I’d like to share this Christmas blessing with you not because the people a part of this need affirmation or because I am seeking attention. I’d like to share this with you to show the beautiful grace and love God has shown me today using these precious people.
However, before I can dive into my day, you’ll need a little background.
Since I was little I was raised by my grandparents, they’re Mom and Dad to me. This year, at the age of 26, we moved forward with the adoption process so they’d officially be my parents even though they’ve always officially been my parents. It was something I needed and something difficult to explain to those on the outside so I’ll just leave it at that.
As I got older I realized that though they are my parents in every sense of the word, they were still my grandparents in age. I came to the realization that because they were older that I wouldn’t get as many years as kids with parents of a traditional age. Because of this, every Christmas, every birthday, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, etc. has been very special to me. Yes, I’m sure many people have lost their parents at a young age. However, knowing that you won’t get to keep them as long as others still hurts.
For others, that train is far and away out of sight. For me, and others in similar situations, you can see the train in the distance to come and take them to their true home.
I don’t tell you this to be morbid or to be dramatic, just to simply tell the truth. I don’t cherish my time with my parents anymore than others do, I’m simply more aware of the time I have with them and I do my best to be grateful for the time given. It’s just the facts of life.
So when I heard from my parents last week that Dad had gone to the ER for some medical problems and that we wouldn’t all be traveling to San Antonio to see the rest of our family, I knew I’d be heading to our small home town to be with them for Christmas. It was an easy decision and that was that. I wanted to be where they were.
Well, over the weekend I was finishing up my very late Christmas shopping list and came to a stop light. My car stalled out but luckily it turned right back on. It continued to do fine so I didn’t really think anything of it but I did note I would need to take it into the shop before I headed home, which was about 3 hours away.
That brings us to today.
On my way to work I came to a stop light and my car did the same thing again, it stalled out. Again, I was able to turn it right back on.
There was a car shop (we’ll call it Kar Shop) across the street so I pulled into there because I didn’t want to get down the road to work and end up having to tow it. I also knew I definitely needed to get my car checked before my Christmas trip home.
When all was said and done, almost two hours later, they came back saying it was the “fuel pump” and for them to replace it as well as the days work was going to be about $835. However, they could just do the fuel pump and the work which would just be $600 (and some change) and I could come back after my next paycheck to do the rest that needed to be done.
I wasn’t 100% surprised because my car is a 2002 Explorer… I already knew old Lola was on her last leg and that I’d have to start looking at getting a new (to me) car soon. With older cars they break down often.
However, $835 was a lot, and right before Christmas? My heart was cracking on the inside because I knew I couldn’t ask my parents for help. I also knew how much was in my bank account and I figured I could take some from there and split the rest between two credit cards. I had some gift cards from a work Christmas party I received and could use those for groceries, gas, etc. I mean, it would be a little tight but it was doable. It wouldn’t break me. It still made me nervous but I just had to shuffle a little.
Thinking this was my only option, I accepted the offer that a co-worker come pick me up and take me to work which I was completely grateful for.
When I got to work I explained about the car situation to my other co-workers who immediately jumped into action to help save me some money. One had a mechanic friend whom she called immediately and another got on the phone with another auto shop, Christian Brothers Auto.
I was a little overwhelmed because they took to action so quickly and I was so thankful for their kindness in wanting to help me. They didn’t even hesitate. It’s like they threw on their super capes and got to work.
There may have been a few tears shed because I felt such kindness and love. The kind you don’t ask for. The kind you just receive and hold in awe.
After speaking with my co-workers mechanic friend I decided to call the Kar Shop to have them stop before they started working so I could have the other auto shop give me a second opinion. Unfortunately they had already removed the fuel tank but had not started on the rest. It was going to cost me $100 in labor. I still wasn’t sure if my car would be fit to drive and if I took it to another place if they would have it done by Christmas Eve, which is when I planned on heading home to my parents.
With my co-workers help we started looking at rental cars because I wasn’t going to have a car that could guarantee I make it home. I knew I had to go get my car and take it to the Christian Brothers but from there I wouldn’t have a car.
It was decided that my co-worker would drive me back to the auto shop, pick up the car and take it to the other shop. Then we’d see what they had to say about the car and go from there. My co-worker would stick around, bless her, to take me to the Enterprise location if needed.
While all this was happening and while I was getting even more anxious about everything, my beautiful and amazing co-workers were gathering together to do something I wasn’t expecting.
You see, the day before was our office Christmas party.
Our pretty awesome boss gave away gift cards as a Christmas gift and everyone walked away with a very nice amount. I mentioned my gift cards previously.
Well, before we were about to leave to go get my car, one of my co-workers came to get me and the rest of my co-workers gathered around and they handed me a stocking.
Inside was their Christmas gift cards.
I was stunned.
They had already helped me so much in just guiding me and showing me support, but this… this I couldn’t handle.
Earlier I had been thinking, “Lord, how am I going to do this? $835 in one day? This is a little too tight for comfort. Please, I just need to make it to my next paycheck.”
But here these women were, standing in front of me with wide smiles more than willing, nay JOYFULLY willing to give me a part of their Christmas. So determined to get me home to my parents for Christmas.
Oh, I cried.
I was so humbled by their generosity and love.
What sort of people just do that?
The type with joy filled hearts who want nothing but your happiness in return.
I still have a hard time choking back the tears because it touched me deeply. I don’t think they’ll ever truly know what that meant to me.
I’ll always cherish that moment of their beautiful smiling faces. That’s one of the good ones that stays in your mind.
Oh, but the day wasn’t done.
After the tears and hugs and whispers of Merry Christmas, my co-worker and I went to pick up my car and took it over to the Christian Brothers Auto.
They told us the diagnostics would take a while and they would call around four in the afternoon.
My co-worker and I went to lunch, her treat (seriously she had done enough but her joy continued to radiate), then spent some time in Target finishing up Christmas shopping for her kiddos.
True to word we got the call a little before four and thankfully it wasn’t the fuel pump (praise the Lord!), however he would explain more once we got there.
They broke it down to a “vent” (can’t remember what it is actually called) that closes when you’re driving, say on the high way, but when you slow down it slowly opens. However, if this is clogged or dirty it can make your car stall out. My fuel filters did need to be changed and they did a tune up. All in all it was half of what the other shop would have cost. Not to mention if the other shop had done it their way my car still would have been stalling out!
Furthermore, the “memory” of the car (again, I’m not a mechanic and the nice man tried to explain it to me, bless him) that shows what has been worked on etc. had been wiped pretty soon before we took it to the Christian Brothers. Which meant one of two things, either someone was trying to make it difficult for the next mechanic or they were trying to hide something. That was the basic break down that was explained to me.
It was a lot of car talk but thankfully what it came down to was 1) it wasn’t going to cost over $800 to fix my car 2) they would have it ready in the morning so I could head home!
My co-worker took care of the diagnostic fee and the gift cards would take care of the rest.
… I’m having a hard time thinking of what to say here because I’m still processing this day.
Today I was humbled by the love and kindness of some pretty amazing women whom I truly admire and aspire to be like. Through them I saw a type of love that is overwhelmingly full of joy.
God had his hands in everything today. A plan that was set in motion long before the day began. I am in awe and oh so thankful to Him for his Grace and for surrounding me with people such as these.
It was a Christmas moment for the books.
Remember the reason for the season but most of all remember this:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Merry Christmas to all and God bless!
p.s. to my co-workers… thank you for giving me a way home.