to-me?!
Exactly one week ago, I was sitting here in the salon at the same spot, staring at myself in a mirror and chatting half-heartedly with my hair stylist and friend, Holly. (Today, we’re just touching up my blonde because I’m so dang picky.) Last Friday, my thoughts were not in a healthy place and I knew that. Depression is something that kind of nips at me during certain times of the year anyway, and I have to work very hard spiritually and mentally to protect myself from it. Last week, I was spending most of my private moments talking to God about a lot of different things. Some of them are still too private to share, but the themes revolved around: Me, failure, me, worthless, ME. (NEVER a good idea to focus too much on yourSELF.)
God, why do I feel like such a failure? Sam’s car is back in the shop and we have no money to fix it. And let’s not forget who is to blame for why we have no extra money for a car… ME. Because I wanted to chase a dream to write and left my full-time paying teaching job THAT I LOVED. God, I don’t want to go home to that little apartment. It’s so cluttered and dark. And it smells funny. Dust collects in old campus housing in weird ways. I’ve even made my dogs miserable by moving there. God, I guess I’m willing to find another part-time job because Sam HAS to have a car but I just didn’t think that’s what YOU wanted for me at this point…
God, I’m so afraid I made a big mistake. I really thought I was being obedient. I thought I was pleasing your heart by making my priorities Yours, by “forsaking worldly pleasures” to “seek Your kingdom” and purposes. PLEASE help us.
Little did I know that when the Holy Spirit prompted us to move and change my job–prompted us to ultimately put ourselves in the precarious position of NOT being able to provide for ourselves in the event of unexpected expenses–that that was EXACTLY where God wanted us to be. Because He can’t be glorified and reveal His power and glory if WE are the ones who get the credit for being “smart” or “responsible” or “successful.” This is a lesson I’ve learned many times in my life before (see publishing experiences, haha), but I guess I had yet to be reminded again…
This text message came in as I sat there in my dark thoughts at the salon.
Sandra is my dad’s fiance. It’s important that you know that Sandra loves Jesus – she’s the real deal. She prays and she puts her faith into action. So when she heard about the situation Sam and I were in, the Holy Spirit motivated her heart and she suggested this option to my dad. When I got this text message, I had no idea what an Eos was, but it didn’t matter because I knew God was providing something we could not provide for ourselves. And he was using my dad and his fiance to do it, which was an amazing gift in and of itself.
Fast forward through a lot of phone calls, text messages, tears, calls to insurance, and prayers of thankfulness… and we picked up the car on Wednesday.
Um, it’s not like it’s just some cheap, dependable car. It’s NICE. It’s a Volkswagen Eos, which I have since found out is a hardtop CONVERTIBLE. It’s a 2009 with VERY low mileage and is basically in new condition. It’s the nicest car we’ve ever owned. So, not only did God provide for a need, He went above and beyond and gave us some LUXURY! WOW.
To top off the end of a crazy week, our church surprised us with a 10-year-anniversary celebration in honor of Sam’s years at Reece Prairie Baptist. (No joke, I REALLY thought nobody would remember it had been ten years. Boy, was I way off. They’d been planning for months.) In addition to all the unexpected and unexplainable blessings that came with that, the church gave us a love offering… which meant we now had the money to pay for Sam’s Mustang to get fixed so we can sell it in good condition.
You need to know this and BELIEVE it: The God of the Universe truly does work things out for “for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Being given such an amazing (expensive) gift by my earthly parents only served to remind me of the amazing and FREE gift of eternal life that I have through Jesus Christ. It’s a lot like the car. I did nothing to earn my salvation (nor did I earn or pay for that car). Jesus Christ didn’t just put a down payment on my life – He paid a debt I could never cover-ALL of it-once and for all on that cross. (This car is still being paid for – but not by me. By someone else who loves me and knows I could never afford the cost.)
All I have to do is accept it. Gifts like these have a way of moving our hearts, actions, and loyalty. I am so thankful to Dad and Sandra for seeing a need and being willing to sacrifice to help meet it. It’s overwhelming, actually. And I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who moves others on my behalf. He really is the ultimate social network – communicating and working among those of us bonded through Christ.
I am simply blessed and I pray that YOU, whoever is reading this, comes to know this kind of love and blessing through the God who created you and wants a relationship with you. And if you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then put TIME into it. Develop it. Rest in it. You’ll NEVER regret it.