Years ago I bought a car on impulse. Terrible I know. Big things like cars, houses, and so on should never be bought because you feel like it. But at 21 years old, I made the stupid choice to buy a car without doing all the necessary steps first. I ended up paying too much and getting a loan with a really high interest rate.
Once I recognized what I had done, I worked hard. I moved back home with my parents and paid off my car. After all the hard work of paying off my car, I realized, I hated it. All I looked for were silly things (sun roof, 6 CD changer, stick shift) rather than the importance of good condition, would be reliable, last a long time.
Not too long after paying it off, my car became a sore spot. It started to break down a lot. It was a bucket of problems and I wanted a new car. I looked at car loans, I looked at cars, I even talked to my dad. My dad talked me into keeping the car, helping me realize that the cost in repairs was not more that the cost of a car payment. Yet.
Since Superman and I have been married, I still have that car. It’s been really great not having a car payment. It has really stunk having a car that breaks down a lot. It has become my nemesis. I have had long talks with Superman about driving it up to the mountains and shooting it. I am so done with it.
One day I was talking to my mom and complaining about my car. She told me that the majority of her married life my parents had crummy cars. Their cars were always hanging on by a thread, but they managed. She told me about the struggles they had, but that they correlated the amazing blessings of having a working car with paying their tithing. She talked so fondly of those crumby cars that I realized I was missing something. I was missing the blessings of my car.
Later that day I was backing out of my covered parking spot and I hit a pole. I freaked out. In that moment I didn’t have the “I hate this car” emotion, but the “Oh no, my tithing car!” feeling. Luckily my amazing husband fixed it and popped the dent out. He duct taped my headlight back in and we were good to go.
From then on I was at peace with my tithing car (sort of). I started to get the longing for a minivan. I thought how with a nice minivan my life would be better. Wednesday night I was driving to a babysitting job across town (out in Denver). I arrived early. As soon as I pulled up at the house, my “Service Engine Light” came on. I called Superman and told him what happened. He said it was probably just letting me know it was time to change my oil. I trusted him and went to babysit.
At 10pm I left to drive home. I was driving down I-70 when my car stopped accelerating and started shaking. Angels had to be helping me because I somehow put on my hazards and moved over to the side of the road without getting hit. I called Superman and told him what happened. I was right next to an exit. I managed to get off the highway. There was a Park-and-Ride right off the exit. I parked under a light and waited for my husband.
After trying (and thinking we succeeded) to fix my car, we ended up towing it. Normally I would be a mess of stress (and there were times I was). But I knew everything was going to be OK with my tithing car. More importantly, I knew our family motto: Heavenly Father doesn’t set us up for failure.
I trusted everything would work out. It did. My car needed a new radiator (much cheaper that shooting it, for sure).
There are many times when things that we view as burdens or troubles are actually blessings and life lines in disguise. Now instead of looking at my car as the bane of my existence, I can see that my car is a huge blessing. Without it I wouldn’t be able to do most of the things I do (laundry, grocery shopping, fun outings, and so on). Looking at the bigger picture, our burdens are often secretly blessings.