So you know how in movies whenever a car starts smoking, it means that it is literally moments away from blowing up?
Well sometimes I forget that movies aren’t real life; in fact, the tv show ‘Mythbusters’ has shown that it is REALLY hard to blow up a car. But sometimes I forget all about science and logic and whatnot. One night not too long ago, I thought my car was about to blow up. But let me start from the beginning…
My pastor has been talking lately about being a farmer – about how everything we do sows a seed in our lives. (“Every deed is a seed,” he likes to joke). Part of the message has been about finances, and how when we tithe, it sows a seed. And I love this message because for me, tithing is a HUGE deal. I love tithing, because I feel like that money will be used in bigger and better ways than I could ever think of.
Ok, back to my car blowing up…
A couple of months before I got married, my fiancé and I decided that we were only going to need one car once we were married, and that I should get rid of my car since his was newer. Since a couple in my church had given the car to me, I decided to give my car to my brother, instead of trying to sell it…kinda like paying it forward. Only my car wasn’t in super great condition…it had been making weird noises. It seemed like every week that fall, I had SOMETHING repaired on it (thank goodness the auto shop was right down the road…). I was really trying to get everything fixed before I gave it to my brother, because I didn’t want my baby brother to have to fix it up. And even though I love to give money to the church, I was finding it really hard to keep tithing (I have this trick – tithe before you do any bills).
Then just two weeks before the wedding, my car blows up.
Haha, jk, not for real, but I thought it was going to. I was driving home on a dark, rainy evening, and right as I pull off the highway this HUGE plume of smoke engulfs my car. So I did what any sane person would do – pull off to the side of the road AND RUN LIKE CRAZY. Well, it turned out my car was nowhere near blowing up, and all that smoke was steam. Unfortunately, though, my car was totaled. So no more car.
Miraculously, this happened just HOURS before my brother was going to sell his old car, which he was fortunately able to call off. So there was no real harm – my brother still had a car, and I wasn’t planning on having my car anymore, so all was ok.
Fast forward to two months after the wedding, and now my husband’s car was acting funny – the transmission was going haywire, which was scary. And on our way back from a church trip, the car just…dies. Again, no small miracle that it died where it did. We were coming back from a trip in the mountains, about 5 hours of no-man’s-land driving, the whole time hearing the transmission acting up…and it doesn’t die until we were 5 minutes from home. At this point, I was so frustrated with essentially a year of car problems, wondering how much is everything going to cost, is it going to work out, blah blah blah…I just wanted to hide in a hole and forget all the stupid car nonsense.
So when we go the news that his car was totaled (the engine locked up, for reasons unknown) I was just done with the whole situation. All I knew was that I hated cars. That and I could probably tell what was wrong with a car by the sound it made. But also in a weird way, I felt free from these malfunctioning cars – and I knew that I never wanted to be in that situation again. My prayers about the car situation mostly went, “can we please have a car that’s not going to break down every week?”
And so again it was hard to tithe – we were newlyweds, not really even sure of a budget, with only a little money saved up. But I never wanted to stop tithing because if we did, it would be as if we turned our back on God, like he couldn’t take care of our financial needs. God has always taken care of everything that I need, but I feel like it shows up the best in my finances. And this situation was an example of just that. First of all, we ended up being able to borrow a car, so we didn’t have to get a rental car. And then, someone lent us most of the money we needed so that we could get a nice used car (a Camry! Our family is kinda obsessed with Camrys) instead of a less reliable car.
So far no car issues! …And hopefully I won’t ever have to be James Bond again 🙂