So I have not posted much in the past two months. I’ve been busy and June hit me hard, I mean really hard. I was sick and stressed, and had a hard time of recovery. I’m the type of person that will wait until I absolutely have to go to the doctor before I go. So, I was feeling really cruddy and did what everyone else does, and I looked up my symptoms online. With fevers, boating, sharp pain, tiredness, all the symptoms pointed to possible appendicitis. You know the alien bursting out of your chest kind of pain. Yeah… so I went to Urgent Care. I waited, and waited, and when I finally got in, they asked for my symptoms, told me that it might be gas, but that it could be appendicitis, said they couldn’t help me with that and if it was like that the next day to go to the ER for a CT Scan, and then charged me $300.
Well, that sucked….and guess what. I did not feel good the next day. I waited until about midday and then had my wife take me to the ER. So we are in the waiting room with the kids. We waited and waited, and then I let me wife take the kids home, and told her I would call her for a pickup. When I finally got in, I laid in my gown for maybe an hour in a really cold room, then finally someone came in, asked for my symptoms, told me that it might be gas and sent me on my way…with a bigger bill (cough, cough)
I was still feeling sick, and worn out from being dehydrated. I called my wife to pick me up. I waited and waited…and waited. In turns out, while my wife was on the way to turn in to the hospital, the transmission of our van blew out, which turned out to cost more than what we paid for the van. “Uhhhhh, why God are you testing me this week?” was what I was thinking.
You see, we often get hot-headed and shift everything on to God, or we question why He is punishing us. God gave me the stomach pains, God gave me gas, and God blew my transmission. NOT TRUE…if fact the way this plays out is, that shortly after that, we were back on our feet and felt blessed.
Let me share this with you. I had a lady from our church reach out to me about my frustration with my stomach issues, It’s an expensive unsolved recurring mystery for me. She opened up to me, and shared her digestive issue story and reassured me that I was not alone, that she was there for me if I ever needed to talk, and that I was in her prayers. This meant a lot to me, because a good chunk of my life, it was something I felt alone in. These issues come with some anxiety. She said she appreciated that I was open about it and that it was encouraging to see someone go through tough times, but still not be out of the game.
We also had people financially bless us. When the van went out, that was our only car, and my luck with cars over the past 3 years seemed to be non-existent. Finding a vehicle that seats 3 car seats for a family of five that is affordable has not been easy. This is why we were driving a 2006 Ford Freestar. Paid three grand in cash for it, and that was the new car. The transmission being replaced was going to cost $2900, and I didn’t think that payout to fix the van was going to be worth it. It has some other issues as well.
My stepdad loaned me his Chevy Equinox, and I found out that I can get all 3 car seats in the back…WHAT! That means I don’t have to stay in the realm of mini-vans forever (not easy to find a minivan in good condition and cheap anyways) So my stepdad and brother started to look around for a used Chevy Equinox….but they don’t really come cheap.
Now here is where I confess my past sins. I don’t have the best credit score, because younger me was not good with money or planning ahead. It is still a struggle of mine that I am working on. So I assumed that since I didn’t have a 700+ credit score, that I’d never been able to get a car loan. So I never tried. I’ve owned four cars my whole life, and I usually drive them into the ground.
My stepdad worked with a car dealer, to get us a 2012 Chevy Equinox. The dealer heard my story and even dropped the price from $9,500 to $8,200 to keep it under the monthly price range for us. This came with a 4-year warranty so that if (and when) I have a huge issue, like transmission blow out, it will be covered.
So, because of all of this, God allowed other doors to be open that I didn’t think was possible. These small trials add up for sure, but trusting in God gets us through it. I trusted that God would provide, even though I felt defeated at the time. We had people help out in many different ways. A lot of people praying for what God was going to do next.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
I believe that prayer really does work and that God hears us, however, that doesn’t mean that God always gives us what we want, but more so, gives us what we need. This is important to keep in mind when we pray, for it to be in God’s will, not ours, because we really don’t know what is best for us at times.
So my plea of “Uhhhhh, why God are you testing me this week?” should really have been, “God, what are you trying to teach me?” If we are pressing in to God, and trusting Him in all times, even in our lows, we will find God is there. By drawing closer, and being open, He reveals his love for us. He teaches us something that helps us to become more holy.
My month didn’t magically become better, but every day trusting in God I feel less and less defeated and could see the blessings that are right in front of us. I have a reliable car, I know I have a great community and church family, because of the car payments, my credit score is going to increase, and I’ve found even more peace with the Lord. Sure there are some new burdens, that go with this, but my point is, that there will always be burdens and that we must ask God to help us with them. That why He created other people, and that is why He sent His son Jesus, to help us with the burdens that we CAN’T handle alone.
For your listening pleasure, check out this rocking 90’s cover of Trading my Sorrows by II Guys from Petra (who really are from Petra)