July 6, 2013

car problems: lesson from God?

Let me tell you a little story.  My car has been having problems with the fuel pump for awhile now, and it has not been fixed yet due to one reason or another.
Yesterday I had planned to go to a city about an hour away to get my back adjusted and do some shopping at Wal-Mart.  I got there early so I ran an errand before my appointment.  My car was asking fine.  I went to my back appointment.  No problem.  After I left my back appointment and started up my car, it was basically choking.  I was hoping I could make it to Wal-Mart, but I made it about 2 1/2 blocks before it died while stopped at a stoplight.  I tried to start it.  Nothing.  Tried again.  Nothing.  I had a pick up with a long camper parked behind me at the light.  They honked at me, but I couldn't move.  I was so frustrated.  They finally went around me and a cop pulled up behind me.  She turned her lights on and came up to me to ask me if I was having car problems. I told her my car died, and I couldn't get it started.  She called another policeman who was there within a minute or so. HE blocked off the other side of the street so they could push my car down hill into a parking space. Each cop came up to me after I was parked and asked me if I was ok and if I had somebody I could call.  I told them I would figure it out.  There's no way I could afford a tow so I figured I would see if there was anybody who could help me.
Since I don't know much about cars, (Yeah, I admit it. I don't know everything. :-) ) I called my dad, who was in Canada, to ask him how hard it would be to get a fuel pump and get it fixed. He basically told me it needed to be lifted up so you could take the gas tank out, etc.  I was like... ok, so that won't work. After a little while I tried starting my car again.  Nothing, and by nothing I mean nothing. No sound came out of it. I realized that I must have either left the ignition on or something else. The battery was pretty much dead. There was a slight ding when I had the key in the ignition and the door open, but nothing else.  This made me even more frustrated.  At this point I figured it would be easier to try to find somebody to either haul or tow my car back home.  I called my aunt to get their home number to call my uncle to see if he could help. No answer so I googled their home number. (Thank you, google). I called and he answered on the last ring. He basically told me he couldn't help me.  I have no idea how many calls I made before I got somebody who could help.  Amazingly enough, it was two of my former co-workers who helped me. I called one, and she called another one, who in turn called one of their friends who worked very close to where my car was parked.  Thank God he had jumper cables and knew how to find my "hidden battery". 
So he jumped my car and miraculously it started.  I seriously did not believe it would start, but it did! He basically told me I'd better get home as soon as possible.  No stops, just in case my car died again and left me stranded... again.  As I was leaving the city, I got one phone call after another from the people whom I could not reach earlier. I made it home. My son and I ate lunch and then headed off to my parents house about 15 minutes away. I made it there too. My car didn't like the hill, but it made it.
Here's the interesting part.  This happened to me when I had almost NO family around.  All of my immediate family was in Canada visiting my oldest sister.  My grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins on my mom's side were all in Colorado, basically.  This left me no choice but to depend on non-family.  This is something that is very hard for me.  I don't like asking non-family members for help because I feel like I am bothering them.  I know this isn't necessarily the right mindset, but it's one I've had for a long time.  It was very uncomfortable for me to call all those people, but I did because I had to.  My family could not help me.  I really don't have any best friends.... but I have some AWESOME ex co-workers.  God used them to help me.  I can't help but think that this whole ordeal was a lesson to teach me something.  I guess maybe God was trying to teach me how to lean on friends and other people for support instead of always running to my family.  I know my family will always be there for me, but who am I to take the blessing of helping others away from my friends?  One of these days I plan on being a missionary overseas.  When that time comes my family alone is not going to be able to support me.  I will have to depend on church family and friends to support me.  I guess that means I better start eating some humble pie (lol) and getting some guts and start building relationships with more people in my church and whatnot. I'm sure there are other things that I could learn from this ordeal, but that's just what came to my mind. God is continuing to teach me so many things over the past week, and they have been difficult things to deal with sometimes.  I'll have to talk more about that some other day.  Who would have thought that car problems could teach you something?
Please continue to pray for me.  I'm still looking for clarity and trying to hear God's voice instead of listening to the voices inside my head.

