Saturday, June 8, 2013

How God Provided a Chevy Blazer For Me

Ever since I got back to the US and felt that God was leading me to settle here for the time being, I have known that I needed a car really badly. My entire life savings that remained to me was just about exactly $2000, and I had looked at some cars on craigslist without really finding anything. The few vehicles that I did like were either sold before I contacted the seller or no one ever contacted me back. 

On Wednesday, I was driving back from doing some errands with a friend.  She and I had the sweetest, most God-centered conversation, and then we had a prayer time together in the car. When we were almost home, my friend had just started praying for my car situation and asking God to lead us to the right car for me. I was driving (her car), and just then we were at a red light with a car dealership on the corner. I had a strong feeling that I should pull in, but I dismissed the fact. I was passing by it and my friend interrupted her prayer to say, "I feel like we should go in here." I was shocked and told her that I did too! It was too late to get into the driveway, so I found a place to make a U-turn and we drove into the dealership. It was just a little corner lot selling used cars. The first car that we saw, a white Chevy Blazer, had a sign hanging from the rearview mirror that said $2000.

We talked to the dealer about lowering the price and he said he thought he could work with us. We left and told him we would be back later that day.

Back at my friend's house, I did a bit of online research on the Blazer to find out if it would be a good car.

We went back to the dealership later that evening and test drove the car, and getting into the driver's seat, I just immediately felt like "I don't want it. It's not what I want. It's not what I'm looking for." I wanted instead a good gas-mileage vehicle, like a Corolla or a Civic or a Saturn or something. 

After our test drive, we talked to the guy (who had stayed at least 30 minutes past closing time for us), and somehow we talked him down to selling it to us for $1200. With taxes and fees and licensing, it was going to end up being $1700 out the door. We told him we would give him a final decision by noon the next day. 

We went home and talked about it, and I told my friend that I didn't really want an SUV, and then we started looking online at cars, and we found a couple of nice little 4-door cars for $2000 and under, so I felt like I could easily hold out for something like that, but I also felt like if God wanted to change my wants and give me a different plan for a vehicle, I was open to that (even though the Blazer was only going to get 16 mpg). 

I mentioned something about how maybe cars would be cheaper in Tennessee and maybe I should fly home on a one-way ticket and get a car down there, where it would be cheaper, and then drive back out here with my stuff. My friend agreed that it would be a good idea, and then I thought, "Well, if I use up money to get home, I'll have even less, and then the kind of car I could afford would be even junkier..." so I said, "Maybe I should even think about getting like a summer job down there so that I can save up a bit of money for the car." My friend agreed. 

I thought, If I go home on a one-way ticket and look for a summer job, I will end up being just as stuck as I was before. There is no opportunity, no mobility, no way to really earn an income. It would be better for me to get that summer job here. So then I started looking at job sites and checking business directories and going onto company websites in the communications field and trying to figure out how I would apply for a position, and I started thinking about my resume and how lame it is, and how even though I know that I could probably do any job out there, my resume certainly doesn't reflect that, and unless someone knows me, they won't believe it, and I just went from site to site and from link to link and from idea to idea, collecting a bunch of leads but feeling hopeless about all of them (and not interested at all in the kind of work), until finally I just closed my tabs and turned off my computer and went to bed in tears. 

"Lord," I prayed, "I don't know how to do it. I don't know how to job hunt. I don't know how to operate in the world. I don't know what you want of me." I felt like I just needed an income, plain and simple. I named a sum and told the Lord that I needed that much every month, and that seemed so preposterous and outrageous that I couldn't believe I was even asking for it.

But He planted the thought in my mind that this was invitation to stretch my faith. Could I trust Him to provide my monthly income, as preposterous as it sounded?

I asked Him, "What is the path of obedience?"

He whispered back, "Write."

Over and over again, He has confirmed to me that this is His pathway for me. I really do feel like this writing venture is of the Lord. I really do think that He has something for me to say. He has given me a message. Over and over, He keeps confirming this to me through passages like "Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth," (Jer. 1:9).

Then I asked Him, "Where do I live?"

He said, "Here."

I asked, "Where do I get my money from?"

He said, "Me."

And I struggled to believe that this was possible. How could I just venture out on something like this, costing money to live? Wasn't that just crazy? And presumptuous?

But then He gave me a perspective changer.

"I called you to the mission field and you trusted me for your expenses, and I provided. Now I'm calling you to a different mission field. Just look at it as if it is a special mission field. Can you trust me to provide for what I have commanded you to do?"

And I discovered that I could answer, "Yes," and that I had peace about it.

I went to sleep trusting Him and was comforted from my tears.

The next morning, I was still wondering about the car. Even though I didn't really care about a Blazer and it had high miles, at the same time I wondered if this car was really a Godsend, especially with how far the dealer went down in price. It would almost wipe out my entire bank account, but I wasn't afraid to go down to my last pennies. I have done it many, many times before, and God has always provided and shown himself faithful and strong. The car seemed to be the first step to getting a job (if God chooses to provide for me in that way). And the Blazer has cargo room, so I could go get my stuff from home and bring it back out here, or pull a little U-haul and even get my bedroom suite. And then I could put my bike in the back, or a kayak, or go down and buy myself a bookshelf as I set up my little house...I even feel like God said that He has a house for me. I don't know what that means or how it's even possible, but I feel like this is the time for me to set up a home. As weird as that sounds...impossible almost...I can only wait on His leading and watch as He orchestrates these details.

Anyway, during the morning, as I prayed, the Lord totally changed my heart and convinced me that it was His will for me to buy this car.

We went down to the dealership and found that it was actually $50 cheaper than the dealer expected it to be, due to the fact that my address was outside city limits for taxes. I handed over the money, signed all the paperwork, and drove away in my new (old) Blazer. I set up my insurance, got an emissions test, and filled the gas tank. 

That night, before I went to sleep, I talked to the Lord about it, and I felt like He whispered to me, "Before you need to fill up your gas tank again, I will have provided the money for it." I laid back on my pillows, overwhelmed at how He is watching over me. 

***Read tomorrow's post for how He already filled my next gas tank! He showed Himself so strong on my behalf with a token of His provision for me.***

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