April 4th wasn't the best night in my life. It wasn't traumatic and is not on my list of Top Ten Things I Would Only Wish on my Worst Enemy, but it isn't a night I'd like to return to, ever. The details aren't all that important, but the night began with me taking all three girls to Costco and it ended with us waiting in our dead van for Nick to rescue us. Rest in peace, Ford Aerostar, we will miss the convenience of you.
Since then we have been 'without'. Shortly after the fateful evening our Bible Study group was talking about excess. How we should each have a garage sale and instead of spending the money on a treat; give it to a charity or use it to reduce debt. During that conversation someone deemed a vehicle as a necessity, rather than a luxury, in our society. If we lived in some parts of Mexico or Africa a vehicle would be a luxury. Yet here it is a necessity.
Shortly after our van died we poured over our finances, trying to decipher how we pause our debt reduction efforts and stretch our selves to the limits in order to afford a car payment. We were looking at financing because in our situation it would be the wisest way to spend money we don't have. We found a vehicle that fit our needs, and attempted the credit process. It didn't work. We could look around and see the difficult financing situation the economy is in and find solace in that, but really being denied a debt is a blessing.
A few weeks later a sermon was preached in our church about prayer. Focusing on a cycle: we pray in faith, our prayers are answered, our faith increases, we pray for bigger things. When broaching the subject of how to pray the preacher stated: pray for specific things. (It makes sense, how else will you know if your prayer is being answered?). Nick felt led that we should be praying for a vehicle to be provided for us without us having to go further into debt and that the vehicle would be provided when we needed it.
At this juncture we do not have one. But we have yet to miss church, we have not had to haul home groceries in the rain. Our insurance policy allows us to pay a premium without a vehicle so we don't have a gap in our insurance, the scrap yard gave us enough for the van to cover our bill for the attempted repairs. Our next door neighbor, whose name I don't even know, has lent Nick his truck to get to and from work each day, one of the pastors at the church has been lending us their van the way a parent would generously give to their own children.
While being without a vehicle has been hard on me, (I definitley have felt 'without'), I have surely felt the peace of all the negative things I am truly 'without' in this circumstance. To have been approved for financing would have been more debt to shoulder. It has caused me to cast light upon all the things we have been afforded; provided for, taken care of, remembered when we're not in the room, loved.
I feel as though I should feel guilt that I have children and cannot provide something that the society I live in deems necessary. Instead I feel trust, that in the end, before the burden becomes too much to carry, we will be provided for. That security is something I hope to never be without.