Yesterday was an extremely discouraging day. Joe and I have been saving for a new car since the day we got married. After two years and 5 months, we’ve managed to save a small but reasonable down payment. The plan is to sell his VW Bug, he’ll take my Toyota and I’ll get a new car. Eventually.
We thought we were going to be able to get a new car before the end of the year. But about two weeks ago, the Toyota started making some strange noises. They were intermitten, and I ignored them praying they would just go away. Instead, they go worse. The performance of the car wasn’t affected at all, so I was hesitant to take it to the mechanic. However, the noise eventually became super obnoxious and constant so I took it in.
The look on the mechanics face when he handed me the estimate was the same look the doctors on Gray’s Anatomy give when a surgery doesn’t go well. I looked at it and screamed a little. The total was almost half of what we’ve saved for a down payment on a new car. What. The. Heck.
There was some pretty serious internal damage to the car. We know the mechanic personally and trust everyone in the shop so we knew they weren’t ripping us off. In fact, they gave us a discount and threw in a free oil change. But it was still heartbreaking to see half of our hard earned savings go into struts and wheel bearings.
After that, the flood gates of emotion burst open. I started thinking about the fact that neither one of us is going to get a raise in the near future, how Joe still has two semesters of school left which means lots and lots of time apart, how depressing it is that at the ages of 25 and 27 we can barely afford a used car much less a house or kids, and how we’ll probably never get to go on that vacation to Australia that we’ve been dreaming of. My mood matched the weather: dark, gloomy, storming and full of raindrop tears.
But then, we went grocery shopping and I was suddenly very thankful that we could afford food. Then it started raining and I was super thankful that we have a roof over our heads. Then Joe went to work and I was incredibly thankful that we both have jobs to go to (and that we enjoyed our jobs despite the lack of raises). And I went to a good friend’s birthday party, thankful that we have friends and family who love and appreciate us despite our depressing financial situation.
Yes, we are in survival mode. This may be temporary or we may spend the rest of our lives just barely getting by. And I’m sure I’ll have many more discouraged and frustrated days in the future. But today I am thankful that God always provides what we need, even if it isn’t always what we want. I praise Him for the blessings He has given us and trust Him for the ones He has yet to deliver.