Sunday, June 14, 2015

A 10 Year Love Story.

This is my love story. One of love, grace, worth. One of trial and surrender. One of awe. Faith. Security. This is my love story and I wouldn't trade it.

Meet Alfalfa.
Isn't she wonderful?
She is a 2005 Focus. Not something the average Joe would write home about. But I love her. A car, you say. Why, but yes! My love and appreciation is one that makes some laugh or shake their heads. So please, may I share my story with you?

It all started 10 years ago, back in 2005. I was just a young girl of 19 years. My first car was limping on it's last leg and it was time to look for a new one. At this point in my life I had just finished school and held a part time job at Subway. I was looking at cars that were around 5 years old and very discouraged by the condition versus the price.

I had made a list of what would be important to me and started praying for those things in my next car. Black, sun roof, four doors. I knew I was getting married soon and kids were one day going to be in my future, so a family car was very important.

I showed my father some of the vehicles I had found through my online searches and his opinion of them wasn't far off from my own. Then he said, "Let's go down to the dealership and see if they have anything." I agreed, but thought there was no way I could afford a worth while car.

Sure enough, the moment we stepped on the lot, a lady swooped in, talons exposed, set on making her sell. I told her I wanted a black, four door with a sun roof. She told me I was good at dreaming big.... she had no idea! She took me over to Alfalfa and I saw the price tag of $20,000.... I could never afford that! She said this was the only one that fit the bill on the lot. I wanted to test drive it. "But you're just a young kid and you will be ready to trade it back in in a year or two," she insisted.

After a little back and for, I got to test drive my beauty and I knew she was mine. I told God I would like to get $900 for my trade in, but no less than $700. I also said I didn't want to exceed $280 on my monthly payment. After some back and forth, we were stuck at $400 for the trade in and $350 for the car payment. So we walked. I was discouraged. She felt so right while driving. But I would not go over board on debt at such a young age. A few phone calls went by and then they asked us to come back in, that they had played with the numbers. Suddenly they had incentives for first time car buyers, having proof of finishing college, and the list went on. This beautiful car with a price tag of $20,000 suddenly became $12,000 and some. Next up was my trade in. After pulling some numbers the best they could do was $700. When everything was calculated, my monthly payment would be $278.73. I smiled and said she was my car. Lovingly, I called her Black Beauty.

The End. WRONG! So I just learned about God's grace and favor. I learned about the importance of not being afraid to ask God for what you wanted and believing it would happen. But that was only the beginning of our love story.

I valued this car. After everything I went through to get her, I knew she was a gift from a loving God. I hand washed her weekly. Didn't let trash pileup inside. Babied her. In time I got married. Seeing someone in need we decided to give his car to the person. In turn he now had my sweet Black Beauty to drive and I had no car. I asked for a beater to just get around town and he said no, I didn't need it. So, after two beautiful years, she was taken from me.

But my God was still faithful. An opportunity arose that I wanted to be part of, but I couldn't see making ends meet while still having a car payment. I prayed and asked God that if He wanted me to do this make a way to pay Black Beauty off. Three days later I received a check in the mail. I was in awe... even called the person who sent it to make sure it was correct! Only two and half years into ownership and my sweet girl was payed off!

Time went on and through lack of care and respect, my girl was left with stains all over every seat, scratches and dings. Dried coffee coated multiple surfaces. My, then, husband even ran over two dead deer breaking the frame off of one of her fog lights. I didn't love Black Beauty anymore. But, than again, I no longer loved me. She was dirty, abused, broken. And so was I.

I had finally reached my breaking point and I left the marriage. I left Black Beauty. I returned to my parents home broken and with a few suitcases. But that ever so faithful God started to heal my heart, mind and emotions. Nearly six months went by when I needed to get a job and try to stand stable on my own feet. But I hadn't a car. As if a little birdie sang it out to me, I remembered Black Beauty was still in my name. I never switched her into both our names when I said I do. But I didn't want her. She was beat up and abused. So, I told him I'd give her to him for $3,000. She was valued at $7,000, I just didn't want to look at her again. Angerly, he said no. He would just drop the car off. And he did. Holding on to his keys, I insisted he hand those over too. Black Beauty was mine again, but it wasn't so sweet.

I spent an afternoon scrubbing and scrapping at the years of grime that built up inside of her. With a gentle hand I washed over her scrapes and dings on the outside. She wasn't so beautiful anymore. Black Beauty no longer suited her well. And so, Alfalfa became her name. But, the name fit her. The way her silly little antenna bobbed up and down, front and center on her roof.

It was then, in that moment, a fraction of the bitterness melted. She was stained and banged up, but she was mine again. And she needed an inspection. Remember the before mentioned dead deer? Yeah, I was now left with a welding bill to repair the undercarriage damage. The bitterness returned. I was left with this wretched car. Over time, God showed me how this car and I were two peas in a pod. By the hands of the same man we went from being young and lively to being tattered and torn. With a little scrubbing... eh, a lot!... some wielding and a little care, Alfalfa was ready to go again. It softened my heart. In fact, it brought me to a realization of my own heart and it made it easier for me to let go of my years of hurt. My mind and heart needed a good scrubbing and a little wielding too.

A year went by. It was just me and Alfalfa again. I learned to love her all over. I returned to my weekly hand washing routine. But a new inspection loomed in the near future. I knew, by the sounds I heard, she needed work done. Work I couldn't afford. But I felt God say He had it. If I could be faithful to her, she wold be faithful to me. And so I was. And when the mechanic called me to come pick her up, I questioned what he did to her. And in his "lady you are crazy" tone, he told me nothing. My sweet Alfalfa passed her inspection with flying colors... much to my and my fathers surprise!

I saw the faithfulness of a loving God. I loved Him more and I cherished Alfalfa more. And as another year passed and another inspection completed with perfection, I know that this love story will be one I will never forget. We celebrated our 10th anniversary on April 7. It actually brought tears to my eyes.

Yes, Alfalfa is just a car, only an object, but never question what God can use to bring about a depth of understanding and healing in someones life.

So, that is my love story. Alfalfa's and Mine.

This post has been shared at:
The Wise Woman Linkup
The Modest Mom Blog