Inspection Stickers & Faith in God

It is 4am on the last day of 2014 and I can’t sleep at all.  I am wide awake thinking about the events of the past month and I can’t get over it so I need to write about it.  So if some of this is not coherent, just love me anyway. 🙂

December was a crazy month for us.  It was extremely busy; I think we had 2 empty days on our calendar for the entire month.  On top of that, it was a tough month financially from the very beginning.  The budget was looking tight, but I am a budgeting queen and a very frugal person, so that makes for an excellent combo in this type of situation.

My inspection sticker expired in September, but I am typically pretty good at ignoring these things, so I let it slide for a few months, but when December rolled around, I figured it was probably time to take care of it.  I took my car into McSpadden Auto Repair Shop one day, hoping for a simple visit that would cost me no more than $35, but of course these people have a knack of finding 28 things wrong with your car and insist on charging you to fix them before they will put that stupid little sticker on your car that keeps you from getting pulled over and getting a ticket (which of course is my only motivation for getting my car inspected anyway). I was dreading this visit to the car shop solely for this reason, and all of my fears were confirmed when Mr. Heartless Auto Mechanic informed me my car did not pass the inspection test.  He generously offered to give me an estimate of how much he would charge me to fix these things before running my car through the inspection test again.  As I mentioned earlier, December was already a tight month, and I had only budgeted $35 to get my inspection sticker changed, not a penny more.  Our emergency fund was depleted from other unexpected expenses that had come up previously, and we literally had no wiggle room at all.  When he told me the amount it would be, I stared at him blinking for at least 10 seconds and then burst into tears.  I could not believe it. I DON’T CRY. Ever.  If you are in the group of people I can count on two hands that have seen me cry, you should feel very privileged.  And now the stupid mechanic joined this elite group of people.  Good grief.  He offered to let me take out a store credit card to finance the repairs, but my parents and Dave Ramsey taught me much better than that, so I said “absolutely not”, told him I didn’t have enough money to pay for it at the moment, and walked out.

For someone like me, this was an extremely humiliating experience.  I take a lot of pride in being self-sufficient, responsible, and having my life together.  I am a nerd and I love to save money.  I get more joy out of putting money into savings or paying off student loans then buying something new.  I realize this is probably abnormal.  But whatever.  This was literally the first time in my entire life I had not been able to pay for something like this in cash with plenty left over.  As I drove away in my uninspected car, I was in a mental battle with myself. I was giving myself a guilt trip on not planning/preparing better, telling myself I should probably take on a second job to help carry more of the financial weight in our family.  I was trying to figure out ways to cut the budget more, and feeling super discouraged about the whole situation.  I called James and let him know (which of course he didn’t think it was a big deal at all and told me not to worry about it- he suggested I overreact sometimes).

A small part of me kept reminding me to trust God in all things.  Trust God for my inspection sticker? That seemed stupid and irrational, so I told that small part of me it didn’t know what it was talking about and to keep quiet.  But it kept coming back, a reminder that God is faithful and worthy of our trust in even the smallest things.

A few weeks passed, and in the middle of a busy month and Christmas, I totally forgot about the whole thing.  I hadn’t worried about it or even thought about it once.  We still didn’t have the cash to pay for it, but I figured after a month or two, we would save up enough eventually to take care of it, so I wasn’t going to lose sleep over it.

And here is the craziest part: yesterday, I received a completely unexpected check with an amount that would cover the cost it would take to fix my car plus more.  When I opened the envelope and saw the amount, I cried (again, dang it).  I hadn’t told a single person about the car situation, and when I received this unexpected money, I was taken back to the moment where God was reminding me to trust Him.  I was blown away.  God is a good Father who takes care of His kids.  And I think this experience had less to do about the money (we are both employed and aren’t starving – we would have come up with the money eventually), but more to do in growing my faith in God being my provider.  We flourish when we depend on Him and trust in Him, and that is an absolutely wonderful thing.

We had two other similar experiences in the month of December.  We wanted to take a small trip to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary (which was on December 7th) but weren’t sure how to squeeze it in, so we just settled on deciding to go to dinner somewhere.  Then we received another unexpected check in the mail for something that we had volunteered to do without realizing we would be paid for it.  We set that money aside and were able to take a weekend trip to San Antonio to celebrate – which was so fun and I’m glad we were able to do it!  We also weren’t sure how we were going to buy Christmas gifts for our families, and I’m not really a gift giver anyway, so I was trying to convince James that we could just make homemade cookies for everyone (he was strongly opposed to this idea for some reason). Then, a family member of ours won some money in Vegas out of the blue and generously gifted us a portion of it, so we were able to set that aside to buy real, thoughtful Christmas gifts for our families. Again, God provided in the most random of ways for the smallest needs we had.

I know these stories aren’t extremely significant in the grand scheme of eternity.  There are people with much greater needs than the ones we have, and I’m sure God is finding creative ways to take care of those too.  God is who He says He is – He is faithful, true, sovereign, holy, and perfect.  The more I press into the Word, the more that I find it always stands true.  Always.

As 2014 is wrapping up, I don’t have a long list of resolutions or things I want to change in my life.  The only thing I want in 2015 is to know God more than I did in 2014.  I want to know Him more, trust Him and His Word in a deeper way, and give Him all the glory for my life.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?



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