For a long time I drove a car that had a broken driver’s side window. The power window feature was faulty, and it wouldn’t roll all the way up and it wouldn’t roll all the way down. There was a a pretty substantial gap in that window. My commute to work in those days was about an hour one way, and on the days it poured down rain, I used my left arm to hold up a folded towel at the top of the window to shield myself from getting soaked.
Some days I really, really hated that car. I hated its faulty window, I hated the fading paint. I hated that it told the world I was a nobody, a nothing, a person who didn’t have it together. I thought bad thoughts about the car, but mostly I thought bad thoughts about myself. That car was tangible evidence to the world that I was BROKE. It felt like a scarlet letter.
L for Loser.
Looking back, I can see how silly it was to give so much power to a car. A car that got me from point A to point B. A car that allowed me to commute an hour one way, so that I could keep a job that paid me enough to provide for my son all by myself. A car that at the very least kept my son dry in the back seat and kept us safe. It was not a symbol of my status or lack thereof – it was a symbol of provision. God’s provision to me, and in turn, my provision to my son.
Ten years as a single mom taught me a lot about relying on God for our ‘daily bread’. I’d actually gotten really good about shelving the stress and anxiety that come from being the sole provider.
I trusted God to provide, and He did. There was never extra, never a surplus, and it was never easy – things were tight, things were hard and as my car story proves, my life was hardly glamorous.
If there is one thing the last year or so of life has taught me, it’s that things can change in the blink of an eye.
It swirls in and out of each chapter of our story, and some days it seems there is nothing we can do except ride the wave and try with all our might not be carried out to sea.
This season of our lives has taught me about grace, about forgiveness, about love, about trust, about compassion, strength, loyalty, friendship, anger, disappointment, fear, reliance, happiness & sadness.
It has taught me that God’s provision rarely comes in the form of a fully loaded, brand new $35k vehicle with working power windows. In fact, I have found that His provision is more like the car that you aren’t entirely sure will get you from point A to point B because it doesn’t have good shocks or struts, the power windows don’t work and you might as well forget about power steering.
It’s a rough ride. It’s downright terrifying at times.
But somehow, despite broken windows and sketchy brakes, God does get you from point A to point B. And sometimes you aren’t sure how you got there because your teeth were clenched and your knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so hard and you were sure that you weren’t going to arrive in one piece. Sometimes you arrive soaking wet because you had a faulty window that allowed sheets of cold, pouring rain to pelt you along the way.
God does provide. It’s probably nothing like you were expecting or even wanting and it may end up altering the course of your life forever…
…but His plan is good. He is good.
By the way, eventually some really generous people at my church stepped in and got my car window fixed for me.