Remember how I got the phone call you never want to get?
Since that difficult morning several months ago when my husband and baby were in a wreck totaling our Toyota Prius, we've been a one-car Nissan Rogue family. Oh, and did I happen to mention the fact that a motorcycle ran into our Rogue while we were out shopping for replacements for the Prius a week after it was totaled? Yep. Awful. So because of the SECOND wreck, our white Rogue bumper is duct taped on with lovely BLACK duct tape right now. And since we use that car when we're in town, we haven't been able to take it in to get it fixed. Very Hollywood chic, I tell ya.
Ever since that day, we've been praying for an upgrade. That's right….an upgraded vehicle. I love searching the internet for cars, doing my research, finding out which vehicle has the best consumer reviews and the lowest gas mileage.
In 2009, I started praying God would provide us an amazing deal on a really reliable, practical vehicle. I found out the Nissan Rogue had the best gas mileage for a small SUV. So I scoured the internet, discovering that the best deal in the country was in Atlanta. Studhubs was traveling for business, so I rented a one-way car, drove down to ATL in the rain, and bought a 2008 Nissan Rogue with only 1,100 miles on it for $15,000 when the sticker price should have been $21,000.
A savings of $6,000. (Giddy dance)
Years later, when we find out we're expecting a baby, we decide to become a 2-car operation. And as I prayed about it, God told me to make a list of what kind of car I wanted.
What do I want? Well, God, I want a Toyota Prius. I want it to be black, 2010, under 50,000 miles, with light grey interior, and I only want to pay $16,000.
I hop on the internet in 2011, see all the 2010 Prius models in the country are around $21,000, but my eye keeps going back to this individual seller who has her black Prius with grey interior. We hop on the phone to find out more about the car, and the owner's brother answers. His sister had worked in television, fell in love with a French guy she met on set, ran off to Paris to be with him and now her brother was stuck selling her car. We offer him $15,000, to which he replies, “You can have it for $16,000.” Studhubs hops on a one-way plane to Indianapolis and drives our new black Prius home.
Another savings of $6,000. AND I got everything on my list PLUS a few extra bells and whistles I didn't even have faith to ask for. (Giddy dance, plus a few Hallelujah's)
So yesterday, I'm enjoying my Sunday afternoon by searching for vehicles. We received $18,000 from the insurance company for our totaled Prius (which is actually $2,000 OVER what we paid for it two years ago!), so we planned on putting that money down, taking out a small loan, and getting a bigger vehicle in hopes of our family expanding in the future.
And then I hear God ask me again. Christa, what do you want?
The problem with that question is that I'm the queen of practicality and logic when it comes to buying consumer goods. I would rather have a newer car with lower miles and sacrifice the bells and whistles. But man, I really enjoy those bells and whistles. If God was giving me an opportunity to tell Him what I wanted, then I needed to throw practicality and logic out of the mix.
Because there's nothing practical or logical about miracles. (:
Ok, God. I want a loaded vehicle. I want seat warmers to keep my tushie nice and cozy when Studhubs wants to blast the air conditioner. In fact, I want duel front air conditioners so I can put the air to whatever temperature I want on my side. I want navigation so I don't have to use my iPhone, I want leather, I want a sunroof. I want keyless entry, a third row seating so we can get a whole tribe of people in the car. I want dark grey exterior with light grey interior. I want it to be in our price range, and a killer deal. And I'd REALLY love a DVD player for Moses so I don't have to keep holding up my iPad on road trips to keep him from wailing in the car!
Even as I made the list, the lack of faith inside of me kept wanting to subtract a few items, making it more logical, making it more practical, making it more of a possibility that it could actually happen. But I felt this thing inside of me pulling toward the impossible—Christa, I can do anything.
I get on the internet and find the one deal in all of Los Angeles that seemed to good to be true, but still fit the description of my list. A lot of time on the internet, if it's too good to be true, it's a scam. (Don't EVER wire money to anyone, people!!!) But this car was listed on the site of an extremely large dealer with amazing reviews, only ten minutes away from our house. And since it was a Sunday afternoon and we had nothing else to do, we hopped in our duct taped Rogue and headed over.
Imagine my disappointment when we get to the vehicle and discover the sticker price was listed at $35,000—WAY out of our price range. As the car salesman comes up to greet us, I pull out my iPhone and show him the internet add that enticed us to come over.
“Oh man,” he replied in shock. “I've never seen a mistake on our part that big before. Let me talk to my manager, but I think we're going to have to honor that internet price.”
As Studhubs pulls into our driveway last night in our new Toyota Highlander Limited, adorned with every extra you can think of, we knew God had done it again. The car was sticker priced on the lot at $35,000, but the internet sales associate had accidentally entered the numbers as $25,995, and they had to honor their add. Oh, let's not forget about the internet coupon I found that got us an extra $200 off, making the grand total of our loaded vehicle $25,775. As Studhubs struck up a conversation with the sales associate/aspiring songwriter while waiting for the paperwork to run, the guy likes him so much, he decided to throw in a 5 year/100 mile bumper to bumper warranty. The warranty also covers anti-theft, so if anyone tries to steal the car, it'll shut down.
After calculating everything from taxes, titles, and fees, this was another savings of almost $14,000. And we got everything we ever wanted and more.
I think we're going to be doing the Giddy Dance for a while.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
If you'll let Him, He'll do ‘exceedingly abundantly ABOVE all you could ask or imagine.' (Ephesians 3:20)
Even in the car department.
Have you believed God's extravagance for spiritual things, but not for things like cars and practical items?
If it matters to you, it matters to God.
For years, I thought wanting a Louis Vuitton bag was selfish, knowing there were people in the world that didn't have water to drink. But believing I shouldn't have dreams and desires, loves and passions because there is lack in the world puts God in the ‘lack' and ‘measure' category. Do you realize that God has SO MUCH abundance, that there's enough for every mouth to be fed in the world AND for you to have that outfit that you love? That car that's your favorite? That bakery you dream about opening?
God loves not only meeting His children's needs, but blessing them, as well! I love giving my son Moses clothes, food, and basic necessities, but even more so, I love seeing His face when I put a new toy in front of him for NO reason whatsoever! How in the world do we think we're better parents than God. (:
(DO NOT hear me say not to give to the poor. It's a priority in my life. I'm saying there's enough for ALL.)
What have you believed was too extravagant of a request to ask God for? Is there a dream you've let die?
Now, here's the catch. Your hope can't be in the dream. Your hope must be in the dream giver. When you hope in the goodness of God, of His extravagance and abundance, of his lavish love for you as his child, then you can NEVER be disappointed by circumstances. And you get to be in relationship along the way.
Try it now. Talk to Him about the desires of your heart. And see what He has to say about them.