Ode to Jaws

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If you have known me for an extended period of time,  you have probably met Jaws.

Jaws is my car.  I have driven him since I graduated from high school.  He has been very good to me in our thirteen years together.  (Did I really graduate from high school 13 years ago?  I must be getting old…)

Every time I have turned the key,  he has started.  His heat and air conditioning still work. I have not had any major problems. I had to replace the catalytic converter,  but that was still under warranty.

On the way to my parents’ house this afternoon I was praising God for Jaws.  He has been such a blessing.  We have been through a lot together.  My prayer the past two years has been that he would last until we move to South Korea.

As I was thanking God for my car,  I was almost teary-eyed.  God has definitely answered my prayer. When it’s time to say goodbye to Jaws it will be like the end of an era.  Jaws has taken me to college, my teaching career,  my job at KPC; we have been to the mountains,  spent a summer in Atlanta.  Jaws has taken Clarissa and I on some adventures already. So many memories in that car. I often wondered how long he would last and what kinds of memories Clarissa would have of this faithful little car. I was thinking that I should have someone take a picture of us with Jaws so we can remember.

We parked in the driveway today.  I brought Clarissa in the house and we were getting settled in for an afternoon visit when the doorbell rang.  Three times.  Very quickly.  The neighbor shouted,  “Call 9-1-1!”

A woman was driving down the road,  jumped the curb and hit Jaws.  He was just in the driveway minding his own business.  He swung into Dad’s car.

Thankfully Clarissa and I were already in the house and no one was injured.  Jaws had the worst damage of the three cars.

It will be interesting to see if the insurance company totals the car or decides to fix him. I have been praying that God would give us favor when we need to sell the cars.  I wonder what God is planning on this one. Will we get more if they total it?  Would the trade be worth more if they repair it because they would make him look better than before the accident?

In the meantime,  I will wait.  Thankful for my car and all of the ways God has used this car to answer prayer in my life.

Update: It took the insurance company less time to decide Jaws was a total loss than it took to send a tow truck to pick him up. Sadly, I have said goodbye to an old friend for good. But God did answer my prayer. The day that Jaws was hit, Tim got his official job offer for a position in South Korea! Another answer to prayer is that they are giving me double what I thought I would get for Jaws.

jaws

Oddly enough, Jaws was in this exact spot when he was hit. Dad’s car was in this position too, although he has a different vehicle now.

God is so faithful

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When I married Tim I knew that he wanted to move to South Korea.  I kept thinking he would change his mind (or at least change the continent…. because I wanted to go to Africa). I told him that I was open to the idea but I couldn’t make any promises until I went there on vacation first.

He started really wanting to go about three years ago. In February of 2012, I was at a Catch the Fire conference and I felt like God said that our next move would be Korea. We had already used our tax return to buy plane tickets there for a vacation. I was excited about Korea but felt like it was still a few years away.

We went to South Korea in September that year and it was great. It felt really homey, like we were still in America. I enjoyed taking the train everywhere and how kind the people were. I thought Seoul was really cool how it was a big city like New York, but was surrounded by mountains. But my favorite part of that trip was my husband! Yes, I enjoyed seeing new things and spending time with him. But Tim is a completely different person in Korea! First of all, his allergies are almost a nonissue there so he could breathe easy and had lots of energy. But he was just really happy and outgoing. He knew how to get around, made friends easily, and even picked up the language quickly.

Needless to say, by the time we got home, we were both ready to go back. So Tim immediately started applying for jobs in South Korea. I knew that he wanted to go so bad and did not want him to get distracted from God’s best. So I began to pray that he would only be offered the job that would be God’s best for him.

In December of that year, I was laid off from my job at the church. The elders felt that we were headed to Korea soon. I felt like God told me not to look for a new job. Tim and I both hoped that meant we were headed to Korea. A week later, we found out we were pregnant with Clarissa.

Tim kept applying for jobs in Korea. Clarissa was born in August. I got a call in October offering me a part time teaching position at a school I love. I didn’t even apply. They just wanted me. So I started living my dream of living in the neighborhood that I teach. It’s only fifteen hours per week so I still feel like a stay at home mom, which is important to me. I make enough that we break even financially.

God always works things together for our good. Even things that don’t make sense or seem really hard at the time. Really, getting laid off was great for me. It definitely stretched my faith. I really had to trust God to provide for us. A lot of the time, He used other people to do it. We are so blessed to have my family here. My mom watches Clarissa while I work.

Shortly after I lost my job, we switched churches. I was blessed to be able to attend Wave Women and started attending a mom’s group where I have made friends with some amazing women who have encouraged and blessed me more than I thought was possible. Neither of those things would have happened if I had been working full time. We also would never have found forefront.

Tim has been applying for jobs in South Korea for two years now with no luck. I know it is because none of the jobs have been God’s best for Tim. The week of my birthday Tim got a phone call from a recruiter for McCauley Brown, a defense contractor. He was really excited about Tim’s resume and said he had a few jobs for Tim to apply for. A week later, he called to offer Tim a job. He never even had to interview. The job is in Suffolk so we don’t have to move. The job description is something Tim is excited about. The commute is easier. And the pay is better. And… This company has contracts all over the world, including South Korea, so there is potential to transfer later.

We would not have chosen to look in this direction, but I believe that this is God’s best for Tim and our family right now. This is the only job he has been offered, which has been an answer to prayer.

He has been at his new job for a week. Already he likes the people he is working with and feels like a weight has been lifted, as if he was being stifled by the previous job. God is so good. I do still believe that our next move will be South Korea, it just isn’t time yet.