I have suffered a death of sorts this week.
Our car died. And I can hear you now: “But it’s just a car . . .???”
But it’s not just a car. You see, our last car died. Slowly. Over the course of many months. We watched it happen, but there was so little we could do. And then a miracle.
My grandfather had a car, but was no longer able to drive it. My husband was at school in the evenings, and my grandparents were worried about me, at home, with two babies and no way to go anywhere if I needed to. We weren’t able to handle the expense of two cars at the time, so my parents ended up buying it from them.
But when our car died, my dad said, “This was always intended for you. And so it’s yours.” And just like that – a miracle. A reliable, well-cared-for (free!) miracle of a car.
In the season when this happened, there was a lot of other craziness happening. Transition. Challenges. And the car became for me a symbol that nothing was impossible, that God could bring something out of nothing, that He was faithful. I had heard stories like this from other people, but this one was mine. My story.
Two weeks ago, we experienced some minor issues with the car. A flat tire resulted in taking the car in for some other routine maintenance. And when our tiny bit of precious savings was spent, it became obvious that the issues were far bigger than the life of the car. Literally all this time, it has been excellent, reliable, such a gift. And then in a matter of days, we watched it fall to pieces.
This current season has its own challenges, like every season does. But these have been particularly excruciating. My heart has been raw and bleeding and weary. They always tell you in these hard times to look back and remember how God has been faithful to you.
But in the midst of this dark, suffocating season, the thing that served as the most visible reminder of faithfulness died. How do I explain? It’s not that this was the only time in my life God was faithful to me. It was just the most tangible, wrap-your-hands-around-it, see-it-with-your-own-two-eyes experience I have had. I could see the fruit of my faith.
And its death feels like a betrayal.
It feels like I was granted sight for a moment only to be plunged back into darkness again.
It’s not about a car.
It’s about deep wounds inflicted on my heart. It’s about dreams that are buried and agonizing to remember. It’s about pressure that threatens to crush. It’s about the demands and exhausting challenges of mothering two pint-sized world changers. It’s about watching my enemy carry out an unrelenting vendetta against the man I love.
It’s about the age-old lie that says He is not good, He is holding out on me.
I know I am not the first to walk these dark, hard places. Nor will I be the last. And I will say what so many don’t want to say – this faith journey is so dang hard. More days than not, it feels like it gets worse before it gets better. More days than not, it makes no sense. More days than not, it seems like the people just doing their own thing have it so much easier than the more eternally-minded among us.
More days than not, I see the fingerprints of His goodness all over my ordinary. More days than not, I am assured that I am deeply known and deeply loved. More days than not, I hear His voice above the chaos, saying, “I’ve got you, beautiful.”
So today, I will acknowledge my feelings, but I will not be governed by my feelings. I will not let my enemy win. I will cling to His hand for dear life, let Him lead me one trembling step at a time through the darkness until the clouds lift and the miracles appear.