Our Third World Luxury: Having one car

Our family currently has only one vehicle. In America, that sounds like a crisis. In a third world country, that sounds like a luxury.

God is teaching us about depending on Him during these times when finances seem to be too short for our growing family.

But faith takes an upside down situation and makes a mountain of growth out of it.

My husband and I have been discussing what type of vehicle would best meet our needs and we settled on...a full size van. I've driven those crazy big things before and said I never wanted one.

But with 4 kids in tow, car seats, a stroller, and sometimes groceries all packed into one vehicle, I finally conceded that maybe, just maybe, a full size van is what we need.

I've gotten over the fact that I will definitely not be "a hip Mamma" in my "Big Daddy Van" as the kids like to call those beasts and practicality has triumphed over my feelings about driving this monster.

So, my husband found a pre-owned (that's the fancy way to say "used") full size van that would meet our needs. We didn't have the money right then but we were praying that God would provide the money and that if this wasn't the one for us, it wouldn't work out.

Friday came and so did the tax refund. My husband came straight home from work, changed his clothes and headed straight to the dealership.

He was looking the van over (which by the way, is the only van we have found in our price range and that has what we need) when the salesman came over to him and said, "I'm sorry, I have some bad news. The guy in there just bought this van and he is paying for it right now."

When I called my husband to see how things were going, I anxiously asked, "Did you get it??" When he told me the story, I was so dumbfounded over the fact that the very minute he went to buy the van someone else already bought it, that I was speechless. My husband thought we got disconnected.

"Hello? Are you still there?"

"Um, yes, I just can't believe the timing of this."

Now, typically I respond wrong to a situation probably 9 times out of 10. Actually, make that 10 out of 10. (I'm a slow learner and while I may eventually come to the right response, I'm working on that being my first response).

But, God's grace allowed me to see the situation for what it was. An opportunity to rejoice because we didn't get the van. After all, we had prayed for the right one and God made it very clear THAT one was not it!

So, here we are, happily living on love and faith and driving only one vehicle. I have no idea if/when we will get a full size van, but I do know I can trust the goodness of God regardless of whether or not He provides another vehicle for us.

"Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, 'That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

'Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

'And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

'So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

'Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.'" Luke 12:22-34

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Rachel R. said...

Right now we have one car - and only about half of us can ride in it. (My husband has had it since before we got married and it gets almost 50 mpg, so we kept it when we bought something that would hold us all. I think it's 17 years old now, but it's been quite a faithful servant!)

Having even one car - that the whole family can fit into - is sounding really good right now!

Jenny said...

I JUST, 10 minutes ago, got done reading that exact section in my bible! So powerful and brings such peace. We've done the one car thing too (though not with 4 kids...just one!) and God used that situation to deepen my faith and dependence on him...we too had no choice. Our car had to go, and we didnt have the money for a new one. I was a new stay at home mom , trying to figure out this one-income thing...but I just felt so blessed to be home. So we faithfully shared the vehicle, scraped our pennies together...and a few months later, out of the blue, my in laws called to tell us they wanted to give us their extra vehicle (it was older and opted to take the tax write off) FOR FREE. Praise jesus! Sometimes we dont even realize when we are being tested! :) prayers for that new vehicle (or not! Whatever He has planned!) Update us because I cant wait to see how He takes care of this for you! said...

Thank you ladies for sharing and for your encouraging words. Jenny, you make me more excited to see what God has for us! Can't wait to tell you--whenever that is! :)

gretaoh said...

I understand where you are coming from! We had one car for the first 6 years of our oldest daughter's life. My husband used the car for work and I took the bus everywhere. I have fond memories of the "adventures" my daughter and I experienced together...even nursing her, on the bus, as it was the only way to keep her from going stir crazy! :) After my dad passed away, we inherited his mini-van (just as we were in a position to really need a second car). The van was in terrible shape, but we were so thankful for that blessing at such a sad time. As winter approached, this year, I was growing increasingly worried about my husband's safety (as he was the driver of the van), when he had the opportunity to trade (straight up- no extra cash) for a used jeep...already for winter! GOD'S TIMING IS PERFECT! As our ability to pay has increased, we have now also traded in our first vehicle for a larger vehicle...a Dodge Grand Caravan. I don't know if you mean a conversion van, when talking about a full size van, but a used caravan might also suit your needs. They seat 7, but aren't (that) much bigger than a standard mini van. Just thought I'd through that out there! :) Thank you for your encouraging post! said...

Gretaoh, That is a long time to have only one vehicle. That takes a lot of perseverance in today's society. Hopefully we won't have to wait that long for a van lol! :)

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