Sunday, October 08, 2006

Never Say Never

As I've said in previous posts, it's been a challenging year. Nothing too major, like a death or tax evasion, but lots of inconveniences, most costing money, have happened within a six month period. Oh, my car accident, yeah, that was pretty major. I keep asking "why". What's the purpose? Why is this happening? What am I being prepared for? Do I even want what's coming if these things are to make me stronger for the future?

As in most churches, our pastor occasionally talks about money. Let's face it: church is a business too, albeit a non-profit business. It takes $10,000+ per month just for the utilities at our church. Back in January, we were told that we could test God. Test God on money. This is the one subject where we get the go-ahead and it's encouraged. Our pastor is always eager to share the crazy, good things that happen to him because of his faithfulness. He talks about the mailbox game. Now, before I get into this, let me just say that this does NOT happen to me, or really anyone else I know. He and his family will give their tithe, or 10% of their gross income to the church and inevitably, a check will show up in the mail that week for some weird amount. Or, he'll receive some high-dollar gift like Lasik, or a free trip somewhere. Yeah, that never happened to us. Well, we decided to test God. We gave and gave and gave some more. We gave our tithe and extra to the building fund. We gave until we were out of money. No big checks in the mail. No trips to Tahiti. No BriteSmile coupons. We waited. And waited. Still waited some more. Last week, it was time for the talk again. As I'm listening to him talk about all of the wonderful things that have been bestowed upon his family, I'm trying to not be cynical about the fact that we gave until we were dry, with little blessings here and there, but a lot of strife (i.e. the truck being broken into,



















compromise of my husband's identity due to the whole VA theft thing, bees,















deployment, things breaking left and right) and then he says something that hits me. If you plant a seed today, don't expect to see your fruit tomorrow. It takes time. If you tithe this weekend, and don't see the benefits tomorrow, don't be discouraged. Wait six months, and see what God does.

Six months ago, we gave all we had.

Things I used to say:
I will never let my tv be a babysitter for my kids.
I will never be a working mom.
I will never eat asparagus.
I will never drive a Ford.

Wednesday afternoon, a guy I work with asked about Bill's truck. When Bill went to Iraq for the first time, I bought him a little welcome home present. A simple, white 1994 Toyota Pickup. It had some perks, but nothing too major. Hey, you survive a war, you deserve your own wheels. No more one-car-family thing. Why was this guy asking about the truck? He surely didn't need to borrow it, he had his own.

"Would you be interested in another car?"
"I don't have money for another car."
"No, not to buy, to trade."
"What are you talking about?"
"There's an anonymous donor who wants to give you a car and in exchange, you'd donate Bill's truck to a young Marine who just returned from Iraq."

This is where I stand, with a stupid look on my face, trying to process everything that he's saying.
"Ok, so what you're saying, is that I trade Bill's truck for another car?"
"Yes, and SUV."
"An SUV??" Remember, my beloved SUV was killed in an unfortunate accident last December. "A truck for an SUV?"
"Yes, it's a 2003 Lincoln Navigator."
This is where he scoops me up off the floor. For two days, I walked around wondering why. Why me? Why us? What did we do to deserve this? There are so many other people who need a car. A Lincoln Navigator? Holy Cannoli. Who NEEDS that much car? We're a humble little family with practical cars, not a huge Navigator.

I ask that if this is to be, that the doors will be open. If not, for them to be audibly shut.

I was under the impression that there would be a little key exchange, badda bing, badda boom, off we go. No.

Ceremony. In Los Angeles. Hundreds of people involved. Umm...

Saturday morning, I'm up at 5:30am to be in L.A. by 10. There's an entire car show, raffle, dunk tank, activities for the kids and everything is to benefit Camp Pendleton Marines. This does not happen in San Diego. Cities without military presence are always so supportive of the military. I was humbled by their generosity. The Chaplain (a personal friend, and the guy who helped this all come to fruition) spoke and told a little bit about me. There was a color guard.














The car was driven up in front of everyone. The situation was explained: an anonymous donor (who introduced himself to me) wanted to donate a car to a young military family. I had been chosen to receive this gift. The wows in the crowd rushed over me. I was brought up and the Chaplain let everyone know about our previous car, how Trey would have been killed had he been with me,















that Bill is deployed for the third time in as many years.





Things like this never happen to me.

Never say never.

Ok, and yes, I realize it's not a Navigator. Somewhere the lines were crossed. Can't complain. It's an '03 Ford Expedition, fully loaded. Thanks God, for your many blessings.

8 comments:

Andrea said...

That's so amazing. I'm so happy for you. One question...Who get's to drive it? :)

Judy said...

Okay first of all, how did I miss the bees????

Secondly an Expedition is GREAT! they are built on the same chassis as the Navigator - you are basically driving one, but with a different emblem slapped on it and a slightly less technical fuel injection system - read the book. You might be able to get away with cheaper gas than mine! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Manda said...

That is so friggin cool. You totally deserve this. I hope you enjoy it. Does it have the 3rd seat? I am looking forward to our family's getting together!

The Kept Woman said...

Wow.

That's amazing.

But not really...your kind heart and deeds would eventually be repaid and amen if it wasn't with a fabulous new car!!!

Shelley said...

That's fantastic. Talk about divine intervention! Enjoy that new vehicle.

Judy said...

Hey - dropping a comment about Willow Creek...

We just bought their Promiseland curriculum this year. We sent a couple of people to their church for a conference this past Spring and that's when we picked up the program and started Sept. 1. I haven't had much exposure to it (not my area as I'm with Birth - 3 and we start Promiseland at 4), but Travis finally went this past Sunday and LOVED it. We just needed a new "push" and this was definitely it!

Judy said...

Hey - dropping a comment about Willow Creek...

We just bought their Promiseland curriculum this year. We sent a couple of people to their church for a conference this past Spring and that's when we picked up the program and started Sept. 1. I haven't had much exposure to it (not my area as I'm with Birth - 3 and we start Promiseland at 4), but Travis finally went this past Sunday and LOVED it. We just needed a new "push" and this was definitely it!

Anonymous said...

I do not even know how I ended up on this site and to your story... well, no I guess I do.... just the same way a car found it's way into your life. I had just sent someone (someone that I really didn't know that well) a story called, "Things Aren't Always What They Seem" I just wanted to say, Thank You for sharing your story for, it was just the kind of message I needed to hear.