Sunday, April 6, 2014

How God Provided a Corolla

God continues to be good to me--better than I deserve. He proves to me His ability to provide.

I had the Blazer. It was God's provision of a vehicle. It was a tremendous help at just the right time. However, when I bought it last June, even then, I didn't want an SUV. I was so certain that I didn't want it that I almost didn't buy it. God changed my heart and I did buy it, and it ended up being extremely useful for the purpose of moving out to Colorado. Despite having 186,000 miles on it, it safely towed my heavy little U-haul trailer all the way across the country. Then once I got here, I thought to myself, "I'd better wait and see what winter is like." After all, there must be a reason why nearly all the other vehicles I saw on the road were 4-wheel-drive. Winter came and went, and I used the 4-wheel-drive exactly once, to move forward about two feet, so I thought it was time to get a gas efficient vehicle without regard to 4WD.

My dad trained me to keep records, so I had information from the time I bought the vehicle on each gas fill-up: odometer reading, miles driven, gallons, price per gallon, and total cost to fill up. I entered all this data in Excel and made some calculations. Based on my records of average gas mileage, miles I drove, and amount I had spent in gas, I stood to save $1000 per year if I went to a 30MPG vehicle. Therefore, I figured that if I spent $1000 more on a car than what I sold the Blazer for, I stood to come out even by the end of one year.

Armed with this data, I posted the Blazer on craigslist for $1600. This was only $50 less than I had paid for it. By now, my Blazer had 199,500 miles on it, the air conditioning compressor was leaking, and it was just in a general state of breaking down. Immediately, I got two interested buyers who bid each other up until the second person won out at $1800. Now I was selling it for more than I had paid for it, but here was where the logistical puzzle began: I couldn't sell it until I had found another vehicle to buy for myself, since I had no way to get back and forth to work otherwise. The interested buyer graciously gave me two weeks to find another vehicle.

A Honda with 150,000 miles on it for $1600--a mess!
I looked at a number of vehicles and it was rather disheartening to not be able to find anything like what I was looking for. Cars in my price range would seem to be a good deal, and then I would go to look at them, and they would be badly wrecked all over, or they would have higher miles than my Blazer, or the interior would have a dreadful smoke smell, or some other deal-breaker. I began to wonder if it wasn't better just to keep my Blazer after all, since at least it was a running vehicle with an engine that I trusted would start every time. It seemed like a huge gamble to trade for another old junker. I might get in a worse predicament.

I named it "Ivy."
Then I found a 1997 Corolla on craigslist for $3500 with only 110,000 miles on it. I went to look at it and the people said I was the first person who had expressed any interest in it, even though it had been on craigslist for several days. I thought to myself, "Is everyone else blind, or what?" I had a trusted friend who is a mechanic look it over and he declared, "This is the car you want to buy." The owners were a sweet Christian couple, and as we negotiated, they were willing to come down to $2800. Perfect! Exactly $1000 more than what I was selling the Blazer for! Just what I wanted! So I went and sold the Blazer, and then I met with the owners of the Corolla and we signed the paperwork and I paid them $2800.

This was the unexpected part:

They took a $100 bill off the stack and pushed it back to me and said, "Now, we've prayed about this, and we want you to have this to help with your title & registration fees. We want to be a blessing to you, and this is just our contribution to your ministry work."

Can I say WHOA!!?

Who does that?

So now I am the happy owner of a lovely little zippy Corolla, and I am already feeling the difference at the gas pump. Yay!!

Thank you Jesus! You are so good to me!!

He increased the Blazer by $200 and then decreased the Corolla by $800. I went from a 16MPG 199,500-mile vehicle to a 30MPG 110,000-mile vehicle for only $900 more. Is that amazing, or what?

1 comment:

  1. You will be very happy with that Corolla. Mike and I have had Corollas that just drove and drove. Your mechanic friend was right. That will be a very good car for you. Judy from TN


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