Many different situations in life have been a challenge to me as a single woman. The most consistent challenge has been cars. Buying them. Maintaining them. Insuring them. Everything about cars except for driving them. I do that OK.
Dad always helped find the car to buy, changed the oil, checked the tires. These are things I find hard to do. Sometimes, I even forget that I need to put gas in the car! Thankfully, I do notice that little warning gas pump light when it comes on.
When I moved back to Illinois I needed a car. Or, perhaps my dad just wanted his car back. So I bought an old blue one off my brother. If you ask me what kind of car it was, I’m going to keep saying it was a blue one. Cars are not my thing. I paid $1,000 for it with a year loan at the bank which helped build up my credit. The month I paid it off, someone hit me and insurance gave me about $850.00 to repair it. It was still driveable, so the money was used for some other need. (I don’t remember the details.) Later, I sold the car for $300 at our garage sale. It was good for parts only by that time.
The next car was unique. It ran on propane. It was from Canada. It was beige and I think it was a Ford. I didn’t go far from home because Grimm’s in Morton was the only place I knew to get propane. It did get good gas mileage. The best story about that car was when I went to Ace Hardware, which was listed in the book as a propane provider, and told the lady I needed propane. She told me to bring the tank inside and they would fill it. I replied, “It’s in my car.” To which she replied, “Well, take it out of your car and bring it in.” With a quizzical look on my face, I said, “I don’t know how to remove a gas tank from my car.” She was getting angry, when it dawned on me. “My car gas tank takes propane.” Her reply, “Oh, well, we don’t do that.” and she walked away.
I traded that car for a gray Chevrolet station wagon which I ran for 120,000 miles until it started to shake. I traded it in on a red Ford van which drove us to volleyball games and basketball games all over Central Illinois. The engine light came on when idling and it started the shakes at 130,000 miles. This time, Dad wasn’t around to help me with my purchase so I had to go it alone. Mom was ill and in the hospital, so I needed to trade it in for a car that she could ride in easily. Praying for God to help me find a car, I traded it in on a red Ford Contour.
When the Contour started showing signs of age, I asked my Sunday School class to pray for me to find a different car. A few weeks later a missionary approached me to see if I’d like to buy her white Ford Taurus when she went back to the field. I did, and that car was great. Until July. I started sinking money into it. Ignition. Battery cables. Two new tires.
With additional repairs needed – ball joints, alignment – I needed to find a different car fast. Last Saturday we made a trip to Peoria to begin the search at the Honda dealership. We looked at a few – one looked like it might work – but ended the day driving my old car home. I spent the weekend thinking and searching on line.
If I had all the money in the world, it wouldn’t be so hard. But I need a car that 1. I can afford. 2. I can trust. 3. is affordable to run. Please note that color and features are not included in that list. I’d like them to be, but that’s not a top priority on my budget.
I woke up at 5:00 Monday morning and could not get back to sleep. I was worrying. Thinking. Praying. “Lord, if only you could send the right car to the dealership today. One that has the things that the other one doesn’t have. New tires. A warranty.”
Why was I amazed when I checked my email that morning and found a message from Larry that he had overlooked a car on Saturday and he thought I should come in and drive it? He thought it might be perfect for my situation. It was almost the same price as the car I’d been considering, but it had four new tires and a 1 year bumper-to-bumper warranty.
When the dust settled, God provided a car in immaculate condition with four new tires ,
a 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty,
heated seats (the one luxury I really wanted),
a moon roof,
a great sound system (which is even better because the car is so quiet!),
a tire pressure dummy light (as my dad called them and which I NEED!)
an oil change reminder light (again, I NEED this),
an air conditioner that works really well (compared to the old car),
and lots of safety features and car stuff I don’t understand.
And it’s a V6.
God has faithfully provided a car whenever I needed one. He helped my old car make it over to the dealership one last time. (Whew! I was relieved as they drove it away.) He has not only provided for my needs, but has been abundantly giving to me the little added pleasures – which includes a car that is smarter than me.
I’m rejoicing in His goodness. I’m repentant because there were times through the whole process where I failed to trust Him. I am thankful that God loves me.
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”