Music playing: Come Together by The Beatles
I love cars. I have always found them to be really, really, really cool. If I were to live in an alternate universe where car theft is not considered a crime, I would be one. I fell in love in and with Gone In 60 Seconds, and The Fast and the Furious. I seriously love cars. When my parents put up a car magazine back when I was in high school, my love for them grew. I attended car launches, motoring events, and downloaded an mp3 of a car engine. I would turn to it in times when I was in urgent need of inspiration or just to calm my racing mind, down.
Anyway, I went on longer on that topic than I intended. That is not the point of this entry.
The point of this entry is this: God is awesome.
I have always daydreamed of getting a car. Because it was cool. It looked cool and having one would (might possibly) make me cool. But that didn’t happen. I was not one of those rich kids so it was not in my parents’ budget, much less mine. I thought it would be time to finally get one in college. New start from high school. More freedom. It didn’t happen. Besides the fact that our campus was too beautiful that I developed this love for walking and found driving was a waste of time, we had jeepneys that cost so much less. And you know at that time, I still did not have enough money.
Then I got a job. And I thought, this is it. I pictured myself asking for a parking slot in the office building. I daydreamed of what my first car would be, and often looked for promos. But that also did not happen. Problems occurred, and responsibilities piled up.
So I just dropped this whole daydream altogether. Realistically, having a car was a dream in the “keep dreaming indefinitely” dream list.
Late last year, my merchandise business with my boyfriend blossomed. There were a couple of weeks when we were hustling back and forth from city to city, commuting in taxis, jeeps, buses and trains just to get our deliveries going. We even opted to stay up until midnight to avoid the traffic. At that point, in one random conversation, we both said, “Let’s pray for a car.”
Of course, we said that and laughed out loud. While laughing, I even said, “Next year yan. Next year, may car na tayo.” A car is a luxury and the least of our priorities. We were praying to save up for a trip then, and also (God-willing) a wedding. So a car was the last thing on our minds. But there was just that conversation. That one conversation where afterwards, I felt a leading in my heart to pray for it more and more. A car. After all these years, was it really time for one?
I was thinking, “Lord, a car is a luxury at this point. We do not need it and I do not want to ask for it. You do not have to give it now. Really.”
It is only now looking back that I realized how I have not completely broken free from my habit of putting God into a box – which I just did with the statement above. I was thinking God could only give so much, and each person had a quota for blessings and I did not want to use up mine on something I thought I did not need or really want anymore.
Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. (John 6:11)
As much as they wanted. As much as I wanted, God can give it to me if it is for me. If He wants to. If I believe. As much as I wanted.
Then my boyfriend, Luis, got held up in a bus with all that dramatic screaming, knife in front of you, and police station reporting. And a week after, I lost my iPhone again (that was the third time, mind you – first was when I got held up knife point, and when my bag got slashed on my way to the train). It was so loud and clear to me already, echoed by our family and friends: a car was now a necessity.
*Gulp. * Really? A car? Should I really set up my hopes? After all this time?
One afternoon, while I was in the car with my dad, I blurted out (to this day I do not know why) “Gusto namin ng car eh.” I stopped as soon as the words were out of my mouth. Pause. Those are not the words that should come out of my mouth especially with my dad. I swear, I saw him swallow. “Kayo ni Luis?”
The next night when Luis was over at our house and we were watching TV, my dad came home and handed me a flyer. “May nice deal on the car this year. May malaking discount and you get a gift certificate.” Pause. Now it was my turn to swallow.
I almost cried. If you know my dad, you would know this is a miracle. No man was ever good enough to date me. Now he is suggesting a get a car with one.
Fast forward a month after – to December. It was that busy season – reunions, gifts, charity (especially after Haiyan)… In short, no moolah. My dad came home saying he ran into the general manager of this car company at an event that he and my mom decided to go to at the last minute. His friend told him they have a promo for their cars until the end of the year. My dad invited Luis and I to drop by at their dealership the following week.
When we stepped in, we were expecting to see how much the costs would be, what was expected of us, etc. But when we stepped out, we had already given a reservation fee.
We were not supposed to get it. But one thing lead to another and just fell into place. The dealer said the discount would only apply until the end of the year. We told him we did not have money for the down payment, and that even if we did, we would not be able to make the purchase because we would be out of the country. So that was it. No car. But he went into his office, came back after a few seconds and asked us to just give this measly amount as a reservation fee, he will give us a receipt and he will make sure that the car would be reserved for us until January.
Honestly we did not know how we would make the payment because the payment we were expecting from one of our big projects has not come through and we did not know when.
Bahala ka na, Lord.
Lo and behold, even after so many potential problems with the bank and the client — when January rolled in, the payment came through. And we were able to bring home Sitti (that’s the name of our car haha).
“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
I am floored. I did not know where I got the heart to pray for it, claim it, and believe it. But it came true. It came through.
God is God. And I am not.
It’s still so vivid in my mind. Luis screaming “woohoo!” in the car as we got it out of the dealership. He later on told me that it was his dream brand ever since he was a kid. Tears welled up in my eyes at that moment.
What did I say while laughing in that conversation? Next year. God wasted no time. January 15 – and we were grateful, humbled owners of a brand new car. January 15 – a day before our 2nd anniversary. Our Dad gave such a generous gift.
I still love cars. But lately, whenever I drive Sitti, I realize I love it not because it makes me cool or makes me feel cool. I think about the amazing journey God put me on to get the car, I am reminded that there are far more important things than owning one. Those are the things that God wants to bless me with more than anything else – the incomparable happiness of driving with and for our friends, the excitement of experiencing my first road trip with Luis, the privilege to be able to serve my family.
When I stopped wanting to be cool, when I stopped wanting the car for all the wrong reasons, God gave it to me. He could have given it to me at any point in time through whatever means but He gave it to me when I was ready. When the desire did not consume me anymore and that, to me, makes God the coolest ever. A God who is after my character more than my comfort, a God who looks after the quality of my heart than the quality of my lifestyle… that is the coolest. And I am just so happy that I get to be on this road trip of life with Him.
What about you? What are your dreams? Whatever they are, give it to Him. He knows best and He will give it to you at the best time in the best way possible. All you have to do is keep going.