Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Paying attention to God's messages

Last week, my beloved husband was on vacation, and was using the opportunity to get a LOT done around the house and play catch up on some of the things he'd been meaning to get to for a while. It was kind of awesome, actually - every day, I came home to ANOTHER house project being done.

One of the things on HIS list was getting my car appraised. He HATES my car - thinks it's a lemon...and with good reason. In the 10 months we've been married, I've had it in the shop or at the car place FOUR times: blown head gasket, broken gas cap, new tires, and car door switch thingy (they may have an official name for it, but that's what I call it). Yes, it's been annoying, but I have the extended warranty, so I have basically just been trudging along, and as each new thing pops up, begrudgingly dealing with it.

Because of the pending addition to our family, S thinks I need a new car - he wants me to get a big ol' SUV. He says it's for the baby's safety - which I am sure is partly true...but for the most part, I think part of him just wants us to look "cooler".

Unfortunately, when I got my current vehicle, I had JUST paid off my former car. The only reason I even got a new car when I did was because my other one was cost $1000 a month to FIX, and I decided I'd rather have a car payment than keep dumping money into fix it. (Yes, I realize I am cursed in the car department.) So, my current car is a long way from being paid off. Ideally, I'd like to pay this one off, and save up to buy a new one in CASH, if possible. I am a graduate of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University, which means that I hate, hate, hate debt, and avoid it whenever possible.

However, since my beloved had done all this leg work of getting my car appraised and picking out a few suitable replacement vehicles, I had started to let myself be talked into taking on a BIGGER monthly car payment. I started down the path of thinking, "Well, I DO want the baby to be more safe" and "What difference would another $150 a month make, in the grand scheme of things?".

So, last Wednesday night, after test driving one of the cars that S had picked out for me, I found myself sitting at a used car dealership with a very nice sales woman, who was getting ready to run my credit to see what kind of rate that I could get on the loan I would need to get the car we had decided on.

In the course of waiting, she struck up conversation, and started talking about her son. Her son was also a Dave Ramsey FPU grad, and she somehow worked that into conversation, mentioning that he would never be sitting where we were, that he would pay cash or not get the car.

It seemed like a completely random statement - but it totally got my attention. I was already feeling very conflicted about applying for a loan, taking on more debt, etc., and then, this sales woman dropped into conversation the very name of the course I had taken that had helped me work my way out of debt in the first place! To me, it wasn't a random utterance at all, it was a little message from God, basically saying, "Stick to your guns, kid. The car you have is fine. Stay the course. Pay it off. Everything will be fine."

My mouth dropped open when she said it, but I didn't say a word. After another small pause in conversation, she went to check with the finance department to see what the hold up was (as it turns out, my last name changing when I got married had them all turned around...). As soon as she left the cubicle we were in, I turned to S and said, "Did you hear that?" He nodded emphatically and said, "Do you think that means we should go?" And so, after she returned back to the cubicle, we made our excuses and we LEFT, renewing our resolve on the way home to make double, triple payments and pay off my car and start saving up for a new one as soon as we can.

That lady may have thought she was just making conversation, but to us, in that scenario, she was conveying a message from God. In that circumstance, I had two options, I could ignore it...or I could pay attention! Today, I am grateful that my mind and heart are open enough to receive the messages sent down from up above and to PAY ATTENTION! I also know that they can happen anywhere: in a meeting, in a song on the radio, a billboard on the highway, an overheard conversation while waiting in line.

How do I know when I have heard them? When something that might seem random answers a question that I have been asking, most times without having to say the question out loud to anyone. When something catches my attention out of the blue and won't leave me alone. When I get that twinge in my gut that says "pay attention", or more importantly, "take action".

Today, I am going to work on being MORE open - because if God sends messages, I don't want to miss ANY of them!

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