A new decade seems like practically a whole new epoch.
This is all symbolized for me right now by cars. For those of you that read of my harrowing experience a few weeks ago on a hill of black ice (click here to read it if you did not) this blog post is the other half of the story. In that former entry I needed God to dazzle me with provision, and I’d like to share with you now how He has.
Above is my car that was in the pile-up; it basically just had a broken axle, so I fervently hoped it was fixable. The insurance people took eleven days to get back to me to tell me it was indeed “totaled,” telling me this news on Christmas Eve of all times. This was extremely hard for me to accept as the car didn’t seem unsalvageable to me (see photo for yourself), but it apparently all has to do with the book value of the car. Even though my loyal and optimistic heart felt many more years of good service were left in this wonderful car, that was over-ruled by their charts and numbers saying otherwise. To look at it dispassionately – which I found almost impossible to do – they offered us more than we would have gotten on a trade-in to replace the car, so I should be happy. But the rub was that I didn’t want to replace the car. It was perfect as far as I was concerned, and I was dubious that I could get something that I liked as well for what they were offering.
Of course, after waiting eleven days to tell me my options, they wanted an answer immediately. I hadn’t gone around car shopping in the intervening days, since I was hoping against hope it would just be fixed. We could still opt to fix it even though the repairs cost more than the car was worth, but state laws make this extra expensive to do because of costly rigamarole to get a salvaged car re-certified. We didn’t have that money to put in and everyone told us it was unwise any way.
I resolved again that God would just have to dazzle me. In our Church Manual there is something called “A Rule for Motives and Acts.” It starts out by saying, “Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the the members of The Mother Church.” I knew I was busted for wanting to make choices based on my personal attachment to my dear car, so my decision was to stop that, and trust God to take care of the rest. Two instances already in this process had given me encouragement that God was indeed on the case.
One of these came with a ring on my doorbell, the day after my blog entry about the black ice on Cain’s Hill Road. It was a blog reader I don’t see often at all, delivering me a coffee cake from my own recipe on the blog (see it here). She had read my account and thought we could use some familiar comfort food. How considerate is that? Just that blew me away, but it gets better. She proceeded to tell me the following story.
When I was driving home from my church service, they were driving home from theirs coming from a different direction. Their oldest daughter was in the car and since she was taking driver’s ed, they were discussing driving in icy conditions. The daughter quipped that she wouldn’t want to ever drive on Cain’s Hill Road, with or without ice. They then realized that someone was probably on Cain’s Hill right then in those bad conditions and that they should pray for them, so they did. And I was on Cain’s Hill Road at that moment, surrounded by a host of angels! Wow. I’m grateful, and God has once again harnessed my full attention.
Secondly, a family from church (also readers of my blog) came to me with a proposition. They were going to Colorado for two weeks and would we like to borrow their car? This would entail driving them to and from the airport, but would bless them as well as us, by saving them enormous NYC parking fees. We heartily agreed, not knowing how this story was going to unfold, as we had coverage for limited rental car days, some of which we had already used.
So we had been provided for so far, and we would just continue to proceed to see what God had in store for us. The Sunday after Christmas we went to look at cars. We went to eight places in three hours, and it was not encouraging at all. Anything that was remotely an option would require a monthly car payment we couldn’t afford.
A friend (and a reader of this blog – do you see a theme here?) who has been our kid’s Country Dance teacher called to say they had a car for sale. She was about to advertise it, but would hold off if we wanted to see it first. So the afternoon after the bleak dealership visits, we went over there to look at it. We were giddy the minute we saw it, soaring from despair to hope like drowning men finally reaching the surface of the water for air.
It was close to everything we wanted at a price that the insurance money could cover without requiring a monthly payment. Two years younger than my car and with less than half the milage it is indeed a comparable car to my former one. It has all my other car’s vim and vigor, with all it’s bells and whistles as well. My only regret about it is that it doesn’t have a stick shift, which I really enjoyed. But I’ve gone from mourning my car’s total loss to now just regretting the loss of a stick shift, so I can sense my progress. God answers prayer and always meets every human need, and I can see that this spunky turbo engine may be much more of a need than a stick shift!
My 2000 VW Passat (137,489 miles) represents last decade to me. My kids grew up in that car. Now I’m entering a whole new era in my life with a new car as it’s figurehead. This decade, my kids are grown and independent. Yesterday we brought home my new 2002 SAAB 9-5 Arc (66,574 miles) to inhabit for this new chunk of life. (See pictures of it below!) God’s idea of transportation was never for an instant interrupted for us.
This new decade we are driving into can only hold good because God is already there. I’m looking forward to the adventure and to sharing it with you. And thank you for all your love, and support and good thoughts!
Happy New Decade!