Last night I woke up at 3 am to Calvin’s crying on the monitor. I found him in bed burning up and having seizures which left him trembling from head to toe and largely unable to respond to me. I wasn’t shocked, the past week he’d been struggling with respiratory issues but it seemed like the antibiotics were “keeping the lid” on it.
After giving rescue seizure meds, Tylenol and a good old momma hug he finally settled in again around 5 am. Today he’s pale, has low oxygen levels and spent most of the day sleeping (seizures wipe him out).
Even though this isn’t anything new, the call to renew my trust in God and his care is a daily call to faith. It’s much easier to believe we’re alone, forgotten by God and have every reason to despair when we look at what we see.
It’s easy to listen to whispers of despair telling us our faith is useless, that our so-called God is a fantasy and that our hope of redemption is just a way to plug through the pain.
And it’s exactly in these whispers of despair that God calls us to walk by faith. Circumstances are real, but just part of the story. The bigger story is God’s forever promises to his people, secured by Jesus:
He will never leave me or forsake me.
He is transforming me from one glory to another.
When I go through deep water, he is with me.
He intends goodness and mercy all the days of my life, even when he uses sorrow and pain to make that a reality.
For most of us, our struggles are private, confined to the walls of our homes or our hearts. We’re called to a simple, quiet obedience in God. It honors him, his word and grows our faith.
However, there are times when God pulls back the curtain of the everyday and gives tangible testimony to his presence and care. He allows faith to be sight, even for a moment, reminding us to renew our faith and trust in him.
Two weeks ago that happened. God pulled back the murky curtain of uncertain circumstances and gave us a sweeping view of his provision.
Carly and I had spent a lot of time researching options for the van, measuring his wheelchair and trying to figure out creative alternatives. Most people use wheelchair accessible minivans but with five kids, they were out for us. Our next options were a shuttle bus (the kids thought this would be the coolest thing ever) or a Ford Transit.
What we didn’t realize was the Transit comes in different roof sizes, low and mid roof. After talking with the mobility center, we realized we wouldn’t be able to install the lift in the low roof van. We headed back to the dealership and found one mid-roof passenger van. Our hearts sank when we realized the price was 8-10 thousand more than what we had.
We went home not sure what the next step was going to be. The mid-roof Ford Transit is hard to find, after searching online we found only a few in the US for sale in other states. Most customers get them made to order, they aren’t just sitting around on a dealer’s lot. Used ones are hard to come by since they just started making them in 2015.
About an hour after we got home, Carly got a call from Aaron at Tony Betten Ford.
“You’re not going to believe this,” he said. “We’ve got a truck here, unloading around 8 mid-roof Ford Transits. And they’re all passenger vans, not cargo.”
We went back. Sure enough, lined up in the lot were 8 of the exact vehicles we needed. Every color and option was available.
But the price. That was still an impossibility.
“Yeah, it’s kinda crazy,” Aaron said, “these are actually brand-new vans but we’re selling them as used. They were sitting on another lot and apparently they were damaged by a hailstorm so we’re selling them at a much lower price. We’ll take out all the dents, you won’t even notice.”
So let me get that straight. An hour after we left, 8 vans of the exact type we needed, were dropped off unexpectedly at that exact car lot. All of them passenger vans with an extended base for a wheelchair lift. All of them happened to be in a hailstorm which happened to reduce the price to what we had planned on.
It was excessive, undeserved. But then again, that’s what grace always is.
“You know that what happened is pretty crazy, right?” Aaron said as we signed the papers a week later. “I haven’t had those things on my lot for a year and a half. Then, an hour after you left, I’ve got eight.”
It’s not every day that God sends these tangible reminders of his care and provision. But when he does, it is a grace that gives boldness to our steps and a fresh reminder of his presence during weary nights and lonely roads.
So these days, we are thanking God for his provision through an unlikely source: a hailstorm. In September.
This is our super helpful and proficient salesman, Aaron Powers, who got to witness the “crazy” with us.
This is one of Calvin’s nurses, Roxanne. In tears. Like every other nurse has been when they found out about this gift. What a testimony of God’s grace this van has been.
Calvin was already not feeling well in this picture, but his cousins and siblings took care of making it an exciting experience for him :).