Saturday, July 30, 2011

God's Provision: The Story of our Van

In the spring, I shared the story of our quest to buy a home and how we saw God's hand in every step of our seemingly-long 2 year journey.  Not long after I published my series of posts, my friend, Lu, shared her own home story.  In great contrast to mine, her search was a whirlwind, but just like my story, Lu's story illustrates God's perfect hand.  My friend, Suzanne, and her family have just set off on a journey to find a home. They need their journey to be a whirlwind, too, since they have a time deadline. I'm praying for her and I can't wait to read her miracle story.  It is easier to see God's perfect hand in a completed journey than one you are in the midst of walking, but we rejoice in knowing God promises that if He cares for the birds, He surely cares for us. 

January 2006

Though our home story is of a grander scale, the story of our van is also a testimony to the Lord's provision.  I found out I was pregnant with our third child around Christmas in 2005.  At the time we had two cars: a 1984 Toyota Camry that Brian drove back and forth to work and a 1995 Nissan Altima that served as our "family car."  Despite their age, both cars were dependable, but neither was large enough to hold three car seats.  In the spring of 2006, we began our search for vehicle that  1) was large enough to hold our family of 5 and 2) was within our price range, preferably inexpensive enough that we could pay cash for it.  We also had preferences on make and model, but we knew we couldn't afford to be too picky.

We scoured the classified ads for weeks.  Most of what we found had either high mileage or a high price tag.  One Sunday in April, we stayed home from our weekly dinner at my parents' house because Gavin was recovering from an illness.  Brian went out and brought home a newspaper, and once again, we ran our fingers down the classified listings.  Midway down the list, our fingers slowed and stopped on a listing.  An individual (as opposed to a car dealership) had listed a van in the exact make, model, and even color we had been hoping for.  The mileage was reasonable and the price was too good to be true.  We assumed that it probably was too good to be true and that something was probably wrong with the vehicle, but we decided to drive out (with our slightly sick child) for a look anyway. 

May 2006
A visual inspection of the van confirmed it was exactly what we had been looking for, but there was a slight problem.  We had most of the money to pay cash, but we wouldn't have the rest in hand until we received our income tax check in the mail.  We asked if they seller would accept a down payment to hold the van for us.  He agreed on the condition that we pay him the balance by Friday.  We prayed hard that the money would arrive, and on Tuesday, our prayers were answered.  We wrote out a check and drove the van home Tuesday evening. 

Before we could switch over the title and tag the van in our name, we needed to have it state inspected.  We were hoping that no expensive repairs were needed because money felt a little tight after such a large cash purchase.  Thankfully, a new set of wiper blades was all we needed to pass inspection! 
By early May, the van was officially ours.  We sold the Camry, figured out who would be sitting where in the new van, and installed the car seats with plenty of room to spare.  In August, Owen was born and we rejoiced that we now owned a vehicle that was large enough to accommodate the five of us together, but the story of our van was about to take a dramatic new twist. 

(Part 2: The Dramatic Twist)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, what a cliff hanger!

    Can't wait to read more about your van soon.


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