I mentioned on our last “Thursday Travels” post how buying our new minivan was a fiasco.
A mini ‘trial’ so to speak.
But as with all trials, there is always something to be learned.
Seeing as it’s Sunday, I wanted to share how our most recent “mini” trial has strengthened us.
Once we decided to sell our Equinox and get a minivan I spent a LOT (probably too much) time researching & looking for the perfect one. I have this thing that I MUST find the best deal out there, with anything really. Shopping takes me forever cause I have to look through all the stores, put things on hold, then after I’ve seen every single option out there, go back and make my decisions. It’s good in a lot of way because I save monies, but it’s also is a lot more stressful & time consuming.
Enter trying to find THE PERFECT minivan within our price range. I was quickly burning/stressing myself out trying to find it. I took it to the Lord and asked him that my search wouldn’t be in vain and that we could make a wise choice.
After many weeks of searching, and once the search became a lot more pressing after selling our Equinox, a minivan popped up in Eugene, OR that had everything + more! Super low miles, every single bell and whistle that I wanted, etc. And, to top it off, it was only in Oregon (we were looking all of the country, so the 11 hours to Eugene was a lot better than the 36+ to states out East). Whenever we have big (and lots of small) decisions to make, we always like to include God in the conversation. We always pray about things & ask Him if it is the right direction or thing for us to do. Nate and I both prayed about it and felt good about buying this van. So after many calls to the dealership to verify everything and getting all the financial side of things worked out, Nate bought a plane ticket to go and get our van!
I left out on a run as he was on his way over to go look at the van. On my run I was excited thinking of getting to ‘meet’ our new van in a few hours and showing Ames (he is the biggest minivan enthusiast ever, haha). About halfway through my run I got a call from Nate. By the tone of his voice I instantly knew something was wrong. He told me that the van was in really bad condition. Leather completely worn off, broken handles, broken buttons, etc. And, it didn’t even have a DVD player & other features like they said. They straight up lied to us. We have no idea how it had low miles because it looked like it had been driven a TON. I got a big pit in my stomach. Not only did we use some of our precious airline miles (find out exactly how HERE) to get there, but we put down a non-refundable $500 deposit. Nate and I talked about our options and concluded that we just couldn’t buy that van and that he would just have to fight to try and get our money back.
After getting off the phone with him I felt a little…abandoned. How could God set us up to fail? We both felt like it was the right thing to do to buy this van & it seemingly was going to be a huge dud & a BIG waste of money. So I prayed again. I prayed that it would just work out. I knew Nate & I both felt good about it, so I decided to trust in our earlier confirmation. I decided to trust God and give Him a chance. Nate had similar feelings as well. He said once he got there and was in the middle of all this mess he started to almost get a little mad at God – something that he never does. But, he quickly felt the same – to just give God a chance. We may have faith in God’s word but we tend to make the mistake of assuming we also know how He plans on making it all happen, but we often don’t. Give God a chance.
So we did.
After many hours of him sitting at the dealership with them trying to get us to buy a different van that was still not a good deal at all, and a lot of hassle, they finally refunded us our money. Nate rented a car and was going to just drive on home. I already felt SO relived. Yeah, we were out some airline miles, and some money for the rental car, but it could have been much worse. I was already thinking that maybe the lesson to be learned was to be even more thorough in making big decisions – even when we thought we were.
After Nate got the rental car we were talking on the phone and he told me to go and see if there were any vans worth looking at on his drive back. So I got on the computer and decided to get on Craigslist. I had been primarily looking on Autotrader.com or Cars.com but for some reason I decided to check for vans in Oregon on Craigslist. One of the first listings was a van that had everything we were looking for…low miles, good condition, DVD player, heated seats AND it was way cheaper than any van I had ever seen listed that had all those same features. It was one of those listings that seemed too good to be true – something, had Nate not already been out there, we would have just brushed over and not given it any real thought, thinking it was a bogus listing. But because we had nothing to lose at this point, I called on it. After talking to the guy and drilling him with questions, everything seemed to check out. So I called Nate and told him it might be worth the 2 hour detour to go look at it. So, we buckled up for one more chance of a van. Once Nate got there and had checked it out I got a much better phone call from him. He said that everything was super nice. And the reason it was so cheap was that it wasn’t a normal dealership. It was just 2 brothers who owned a warehouse that bought nice cars at auctions and then could sell them at a better price because they didn’t have any overhead or employees that they had to pay. By this time it was really late. So we used a few more points we had save away for Nate to get a hotel and as soon as they opened the next morning he went and bought our minivan! He got home really late that night and after a 11+ hour drive he confirmed that we just got a really good van at a great price 🙂
Our New Minivan
In the eternal scheme of things, us buying a van has no significance. It really doesn’t matter. But, it mattered a lot to me…to us as a family and God knew that because I had been praying about it for weeks. And, because it mattered to us, it mattered to Him. Furthermore, God knew that He could use it to strengthen our knowledge that He is very aware of us, that He knows and cares about every detail of our lives. And, if we just trust Him – just give Him a chance – He will always put us on the right path. This super insignificant ‘trial’ of buying a minivan has not only blessed our lives physically (we love our van), but it has, more importantly, blessed our lives spiritually. It was another clear witness to us that God truly cares about us and everything and anything that is important to us.
So, even when things aren’t going right, even when you feel like you have very valid reason to be mad at God & not trust Him, take a step back. Pray a little more. Just give Him a chance.
He is always there for us…
“…I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” – Joshua 1:5
-till next time-