Friday, July 08, 2011

Here I raise my Ebenezer...

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. (1 Samuel 7:12-14 NRSV)

The word "Ebenezer" comes from Hebrew and is actually two words pronounced together: Even Haazer. It is usually transliterated as a proper name by dropping the definite article (Ha) from the Hebrew word for "help" (Ezer) and putting it together with the Hebrew word for "stone" (Even) to create: "Ebenezer." The etymological roots of the word, thus defined, should demonstrate that an "Ebenezer" is, literally, a "Stone of Help."

I have been in somewhat of a struggle with God these last few months. Don't misunderstand. I am firm in my faith, but I felt a little let down by God (crazy in retrospect of everything He has done for me, but He knows my heart, and I am being honest). I desired a natural birth with Ileigh. I knew it was unlikely, but I knew that if God wanted it to happen, it would. It wasn't until I was in the hospital being hooked up to IVs for a C-section that the reality of what was about to happen hit.

I had prepared myself for the C-section, and it went well and Ileigh is just perfect. In the weeks to come I felt selfish and ungrateful for not being satisfied with this beautiful gift of a child that God had- I wanted more. I wanted that natural birth experience. Something that I can't even bring myself to say out loud that I may never have. Honestly, I don't know why it is such a big deal to me...I mean, really? Come on, Tif, get your priorities straight. I should be overjoyed to have two beautiful, healthy children.

Most days I have peace, but every once in a while I would find myself questioning God. Really, thousands of natural births happen every day- why couldn't I be one of them? Didn't God understand how much this meant to me?

Anyway, I struggled. I saw God working through my friends; the little ways that God shows you, you matter. I saw nothing. I felt forgotten.

Main Story:
Sorry, that was a long explanation of where I was but I think that it is important to see what/where I was coming from.

A few weeks ago, Chris was rear-ended coming home from lunch. He was fine; a few chiropractic treatments and he was good to go. (Thank you, Lord)
His car was not. They deemed it totaled and actually gave us a pretty good deal to hand it over to them.

We had started saving for Chris a new car in December. We were halfway there. I was so excited to walk in, buy a car with cash and not have a car payment. There was no way that would happen after this wreck.

We started the search for a low-mile, used car. We spent many nights searching the internet until midnight...nothing.
Finally I told Chris that I was expecting God to do something; to show us exactly which car to buy. Buying a car was a huge deal for us- that is a lot of money, people! Finding a good car that would last for a long time was very important.

The next week, we were told about a new Ford Fusion that was in our budget range. We were totally against buying new, but there was NOTHING out there that didn't have too many miles or didn't get horrific gas mileage. (I think that could have something to do with the economy- no one is trading in their cars at the moment). Cool, we thought that we had found the car. Chris had also gone to a new dealership here in town and found a Nissan a little out of our range, but that he loved. Of course after test-drives and comparing the cars online and reading reviews, because of our "Ramsey" ways, we went with what we could afford. Friday, everything was set in stone, a dealer in Oklahoma was going to get this Ford in Dallas and we would meet that next Thursday to pick it up. Done deal.

While we were happy that we had found a car, I was still frustrated. I even told Chris I was disapointed in God. We had prayed and I had total faith that He was going to show us a car- and give us some sort of sign. I didn't pray for a specific car-that part didn't really matter to me; I prayed for a sign to show us which one to get. I wanted some sort of confirmation. We had none.

Long story even longer, tiny detail after tiny detail kept delaying the Ford from being picked up. Finally, after many phone calls, Thursday (the day we were suppose to be getting the car) the dealer in Oklahoma called to say that the car in Dallas had sold. Well, that was all the sign I needed- as soon as Chris said that I told him to call the Nissan place here in town and see if the car he was looking at was still there.

Chris called back and was elated. The car was there, and since it was the last day of their current special and the first day of their new special, the Ford and the Nissan ended up being the same price...but only on that day, for two more hours.

Ah! There was the sign- how crazy?! The timing was absolutely perfect. Chris called them back and told them to start the paper work. We set out on a celebration dinner to McAlisters--

After a happy dinner we pulled up to the Nissan dealership and immediately the salesman that we were working with and the district manager met us at the car. Five minutes he had hung up the phone with Chris, another salesman had sold the car. It had been sitting there for months. And sold 5 minutes after Chris got off the phone to start the paperwork...on a Thursday night. Who buys cars on Thursdays?

The district manager out of Lubbock was unbelievably gracious and offered us the same exact car, except a 2012, for the same price. It had just been unloaded off the truck 2 days before. He gave us an incredible deal, losing money because of what he considered his worker's mistakes. He didn't have to do that.

Now, that is what I am talking about! There was a sign.

Thank you, Jesus for your faithfulness...even in my lack thereof.

I know that in retrospect, this is just a small thing. Sometimes, all I need is a small glimpse of His love.


Lish said...

I've been there sister:) I remember when I was looking for a job several years ago I asked a friend of mine why God wasn't making it clear whether I should take a particular job. He basically told me that God provides the gift of discernment, which it sounds like you and Chris had all along:) And then he expects us to trust Him. I've learned that one the hard way many times over. I want so badly to trust in the Lord fully but that will require me to give up my own desires and world-views. I know the reward is so much greater - I've Known and Felt that freedom - but still I cling to myself.... Thankfully, our Lord is the lord of sinners and the lost and welcomes us back.

Congrats on the new car - so exciting! And soo glad Chris was not hurt - Praise God! This note is getting long, but I'll add that when things don't go as I'd hoped, I imagine that the Lord was actually sparing me. Like if I'm in a hurry and hit a red light, that might have actually been protection from a car accident. I'm not meaning to minimize the trauma and hurt you experienced, but the Lord might have been blessing you with C-sections. Just a possibility. In any case, I pray God heals your C-section pain.