Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I'm a planner.  I'm one of those freaks who likes lists and schedules and routines.  I make big decisions carefully, with lots of annoying research and consultations to back my reasoning for doing something so I can justify it later if need be.

So, when I bought a new car within two-and-a-half-hours of walking onto the CarMax lot, no one was more surprised than me.  Whew!

So long, Sparkle.
Saturday night, I drove to work at Pottery Barn Kids at the mall as usual.  My 2004 Chrysler Sebring named "Sparkle" was fine.  Then, I turn the key in the ignition to go home....and nothing.  My husband and girls came out to give me a jump, but still nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Sparkle was toast.

The next day, we had her towed to a local Firestone where they discovered the entire "Power Control Module" (whatever that is - apparently it's like the heart and brain of the vehicle) was shot.  We could've had it towed to the dealer, spent hours and probably an arm-and-a-leg to find out whether it would be super-expensive or super-duper-expensive to fix her...or, we could bid farewell to ole Sparkle and trust God to provide something right for our budget/family/timing.

It was a stressful weekend, I won't lie.

We had kicked off the weekend by getting up at 5:45am on Saturday and having a miserably unsuccessful garage sale where we made a whopping $20.  I was already tired and annoyed by the time I got to work, I never would have guessed my inconveniences were just beginning.  Ugh.

Days like that are rough.  They feel SO FRUSTRATING, and yet I'm left at the brink of insanity trying desperately to remind myself that really, truly, seriously this is NOT A BIG DEAL.  My family is safe. My family is healthy.  My needs are met.  God is in control and working for my good.

These are all true things.  True things that I had to repeat in my mind over and over and over again Saturday, Sunday, and Monday as my car met her demise and my anxiety rose to new levels.  It was a big deal to me, in this time and place, where my worries were all muddled up into dollar signs and mechanical lingo that was far beyond my realm of understanding.  Not to mention we hadn't even LOOKED at cars or considered what we might get if this ever happened.

But, God knew.  And, fortunately my brother is a Consumer Reports Guru, and my dad has actually built cars, and my husband has a level head that makes practical decisions under pressure.  So, when we came across a solid Toyota Camry that fit our criteria, the clouds parted and we finally felt like a clear answer was in front of us.

Meet "Sprinkles" - yes, my girls named it of course.
I'm glad it turned out to be a rip-the-band-aid-off kind of decision.  I simply do not have the time right now to stay up late reading reviews of cars and building up all kinds of concerns I have no control over (which I seriously would have done if given the opportunity!)  I'm so grateful my car just went ka-put! and I wasn't stranded somewhere unsafe or worse, with my kids with me on the side of the road or in some kind of dangerous situation.  If you have to be stuck somewhere, the mall parking lot is not the worst place in the world.

It was a whirlwind weekend.  God provided a car, and for that I'm grateful.  But, more than that, He shook my faith just enough to bring it back into focus just how well He cares for me.  I pray He provides me the faith to trust Him with a tighter budget, with the care of this new car, and hopefully not have to go through another crazy weekend any time soon to stir-up my gratitude for His provision.

Sometimes the car doesn't start.  Sometimes the future doesn't make sense.  Sometimes plans and budgets and expectations get stalled or stuck or go ka-put.  But, thank goodness, even if the Check Engine light comes on, the Power Control Module of my faith is safe and secure in the hands of the One who restores it constantly.  There's no better warranty in life than that.

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