OK, Maybe God Doesn't Drive a Ford, but...
He does care what YOU drive.
So many people asked me to expound on my recent newsletter post about my new truck, I decided to put the expanded version here.
If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, I'll explain. A hair over a month ago, I got to do something I've never done in my life--I bought a new vehicle. And not just any vehicle--a red Ford pickup truck.
I've wanted a RED Ford pickup truck my whole life.
And now, I have tell you--I can't believe I own this awesome truck! I still have to pinch myself. Sometimes I just go sit in it and write. And it has all these bells and whistles that probably don't impress y'all but they blow me away!
You see, since I got my license as a kid, I have always driven either an old, used car, or an old, used, wrecked car. My daddy was a mechanic. My husband owns a body shop and a towing service.
Hence, I have had to remind myself over and over for YEARS, I'm fortunate to even have a car. So what if the radiator needs water once a week? So what if the front tire has a sloooow leak? So what if the brakes lock up every now and then when I'm trying to use them? So what if the seat belts don't work or the windshield leaks? So what if I have to call my son to come get me...again.
Over the years I've suffered (mostly) in silence. Like the cobblers kids with no shoes, I have been sadly barefoot when it comes to cars. And I would be lying if I said I never cried out of frustration.
And then in January of this year, God put the strangest idea into my head. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you. He told me to start praying for my red truck.
I didn't tell anyone, though.
Then, in March, I overheard my husband tell an employee Ford was running a sale. 0% APR on new trucks. "Maybe I'll get Heather one," he said, and then laughed. I came downstairs and announced to him and the employee that he would indeed get me a new truck. And it would be red. He quit laughing.
And as the feeling grew in me that the red truck was coming, my husband started trying to deflect. "Well, if we're buying another pickup truck, it'll have to be Raptor." You see, I'm a famous tight-wad and very much not materialistic. So this was my husband's way of squashing the deal. He knew I wouldn't spend the money.
It almost worked. I talked to God about the pricey vehicle and he reminded me of something very important: HIS wealth is endless and boundless. No one was going to starve if I got this truck. I would still be able to help out my little Indian school in AZ and the other things I give to.
I kept wrestling with God over the Raptor, but continued looking at trucks. Cheaper ones, like Tacomas, Canyons, and Colorados. I did things I never do--like call salespeople and ask questions about the trucks. My husband kept trying to push the Raptor and both of us did actually make some phone calls about a few. And I kept saying, "I'm getting a red pick up truck. I don't know when, but I know it's coming."
I still continued to argue with the Lord, though, over the extravagance of a Raptor. I keep a prayer journal and I must tell you how the Lord responded. In June, he said clearly, "Trust me. I want to do this for you." Humbled, I started looking a little more seriously into that particular truck. I discovered that while they are ridiculously expensive, Raptors are #1 for holding their value. They have the least depreciation of any vehicle currently. Which explains why used ones are also ridiculously expensive.
Then I found a red Raptor Supercab in Wisconsin. In the meantime, a salesman at a dealership in TN started calling my husband and telling him about their Raptors. And they did have a humdinger of a used truck over there. A 2018. ALL the bells and whistles. A crew cab. Leather. Only a couple thousand miles on it.
But it wasn't red. It was white.
With a heavy sigh, my husband said, "Fine. Get the one in Wisconsin." Then he asked, "Wait, does the one in Wisconsin have leather seats?" No. "Air-conditioned seats?" No. "Crew cab?" No. Well, this wasn't the truck he wanted, but it was the truck I wanted. I could afford it. I put down a deposit and started making arrangements to go get it.
Then the salesman from TN called again. They'd just reduced the price on the white one. And it was a really, really good deal. A better investment, too. Logically, it was the better truck but I didn't have peace. God had been so specific with me. A RED truck. On a whim, I googled "Red Raptors for sale in TN."
Low and behold, I found a NEW 2019 Raptor at Ford Lincoln of Cookeville, TN. They'd had it for a while and were motivated to sell it. And I had done my research. I knew what to offer. This truck was also only missing two of the options the WHITE truck had: suede inserts and Raptor stickers. Otherwise, it was the same truck but brand new and RED. Leather seats, air-conditioned seats, sunroof, crew cab, etc. The sales guy Will was really knowledgeable, polite, professional, and NOT pushy.
I made an offer and knew they would accept it. And they did! It was a better deal than the white truck and my husband was on board. I headed out to TN to get my truck!
Now, one last set of God-chapters in this God-story. I had told the Lord when the red truck came about, I would give him the glory and the honor. I told the finance manager, "You'll think I'm crazy, but the Lord showed me I was going to get a red truck and I've just been waiting."
The finance manager chuckled and told me HIS God-story. Only a few weeks earlier, he had been promoted from sales to his new position--in time to let his wife quit her job and stay home with the new baby. Otherwise, they didn't have the income from one salary to let her do that.
Aaaaaaand, his wife heard them discussing my purchase and she recognized my name! She had read my Defiance books! You could have knocked me over with a feather! What are the odds????
My husband still cannot pinpoint the moment when he changed his mind about buying a NEW vehicle from a DEALERSHIP (things that go against his principles as a body man). Yet, he'd relented. God had softened his heart. He tells people, "Well, she don't ask for much."
When I look at my truck I see the exceedingly, abundantly extravagant love of the Father. I should and do often see it in many other things, but for some reason the truck is different. Possibly because it's so tangible?
I believe God gave me this truck to prove a couple of things. One, he cares about the things I care about. Two, he wants me to ask him for big, amazing things so he can show off and get the glory. Three, now I can truly appreciate a new vehicle like this and I am so grateful for it. Four, if the Lord says it's on the way, it's easy to have patience.
I hope somebody reading this needed to be reminded of these things. God does care about the details of your life even down to what you drive. And thank you all of you who have shared your God-stories with me. This is how we encourage each other in the Lord--telling of his great and mighty deeds!
Do you have a God-story? I'd LOVE to hear it.