June 30, 2013

My father

I wanted to take a little bit of time right now to pay tribute to my dad.  Here's a little background on my relationship with my dad:
My dad has always been a very hard worker. When I was little he was a farmer. When I got a little older he was a farmer and worked at a local car dealership. Along with this he has been involved in numerous organizations and is even an elder at the church I was raised in and still attend. Because of this he was not necessarily home all the time. I remember there being days at a time where I would not see him because he would get home after I went to bed and leave before I woke up in the morning. I never had a close relationship with my father. Maybe because he wasn't around all the time. Maybe because I was a timid child. Maybe numerous other things that don't really matter now. While I may not have been close to my dad, I knew without a doubt that he loved and still loves me very much. I may not talk to him a whole lot, but if I ever need a hug, he is the first one to squeeze me till I can't breathe :-). I thank God for the dad he gave me.
Over the past year I have seen a spiritual growth in my father that has been amazing to watch. I've seen God working in his life. I know it has been a challenge for him, but he has embraced that challenge, and now he inspires me more than ever in my walk with God. God has used my dad to give me words of wisdom and encouragement over the past year. I have to admit that it kinda surprised me, but I am so thankful for it. I'm excited to see how God is going to continue to use my dad. I am so thankful God has allowed my relationship with my dad to grow, also. We may not talk all the time, but I think we are very similar. (I definitely get my sense of humor from him. :-) )
In all that, I just want to say that I love you, Dad, and I'm very thankful that you are my dad. I wouldn't trade you for anything. :-)

Surrendering all?

Today has been a very difficult day for me. Very convicting day. I told you guys in my last post that I felt God was telling me to surrender my son to Him. Today I was blasted in the face once again with that feeling.  It is painful. It hurts like crazy to think I may lose my son forever, but I think who am I to hold my son so closely when there are people all around the world losing everything they have to follow Christ?  God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  Abraham could not understand why God called him to do that.  Abraham knew that Isaac was supposed to be the son that would make him the father of many nations.  Abraham figured maybe God would raise Isaac from the dead.  I can relate to Abraham in a sense. I don't feel God calling me to kill my son, but I do feel like He is telling me it's time to give him up. That hurts because I have worked SO hard for at least the past two years to protect my son from... everything, basically.  I have fought so hard for him. Now, God is saying "Give him up."  I say "Why, God? I don't get it. I have fought so hard for him, and now you're telling me to just give him up."  I understand now that over the past how many ever years I have not really sought God as to what He wanted me to do. I just went forward doing what I felt was the right thing to do, and I have to admit that I was very self-centered in what I did.  I hurt a  LOT of people in the process. Thankfully, some of those people have been able to forgive me but others have had a lot harder time in doing so.
I have always been the type of person that has been fearful of just about everything. I was afraid of being alone, afraid of water, heights, failing, etc.  I have faced a lot of my fears over the past two years, and God has helped me and continues to help me overcome some of those fears (if I let Him). One of my biggest fears has been losing my son. It scares me to think that something bad might happen to him so, therefore, I have tried to control as much of his life as I possibly could.  Some of you may say "well, that's your job. You're his mother." I agree that God gave me my son to protect him and help him grow, etc., but God also commands me to give everything to Him. That includes my son. Americans today don't seem to fully understand the sacrifices and costs that go along with following Jesus. I'm just now learning what those costs are. I never understood before the costs. God commanded His disciples to drop whatever they were doing, leave whoever they were with, pick up their crosses and follow Him. I used to be the type of person that kept everything, and I mean Everything. Old Sunday School papers, school papers, everything. Over the past ten years I have moved about a dozen times or so. Because I have moved so much I have learned to let go of stuff. Today, I barely have anything of my own. I'm ok with that. God has provided for me and will continue to provide for me. A harder thing for me to give up is my family. I have always been a family oriented person. My family have been the only ones to stay by me through everything, even if they don't like what I've done. I thank God for them. I also have a tendency to hold people in general to tightly. I get attached easily and it's hard for me to let them go. God has shown me over the past year how to do that though. He has shown me that it's ok to let people go. Sometimes we have to do that for God to really use us. It's not easy. It hurts, but it's worth it.
I have to tell you that I am a little nervous about what I have to do. Not only do I have to give up my son, but I also risk being shunned by some of the other people that I love the most. It makes me sad, but I know everything will be ok in the end.
I'm sorry for rambling on, but I wanted to make some things clearer. They're probably clear as mud, huh? That's what my dad would say anyway.