Monday I had this turning in my heart. It felt like revelation. God, divine Creator of life, the universe, and everything, is working on me. He’s been at it for years. This is amazing news. (Philippians 2:13) If He’s refining me with fire, it’s because there is gold in there somewhere. (Prov 17:3). (I even made a cool meme. I posted it on my socials.)
I realized that day, Monday, and each day after must, therefore, be The Best Day of My Life. I’ve been hammered away at all this time by an artisan. My circumstances and I are closer to His vision and purpose than we have ever been. Life is wonderful. God is in control. Things are gonna be fine.
I’ve been a little embarrassed about the oxidized headlight lenses on my Honda Pilot for a year. It was so bad that the bulbs seemed dim. Finally, on Monday I went into O’Reilly Auto Parts and bought a kit to fix it, along with some fancy new license plate covers. I am thankful for my car. It’s a shiny, leathery, reliable source of freedom and independence. Am I $5k upside down in that car? Yep. Is it the one debt I reaffirmed in my chapter 7? Also yes. Am I willing to make out-sized payments for the next 3 years or so to keep us moving on the daily? Yes. Yes. A million times yes.
I scrubbed and polished for an hour. The lenses were dirty and yellowish, then white and hazy, then sparkly and clear. Fixed! Restored! I didn’t take the time to put on the license plate covers yet; just stuck them on the dash for another day’s mini project.
Evening and morning, and then it was Tuesday.
Took the kids to school, did my job. Went to pick the kids up. Fuel light came on. I glanced down at my phone to see if I had enough money in the bank to fill it up, or if this was going to be more of a “$20 till payday” pit stop.
I looked up. Oddly, there was a hard, white piece of fabric where I expected a windshield. My face hurt, my arm hurt, my lungs were so empty. The dash was smoking and sparking and dinging. Where are my glasses? I can’t see without my glasses.
I turned off the ignition and got out. My blurry license plate was laying on the blurry street in front of my smashed hood and my broken headlights. I was shaking all over.
My suv had bounced off the rear bumper of a sturdy, black Dodge Ram. My fault. My stupid fault. I could have clicked that bank icon while I was sitting at the fuel pump. Always focused on the next thing. That’s me.
I’m sorry, to the kind, freckly, red-haired dude in the Dodge. I’m sorry, to the sympathetic, harried police officers. I’m sorry, to every other south-bound driver on Milwaukee last Tuesday evening.
Today, Thursday, I have weird bruises in diverse locations, and a stylish, purple sash across my chest from the seat belt’s loving embrace. I have a wicked situation on my arm where the airbag met my industrial-strength, leather Apple Watch cuff. I hurt all over.
I have a $90 “following too closely” misdemeanor citation.
I have a $500 deductible.
I have no rental car coverage. I am in open chapter 7 bankruptcy, so no credit cards to use to rent a car.
I have $309.25 in the bank to get me to next payday. Only six more days.
I am divorced.
I am bankrupt.
I am homeless AND carless, but for the kindness of others.
I am demolished.
I have nothing left but a $76/mo storage bill for some boxes of mostly useless detritus, a few precious relationships I’ve built through the years, AND my beautiful boys (Psalms 127:4-5).
I have a perfect, amazing dad who hustled to pick up my sons before their school closed, while I waited for the police and the tow truck. (Thank you, dad. I love you.)
I have a beautiful clutch friend, Julie, who stopped everything Tuesday evening to bring me her husband’s car, so I could get my kids to school on Wednesday. (And crumbl™ cookies. Thank you, Julie. I love you too, weirdo.)
I have a sweet Edible Arrangement™ from my work family. (Thank you, caring friends.)
I have a heavenly Father who, I hope, is just in the middle of a Hez reconstruction project.
I hope we are almost done with the demolition phase.
I hope I can learn what He’s trying to teach me sooner than later.
Everybody likes a comeback story. I hope I’m about to write mine.
On Wednesday, my YouVersion Bible app “Verse of the Day” popped up…
“Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” – Matthew 6:34 TPT
Ha ha. Hahaha. (Psalm 2:4 TPT)
(Don’t click this pic if you have a weak stomach).
Make that $341.03 in the bank to get me to next payday. Only 6 more days.