Yeah so we bit the big bullet and bought a new-er car. Dun dun dun!
I have to say, it was a rather painful experience compared to the last time we sat down and bought a car.
Let me back up a little and let you in on a little bit of history first before I get into how the buying process went….
Chris and I have been married for almost 12 years and for ten years we have been without a car payment. We have basked in the sun of 0% interest, because guess what, the interest wasn’t there. WE HAD NO CAR PAYMENT! Oh reading those words right now makes me giddy. Yes I am a nerd and a half….
But, when ol’ Betsy (our 2003 Yukon XL) reached 287,000 miles, she was starting to groan and tell us it was time to put her out of her misery. Chris and I were not happy about this, because we knew it meant we would have a car payment. I wish I could sit here and tell you we saved and saved and were able to buy our car without a loan. But, I would be lying. We had great intentions, but life kept getting in the way. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say no matter what, God has come through.
So as we were looking for a car, of course we go for practical. We go for just enough seating for our family of five and that is it. Sorry no car pool here. We looked for a long time until, yeah you guessed it, Betsy drove her last drive with us. It was a sad day, but we knew it was coming. So Chris and I did what we knew to do…. I put on my big girl panties and he his big boy under-roos and we started seriously looking all over the online forces that be and found a reasonable car that would accommodate our family.
For a split second we thought about becoming a one car family and yeah that would workout, BUT his truck is even older than Betsy. Yeah, don’t tell us we can’t take care of a vehicle. We literally drive them till the wheels fall off. With his truck becoming more unreliable by the day, we dropped that thought like it was hot and kept pressing forward.
And then we found a car that may just actually work…..
We found a car online that would be great and reasonably priced for our family! So, we drive into…the Land Rover dealership. All I can think at the moment was, boy did they trade up or what?! As we pull in I keep thinking we are WAY out of our element. I mean, if you have a Land Rover and you are reading this, dude I love your car but please don’t drive near me the next time you see me on the road. I start going into nervous sweats and start panicking thinking about the bill I would have if I accidentally hit your sweet ride. So, needless to say we parked as far away from the door and the fine cars as we could. Not in fear of damage done to our 13-year-old car, but in fear of the damage we could do to all of these fine rides just by walking next to them. You think I am kidding, but sadly I am not! We seriously parked a long way away! 🙂
Of course, after we saw the car we came to look at, we knew this was the most practical car for our family and the price was close to being right. I mean FREE would have been the right price, but I can’t argue that. That ship had sailed, well actually it never came into port so, oh well, we were here to BUY a car.
As we walk into the dealership to negotiate pricing and financing, we stepped into a world that was definitely not our own. I mean there were cars in there valued more than our home! Again, if you have a car in this price bracket, you are awesome! I am sure y’all have worked hard for the money, but seriously stay away from my car on the road. I get really nervous around you!
As we sit down and talk about financing the “finance guy” even laughed a bit about it being a long time since he had seen a request for such a low payment. Which we did not take personally at all. Hey it is what it is and we work hard for our family. What we do have, we take care of and appreciate every step of the way. So we are proud of the things we have and do not yearn for bigger and better. (We haven’t always been like that, might I note, but life and experiences have humbled us quite a bit over the years.)
As we sit there talking, thinking, talking and thinking again, I started thinking about how times have changed since the last time we bought a car.
- We didn’t have three kids under the age of seven
- We had more money to spend on ourselves
- We didn’t have to be so practical
But, times have changed and our family is our world.
As I sat there, I seriously became nauseous and jokingly text back and forth to friends over the process to try to calm my nerves, but seriously I was screaming inside. I kept thinking how did we get here? Why are we having to finance this car instead of buying it out right? Why didn’t we save more? Why didn’t we prepare better? I mean we knew this day was coming, right?
As I sat there thinking all of this, (yes I am a worrier, I know) God kept reminding me:
- You did what y’all were supposed to do
- You did nothing wrong
- I am behind you and Chris
- I am going to help you financially every step of the way
Now before you give me a lecture about how God is not behind borrowing money and/or loans, I will stop you right there. I do believe He has grace on His people.
- Grace on the mom and dad that are trying to live for Him
- Grace on the mom and dad who are working night and day to get out of debt
- Grace on the couple who are fulfilling God’s calling
- Grace on the couple that moved to a more economical home
- Grace on the couple that are minimalists
- Grace on the family that only have necessities
- Grace on the family that doesn’t have cable, but watches Netflix on occasion or plays outside
We are all of the above. I believe God has grace and shows His people every single day that no matter what choices we make or consequences we are carrying, He is there to help us. He is there to help us turn it all around when we ask and call on Him.
So right then and there, as the man stepped away from the tiny room we were in, Chris and I prayed we were doing the right thing. We want God in the middle of everything, even buying a car. We knew after that prayer, we had His blessing. So Chris and I are believing He will pave the way and keep showing us how to be debt free.
This is a very personal story I really didn’t want to tell, but remember those friends I was telling you about earlier? The ones that I was texting in the middle of all of this? Well they convinced me to write this blog. They knew people needed to hear this story.
You see not everyone will have a story like Dave Ramsey’s or even his students. Not all will pay off their debt the same way. Not all will be doing everything “biblically correct”, according to man. But, I do believe our debt story will come to an end. It may not tomorrow or even the next day, but it will come to an end. It will come to an end because we know that is what God wants for us and because we know we can lean on Him to help us get there.
We had no idea that life would take us on this journey. I have to say the little bit of savings we had when we had our twins is long gone. But, I know I don’t need any set amount of money for God to take care of me and my family. All I need is Him. All I need is a prayer and a plan. He will provide the rest.
As of right now, our debt story is not over but it IS coming to a close. I pray it! I believe it! And I receive it!
So now when work calls me away, I do not feel terrible knowing we have a nice and reliable car to count on that will help our family get to where we need to go physically and spiritually.
Have you had money as a burden on your heart and mind recently? Is something else weighing heavy on your mind? If so, consider joining our prayer group on Facebook. We join together there to pray over each other and we would love to have another prayer warrior in our midsts.
Until next time….
P.S. I lived to tell about it. Thanks for the support, I feel it through the computer…. I do! Or maybe that is the special Mommy Sippy Cup I indulged in after the painful experience. Either way it feels good. I am kidding! Or am I?! 🙂