Today marks the 10th day I have gone without a working vehicle. This is the longest I have been without a car in 8 years and it has been a pretty big blow to my independence and pride. A week and a half ago I had what seemed like the simplest thing go wrong with my car, and I was fully confident I could fix it myself with the help of YouTube and Honda forums. I am my father’s daughter, after all. The unfortunate part was that the problem occurred at my boyfriend’s house about a 1/4 mile away… right at the beginning of the coldest week our area has had this year. I spent 2 days trekking back and forth trying different things I found on the internet and calling around to get opinions.
Finally it was determined that not only would I need to get outside assistance, but it was going to be a very costly repair that is less than financially ideal. So off my poor little Honda went on the tow truck with the assurance that I would have her back either later in the day or by the next morning. It was going to be expensive, but I was excited to get back on the road… until I got the phone call that the part needed for my car actually wasn’t in stock and wouldn’t be in until Friday. Or maybe even Monday.
Well. Today is Monday. I’m anxiously waiting by my phone to hear from the shop about when my car is coming home. I know most jobs require a car, but mine requires bouncing around town all. day. long. I’m so grateful that things have been slower because of the holidays, but this week it is back to the normal routine and being without a vehicle is not really an option.
So all that complaining aside, I have learned an awful lot this week and I wanted to compile a list so I didn’t forget, and I wanted to share it with you!
- Do the thing you can do right now. I spent so long researching and trying to fix my car, knowing I couldn’t. I was stressed and frustrated, and because of the long holiday weekend I had no option but to wait 4 days to be able to get help. A couple days in I felt so convicted about the amount of time I had wasted being obsessed with accomplishing something I simply could not do, rather than resting in the Lord and being faithful to the tasks I had at hand that I could complete. My mantra through this has been “do the thing you can do right now.” Can I fix my car right now? No. Can I clean my house and get some studying done? Absolutely. Do that.
- Forced rest is a blessing. I am not by nature a sit-around kind of person. I want to have plans and be busy about them. I am bad about not slowing down until I am burnt out and spend a whole weekend doing absolutely nothing because I am drained. Resting efficiently is not a natural strength of mine. Being stuck has been a blessing in the fact that it has forced me to slow down whether I like it or not. Even in this miserably cold week I have found myself taking several walks because I just needed to get out of the house. This has been such a cool [cold] opportunity to see the world from a different perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
- God provides. Financially, this situation is a real bummer. But you know what? Even if it isn’t how I wanted to spend the money, I have the ability to. Even though December was a really slow month for me because of the holidays, January is already picking up and it looks like this semester is going to be busy and fruitful. As far as not having a way to get places? My roommate happens to have been out of town this entire time and left her car here, so generously allowing me to use it when I was in a pinch and needed it to go teach a lesson. For other times I needed to get places, there has always been someone nearby who is going to the same place and has been willing to let me ride along.
It seems like a silly thing, but this situation has really opened the door for significant spiritual and personal growth as it has revealed areas of my character I was unaware of and likewise made God’s good and gracious character so much clearer to me. So as much as I want my car back NOW, and as much as I don’t want to pay the bill that I know is coming, I’m grateful that God uses even the not-so-fun situations of life to make Himself greater and draw me closer to Him.