Buying a car is probably one of the most stressful and irritating things a person will ever do. Finding a place to live and navigating through all the complicated paperwork, security deposits and realtor fees was easier then it was figuring out the correct protocol of buying a car. I have never bought a car before, and I found myself confessing this to many people, usually when I found them looking at me like I was an idiot for not knowing something. I instinctively started to take on all the responsibility and apologize for my stupidity. “I am sorry, I am sorry. I didn’t know, I have never done this before,” I would confess. I allowed the intimidation of the task of buying a car to rule over me. I relinquished my self-respect and self-esteem and reverted back to my meek and self-conscious nature. If I am being completely honest with myself, I did not believe I could do it and I really didn’t want to do it. The idea of owning a high-priced item and taking responsibility for it terrified me. I had to title it and register it and make sure that it is up to the standards that society expects of it. It is like having a child!
Why was I so resistant to this and where did this great fear come from? When I brought this question to the Lord in prayer, He graciously revealed that answer. I don’t want to grow up. By buying this car I am once again forced to let go of several comforts that I have clung onto for dear life, including my Colorado Driver’s license. Even though I lived in New York for over a year, I never transferred my license, simply because I was not ready to let go of my life in Colorado. My life in New York was definitely what I was supposed to do — I moved there because I was unhappy with Colorado. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to let go of Colorado, because I didn’t want to give up the hope of returning. In the back of my mind New York was temporary, my adventure of moving away was all temporary and I would eventually find my way back to Colorado. I still might return; it is all in God’s hands and I have given up trying to predict what He is planning a long time ago. I know God is not asking me to give up my love for Colorado or my memories. What He is asking is to let go of the attachment I have for them. Attachments are the result of me trying to maintain control of my life. Through this journey in New York and now New Jersey I am slowly learning to let go of those attachments. It turns out I have quite a few, but the Holy Spirit is gracious and patient with me, only tackling one attachment at a time, but He got very ambitious and decided to tackle quite a few this past month. My attachment to my apartment in New York, my old job, and essentially the security and comfort that I held in maintaining residency in Colorado.
The Holy Spirit was truly in control when I finally started the search for this car. I had been struggling with trying decide what were the best cars and the best places to buy these cars. Should I buy through a carfax, Craigslist, or dealership? It drove me crazy, and by the end of it I couldn’t keep anything straight. In the end I literally just went out with a good friend who had worked on cars and made our way around Brooklyn in search of cars. He ended up just Googling cheap car dealerships. Google brought us to this little car lot that at first glance looked rather shady. I had written it off even before we had entered the lot, but my friend was persistent. All the cars were out of my price range except for one. When I saw this car it felt like a scene out of a movie, Maggie Peyton finding Herbie or discovering Bumblebee from Transformers. This car was parked on the street underneath the train tracks, covered in dust and dirt. At first glance the car looked like a piece of junk. My friend gave it a thorough inspection and insisted we take it to a mechanic. Yes, it has its quirks and there are no frills but it has good bones and it is safe and reliable, which is what I need. After we visited the mechanic and expressed interest in purchasing the car, the dealer gave it a car wash and cleaned it up. It was transformed, and in that moment the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I saw my car. To my surprise, the entire process of purchasing the car was easy. Walking out of that dealership with the title in hand was extremely liberating: I owned a car.
There is certain bond that a person can build with a car. Before moving to New York I got into a car accident, and totaled my SUV that I had been driving since high school. Letting go of that car was difficult because it had gotten me through several things. I am one of those people who name their cars and I had named it Peter Pan because it was green and it had the ability to take me out of reality and into “Neverland.” This new car seems to have similar capabilities, but has a bit more strength because I know it is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Like Maggie Peyton discovering Herbie in the junkyard, I have a hidden treasure. It is also black so I think it fitting to bestow the name of Black Panther (yes, like the Marvel comic) to this one. The Lord’s plan for our lives are beautiful and are made out of these incredible and unexpected stories. I was so focused on buying a car the right way, I ended up fighting God to control the situation. He ended up winning and I am so glad He did, because I can now be confident I have the car I was supposed to have. My own Black Panther.