Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

Sometimes I am amazed that the ways Heavenly Father blesses us. Things we see as adversities or inconveniences can shortly turn into an enormous blessing. Twice now, I feel, Heavenly Father has used problems with our van to bless in mysterious ways.

It's no secret that I'm not in love with our van. We bought it for two reasons. We needed something bigger for our soon to be family of four and we needed something with all wheel or four wheel drive. We were living in a place where snow was a certainty and plowing was not. We knew there would be times we would have to drive in snow and our car was not going to handle it. We tried so many different cars, but with Matt being so tall and car seats being so big the van was the only way to go.

That winter I loved the van. I felt safe. That winter was especially bad so there were times we definitely needed what the van had to offer. After winter, I hated and still hate the thing. I started noticing all the little things that were wrong with it. I feel like I'm driving a bus. I'm always waiting for the thing to fall apart. So, really, it's funny that Heavenly Father uses my insecurities in my van to bring us blessings.

The first time this happened. We were on our way from Texas to our home in Wyoming. We had stopped to get gas. I had pumped and took over driving. As we pulled away from the gas station, I noticed the gas gauge rapidly dropping to empty. I was panicked thinking we had a huge hole in our tank and gas was pouring out onto the road. We were 10 hours from my family in Texas and about 13 from home. This could not be happening. We didn't have the money to pay for this kind of repair or the costs associated with having to delay our trip. I pulled to the side of the road and Matt cautiously got out to investigate. We did not have a hole in our tank. There is apparently this metal flap that covers the gas tank when the cap is off and it had somehow become stuck open. Not dangerous, but our gas gauge would be off until we could get it fixed since we had nothing with us to fix it. We got back on the road concluding we would just need to be extra cautious to not go too far on a tank.

About 5 to 10 miles down the road we come to dead stop traffic. We slowly, very slowly, made our way through it. It appeared that a trailer hauling hay had burst into flames. The fire was put out by the time we went through, so I really have no idea what actually happened. A few miles we passed this, Matt noticed the gas gauge rising again. Now, I really am not one to look for "signs." I don't think a rainbow is sent as a sign of the decisions I should make in life. A rainbow appears because it just rained. That being said. We have NEVER had another problem with our gas gauge. I don't know what happened that day on that road, but I do know we weren't there when it happened. I don't know that we would have been there when it happened if we hadn't stopped. I do know that whenever I think of this event, I feel the Spirit confirming to me that Heavenly Father was indeed helping get home safely.

My second event happened just the other day. Matt had been without a job for a month when he started working. We had some money saved up for bills until he started working. We had just enough money for bills through the end of the month, but that was about it. So, as much as I hate it, we have been putting things like gas, groceries, etc on our credit card. Yesterday, I got a text from Matt during his lunch saying our A/C was out in our van (our only car at the moment). My heart dropped. If you live or have ever visited Texas in the summer, you know an A/C is a necessity. Especially with kids in the car. Matt asked to see what our available balance was on our credit card. I know this is horrible, but I never look at our credit card statements. We rarely use the credit card so I just got out of the habit. While checking, I noticed the amount charged since the last statement was much more than I would expect it to be. I checked out the recent activity, and immediately spotted a $255 charge to Office Depot. Someone had used our credit card in person. We both had our credit cards so apparently there is some way for thieves to replicate credit cards. Say what?! The credit card company was very understanding. I have been with them since my college days so I guess that increased my credibility. Since the charges were in person it was considered fraud. Our account was closed and we will get new cards delivered to our house on Monday.

Now, why is this a blessing? When Matt was on his way home from work, the A/C worked! It has worked since then and will probably work from now on. If we hadn't anticipated a huge expense that needed to be put on the credit card, we would have never looked very closely at our account. I probably would have NEVER noticed those charges or more charges would have accumulated. At this point there were only 2 charges that I know were not ours.

Like I said, I'm really not big on signs, but I can't just explain these experiences away as coincidence. I know Heavenly Father was watching over us. Maybe we need to reevaluate our lives to be more perceptive to the Spirit so that we don't need threat of catastrophic events to listen. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who protects, guides and comforts us. I pray that we can live our lives so that these blessings continue and so that I can be more in tune with Spirit so that I may be in instrument in God's hands to protect my family and share the Gospel with others.