It's been a few weeks since our car got smashed to smithereens and Tim graduated with his PhD. God has been providing in all the ways, both big and small, just as He has always been faithful to do. God has parted the Red Sea for us so many times, if I tried to count them all, I'd be here all day. But instead I'll just give you the how He did it in the past few weeks.
A few days before we needed to leave for Christmas, there was just dead space on the phone with insurances. Nobody could give us an answer on the hold up. Not our insurance, not guy who was driving's insurance, not the guy's insurance who owned the car that smashed ours. Yes, three insurances are involved. Yes, we might be here for awhile.
We decided to just go ahead with renting a car even though we didn't have the money provided from the insurance yet. Once everything shakes out they should reimburse us at least in part for it, but this is what emergency funds are all about. So we called them and there was not a rental to be had. Sold out. Everyone else had snatched them up for their own road trips to their hometowns.
We were stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wanted. No, I needed to get away and regroup with our families. And we had our friend's car they were more than willing to let us borrow and another offer from yet another couple willing to provide for us for the week. If this was the Lord's will, then yes Lord, so be it, but the prospect of driving in subzero weather all over Michigan and Ohio in someone else's car with our two littles was making me more than a little nervous.
The latent trauma anxiety of the previous week was finally catching up to me. I just wanted a safe vehicle to drive my kids to their grandparents in, and nothing seemed to be working.
When I felt stuck, I remembered that this battle simply wasn't mine to fight and the anxiety I was feeling was probably because I was trying, and failing, to fight it on my own.
Yesterday, while recording my friend Kelly on the DWITW podcast, she shared John 15 with me. It is a familiar passage to me, about abiding with God, loving him, keeping his commandments, and pruning, taking away all the things that keep us from abiding and bearing fruit. Right in the middle of the passage, Jesus lands a bombshell verse:
Abiding in God, and his Word abiding in us means we make some BIG asks of God. But not only that, we can make LITTLE asks of God, and everything in between. This passage? It says whatever you wish.
So I asked God for a safe vehicle to drive to Grand Rapids and Mansfield and back to Dayton. And when it seemed out of my hands, I asked others to intercede with and for us. I began emailing all the prayer warriors I knew, because clearly this wasn't a battle for me to fight by myself.
Immediately after I sent the emails, God started moving things into place. Tim was able to get a hold of the important people in our insurance juggle, and Tim's mom found us probably the only vehicle left on the Dayton rental market. Tim stopped after work to get brand new car seats since we were forced to throw the ones in our old car away. We used our emergency fund that God called us to save long ago to pay for all the expenses.
When we picked up the vehicle, we were surprised to find out the vehicle God himself had picked for us to rent was a brand new Nissan Rogue, an SUV that had only been driven once before us. It handled the drive with ease, not sliding once on the friction-less ice. It was a miracle. God not only provided a vehicle in the nick of time, but this exact one for our exact needs. There was even more room to carry all the packages home we had yet to receive from our family.
But why were we even surprised? Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"
Fast forward to a few days later. I was sitting at the Christmas Eve service at Immanuel Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, singing In Christ Alone. Tim's parent's church makes me long for heaven when I sing with them. I'm brought to tears every time. I've never heard a body of Christ sing so earnestly and harmoniously to their Savior. It feels like every one is singing their part, their one individual voice blending in with all the others. No one seems shy that they will be off pitch or that their neighbor will judge their voice, because when they sing all together, they do so as one. No one person is heard, yet everyone is heard. Everyone has their part to play, their own notes for their own range in the hymn, but they don't sing so they will stand out, but so it will emphasize the beauty of their corporate worship.
You just have to come with me next time. My words won't ever do it justice.
We sang these lyrics as the huge windows on either side of the sanctuary revealed the pure and heavy snow falling, bathing the eagerly worshiping church in marvelous white light:
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
The week previous was divided into two acts for me: anxiety at the beginning of the week and peace at the end, culminating in this hymn and the HOPE of our Savior.
And the fulcrum of the week was the moment I asked.
When we are in Christ, we are cherished. When we are in Christ, we can believe and walk in his sovereignty and his goodness. He will give us the faith of a mustard seed and that faith will move mountains so that all can see His glory. Friends, draw near. Yes! Come BOLDLY. Abide in Him, receive His love, receive His Word! And then ask whatever you wish in faith, for it is finished already. And with all our individual and collective asks, we can also worship him with all our individual and collective voices.
And He will bathe us in both His love and peace.
Our insurance is still bouncing us around and we returned the SUV. But we are expectant. God has done everything for us, why would we doubt him now? I'm just going to keep asking and watching Him move mountains.