Have you ever had one of those seasons in your life where you have no idea how you got from point A to point B? A time when the presence of God in your life is both undeniable and awe inspiring? We've just come through one such season. As I reflect on the last couple of months I can't help but marvel at the God of the universe who cares deeply for me and my family.
Point A was a little over 2 months ago. I sat on the side of the interstate with my husband as he tried to turn over the engine on our broken down mini-van. The look of defeat and hopelessness that came over his face when he heard the sound that it made told me all I needed to know. We were in big trouble. Our mini-van had been a huge blessing. A reliable car that we were proud of. A car big enough for our growing family. And, it was paid for. We had the van hauled to a mechanic where our fears were confirmed. The engine was done.
It's no secret that a life in the ministry means a limited income. Add to that a mom who feels strongly about being home with our kids as much as possible and...well, there's just not a lot of extra money around here. We were definitely not in a position to take on a car payment at this time. Our only other vehicle is a 13 year old, 200,000 mile, SUV that holds 5 people. Did, I mention that we are about to be a family of 6? I had no idea what we were going to do. The situation seemed hopeless. I had no choice but to put it into God's hands. I prayed for him to provide a car for our family. Then, I could do nothing but sit back and watch him work.
Let me tell you, he used our church, our family, a failing economy, a struggling family of strangers.....even the darn IRS to answer that prayer. Amazing.
I remember when they took the love offering at church for us. When, we were told the final number of the offering, we were so thankful. It was so much more than we could have asked for. But then, I started to divide that number by the number of families in our church. It nearly brought me to my knees as I understood the sacrifices that our brothers and sisters had made for us. These people were not just dropping 5 dollar bills in the offering plate. Amazing.
We had family that, in spite of their own financial hardships over the past year, dug deep and gave generously to help us meet a need. Amazing.
In this economy so many are making the move toward low gas mileage vehicles. The market has been saturated with large gas guzzling SUVs, which is exactly what we needed. When you have a family of 6, fuel economy kind of goes out the window. :) The prices of these type of vehicles had been driven WAY down. He even used a struggling economy to provide for us. Amazing.
We found out, at the most opportune time, that because Josh had been recently licensed as a minister he was eligible for tax credits for this year and last that we were unaware of. A little paper work and we had some extra unexpected money in our pockets. Amazing.
As we drove to look at the vehicle that would become ours, I remember praying, "God, it's obvious that you have worked miracles for us here. Let us be an answer to prayer to the family that we buy a car from as well." As Josh took the vehicle for a test drive, I stood there with the owner and mom of 3 as she poured out her heart to me about her husband being laid-off twice in the last year. They had been living off savings but their savings had run out. Their bank account had been in the negative for 2 weeks. She said, "I really hope your husband likes the car". When he came back, Josh and I talked and we decided that this was the car. We agreed on a price with the owner. She was so happy. She said that provided them with plenty of money to find a cheaper car and still have some money to live off of for a little while. And it has given me a sweet family to pray for. :) Amazing.
Here we are at point B and I feel so lucky to be driving this 2004 Ford Expedition with leather seats and a DVD player for the kids. And, Josh says I look pretty hot driving it. :) How did we get to be so lucky to have a car that not only meets all of our needs but also most of our wants? It's undeniable. There is a God and he cares for us deeply. He has surrounded us with wonderful, selfless friends and family. AMAZING!