For what felt like the millionth time, we counted the cost of fixing what needed work on the car. It was going to be $1000 if we had a shop do it; far less if we did it ourselves and by ourselves, I mean with Dad and Grandpa’s help!
We decided to go for it. But in his wise judgement, Grandpa suggested it be the last time we sink money into it.
Truth is, we’ve been saying our car is on it’s “last legs” for four years. But for whatever reason, it’s kept running.
It’s a Volkswagon diesel; they’re like the energizer bunny of vehicles! But if i’m honest, I think it was all God’s doing, because we committed years ago to living debt free and we weren’t quite ready or prepared with the cash in hand to buy a new one.
Until now that is.
Our car had given us more than it’s fair share of life and it shows. But every time we went to sell it or look at getting a new one the timing wasn’t right. Something would come up, one of us wouldn’t have peace about it or no interest from buyers would come. So we sat on it, trusting that when the time was right, God would open doors and make it happen.
We just never imagined it would happen like this….
Knowing we were simply buying time, we began to search craigslist for vehicles. Dave has fantasized about an Audi for years. I have too, but only in my heart.
If I’m brutally honest, I won’t even allow myself to go there, knowing that my contentment is sometimes a conscious choice to not entertain what I know is not wise. And Audi’s are expensive; not only to purchase (especially in cash!) but to maintain.
We’d set our budget and began looking at very modest vehicles – ones I would never have even considered years ago. Boring to be quite frank. But God has worked a heart change in this former, materialistic, status symbol wanting shopaholic. Things have lost their hold on me and all I wanted in a vehicle now was something we could buy in cash and that would keep our family safe.
We searched for a few days but Dave and I were on completely different pages and finally around day 2, he questioned me.
“If money were no issue and you could have any car you wanted, what would you like?” I reluctantly considered his question, afraid even the thought of it would bring about envy and lust in my heart for what others have and I can’t.
“Honestly, I would love a VW Passat. Not too flashy but pretty.”
“Well I don’t think we’ll find one in our price range hun, but why don’t we just look. It won’t hurt.”
Okay I thought, suppressing the fire of excitement and possibility he had ignited within me.
On a whim, I searched. Nothing. At least not within our modest price range, so I put the dream aside and flagged a couple more boring cars.
“I don’t love any of them. Let’s try again.” Dave said a day later.
I searched again, this time, pulling up a very beautiful 2011 VW Passat CC, that most certainly was posted in the wrong price category.
It must be an error.
“What’s wrong with it?” Dave said. “Why is it listed so low?”
We scrutinized the listing and while the mileage was high, it had nothing but a clean bill of health. We texted the owner, who just so happened to be in our neighbourhood that evening and within minutes, had a test drive scheduled.
We met, shook hands and hit the road quickly. It drove beautifully and felt rather familiar; it handled exactly like my moms car! I told Dave and from the back seat the owner piped up.
“Actually, this is the same car. Well, the same body and engine anyway. Your mom’s Audi just has a few more luxury features than this Passat CC. “
I laughed out loud. Of course God, I thought.
Upon our return we made small chat and discovered that this guy had a heart for God. He was sentimental about his car and wanted it to go to a “good family”- one who could really use it and love it well.
Not only that, he had his eye on another car and was hoping for a quick cash sale. We fit the bill entirely.
We shared pictures of our daughter and joked about how cute she’d look in the back seat.
It felt frivolous but at the same time, good. Dave and I were finally on the same page, with the same dream and it was entirely within our budget!
We spent the next 24 hours talking and dreaming together- a welcomed distraction from the heaviness we’ve been walking through for the past few months.
We laughed hard together and we prayed together. This car was bringing us together.
We followed up and to our surprise no other inquiries had come in. Just us.
This made no sense. A beautiful car with nothing wrong, at an entirely too low price and there was no interest but us?
In our hearts we knew why… God had hand picked this car for us. I dared to say it out loud and just as fast as I had said it, Dave nodded in agreement.
Pause here for a second. I would never have dared to say that even a year ago. I know and firmly believe that God cares about the minor details of our lives, even the frivolous ones. Everything we have is his on loan and Dave and I try our best to steward that well. But this? A car?
I began to see clearly that in my heart I had doubted God wanted to bless me – to do more than meet my basic needs and teach me to be grateful in that – until this moment.
Doesn’t every parent? I don’t want to just meet my daughters needs. I want to give her the world – the best I can!
Because I had once made such a mess of my life, letting money and things own me, I’d assumed that God would never let me “go there” again, even if I could afford it. For my own protection, I thought it best to steer entirely clear of my former obsessions.
But here we were, with the car of not only my dreams, but a very close second to my husbands dream and all signs were pointing to it being ours!
Within a days time, we had the car inspected, transferred ownership papers and were driving our new beauty home in style. We could hardly believe it! Shock is more like it!
As he gave us the keys, the original owner shared that he knew he had listed is far below it’s value but he didn’t regret it. He could see that we were the ones meant to have it and there was no denying Gods hand in all this. God had used his heart’s desire to bless others and our hearts desire for contentment in whatever His will, to meet BOTH our needs!
How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. – Psalm 31:19
I’ll be honest and say I’m hesitant to even post this story publicly. With all the hardship and suffering in our world, I sometimes question why we have what we have and others don’t; why God chose for me to live in this part of the world, while others live in extreme poverty. But I’m not God, He is.
I don’t know why he chose to bless us like this; I just know He did. So I simply choose to give him credit.
And my friend, this is nothing but a God story! His thumbprint is plastered ALL over it! Because never in a million years would we have imagined this or could we have planned it for ourselves.
So in earnest, I thank you Lord, for lavishly blessing us with this ridiculous beauty of a car. We pray that is would be used to bring you glory – whether through it’s story, the conversations shared it in, the places it will take us or the contents it will deliver. Use it all for good and for your glory.