A Blessing in Disguise

A little over a week ago an unexpected trial brought forth a very unexpected blessing in my life, and I wanted to share it with you all. 

I had just finished having lunch with a friend and was headed back to work. I hopped in my well-loved 1999 Explorer (lovingly referred to as "Dora the Explorer" by me and my family), put the key in, and tried to crank it. Notice I say "tried." The concept of "start" was not in the cards. At first I figured it was just the battery, so I called my friend Jason, our head maintenance guy at Shades, and asked if he could come help me out. When Jason arrived, he listened as I attempted once again to crank Dora, and immediately announced with absolute certainty that "it's not your battery." And he was right. We ended up getting it towed and finding out that in fact the battery was fine, but the fuel pump needed to be replaced, along with a variety of other things. 

Up until this point, I have to say I was pretty calm. But when the mechanic called and told me how much it would cost to get ole Dora running again, I got a little upset. Basically, the cost of fixing my car was going to end up being almost as much as the car would be worth in perfect condition. I spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out what to do. I knew that I needed some form of transportation for the next couple of months, but I also knew I couldn't really afford the repairs and definitely did not need to purchase a new car so close to when I'm planning to leave the country. I had basically come to the conclusion that I could make do without a car for the last few months until I move to the Azores. I decided I could just walk to and from work (it really is walking distance) and tag along with friends for grocery shopping, etc. It wasn't ideal, but I felt like the Lord was trying to teach me to trust Him in challenging circumstances, so I figured I would try and make it work. I mean, Jesus walked a lot, right? Talk about first-world problems! Surely I can handle being car-less for a couple months. 

That's when the unexpected blessing came. The next day, almost exactly 24 hours after my car died, I was offered the use of a free vehicle for my remaining time in Birmingham. As it turns out, Shades has a car that goes along with our missionary house, but the family currently living in the doesn't need the car. Since I'm already considered a Shades missionary (even though I'm not on the field yet), they offered the car for me to use!!  This in and of itself is a huge blessing, but I'm not done yet! 

Because I decided not to fix Dora and had alternate transportation, I was able to sell the Explorer and put that money towards my year in the Azores! How awesome is that??? A good friend of mine put it into perspective for me by reminding me that God not only knew this was coming, but he had a plan the whole time. You see, that missionary house usually books up a couple years in advance. Most of the time the missionaries who are spending their furloughs there need the car, but not this time. God worked it out perfectly that the family staying there at this specific time wouldn't need the car, because He already knew that I would. I am so thankful to serve a God who knows my needs even when I don't!! 

Goodbye Dora! You've been good to me! 
Meet my new friend Jimmy!!

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