That will be my last day at work.
Because we sold our car.
Now, let me tell you something, I. LOVED. THAT. CAR. We called it The Pepper. It was red, it was zippy, it had a great stereo and a chili pepper on the antenna. It was reliable and got great gas mileage and, nine months ago when we put the car up for adoption in Auto Trader, I swore that the day that it sold I was going to have a tear in my eye. But, along with its redness and its zippiness came a $15,000 debt. And more than we loved that car, we hate debt.
It has been an exercise in patience, in prayer, in looking at God and knowing that He is Almighty and has a perfect plan, but completely not understanding what that plan is and why it includes the car not selling. We have good friends who were building a house and the house they were living in had a contract on it before it was technically even on the market, so I know that The Pepper could have sold immediately. But that was not in God's plan. He knew that we needed more refining, more time to let go of ourselves and reach for Him. So, I kept renewing the "run it 'til it sells" ad with Auto Trader, thinking "Well, we may decide not to sell it, but for now, it's not eating anything to keep the ad."
On July 3rd, we got the first call we had ever gotten about The Pepper. The lady asked a lot of questions and asked if they could come and see it sometime that weekend. I said yes and promptly ran to the car wash for a thorough wash and vacuum. Saturday came and went, no call. I thought, "Hmmm...I have her number. I could call and very casually tell her that we're around now, did she want to come and see the car?" but decided that I wasn't going to try to manipulate anything. Sunday came and went, no call...until about 7:00 pm. They were on their way. She asked even more questions and drove the car and said that she would call me Monday with the name of a mechanic to take it to so he could look it over.
Monday came and went with no call. I had some information that I was going to call and give to her, but I realized that I had thrown away her phone number. At that point I almost felt relief because there was absolutely nothing that I could do; my hands were empty, as they should be, and I looked at God and said, "Here it is. It's all Yours." And the thing that was different this time was that it was, indeed, all His. I didn't take it back, I didn't worry, I didn't fret. I just knew that if this car was going to sell, she would call. And, almost two weeks later, she called.
Long story short, (I know, you're thinking, "This is SHORT?") she ended up buying the car, which I delivered last Monday.
As I said, I always swore that when the car sold, I was going to shed a tear because I loved it so much. But, honestly? The only thing that I felt as I was driving it that last time was pure joy. Joy because I knew that I could put in my notice at work. Joy because I can have all my evenings with my family. Joy because we can now have people over for dinner on Saturday nights. Joy because I can now go back to Wednesday night classes at our church.
And as I've pondered this over the last week, I've realized that a lot of the joy comes in realizing, once again, how faithful my Heavenly Father is in meeting my needs in perfect timing.