Last summer when we decided to add another to our family, we realized that we would have to get a new vehicle. Our minivan fits seven and we were going to become a family of eight. This meant we would have to get either a suburban or a big van. The suburban was more appealing to me at first, as it was the most “normal” option. I was not wanting to be the driver of a big van. How embarrassing that would be. The girls were not too keen on the idea either. But a suburban will fit nine at the most, and this is actually not enough. We want to be able to have my parents ride with us, and that will take us up to ten. Big vans pretty much have no cargo space. So when going on a trip, the back seat will have to come out to create room for luggage and such. The back seat typically holds four people. So if we were to get a 12 passenger van (which seemed crazy big), there would only be room for eight people on a trip and we need to be able to take ten. This meant we would have to be on the lookout for a 15 passenger van. RIDICULOUS.
Regardless of what kind of large vehicle we would get, we knew
it would be expensive. So we decided to start praying. Each day at breakfast, we prayed as a family for God to provide us with the perfect van. Peter got especially into praying for the van and felt perturbed when other people (who didn’t even know about it) didn’t pray for it too. We have been praying like this for over a year, asking God to do something that only He can do, to show us His hand in the process, and to just put it in our laps when it was the right one.
During the year, Steve kept his eye out. He researched vans and we went to look at some. Who knows why, but these vans seem to be pretty popular. There aren’t tons of them sitting around, and whenever they popped up, they went fast. Mostly they were out of the area and often they were sold before we could even get a look. So it seemed we were going to have to pay more than we were hoping, unless God did a miracle. And on top of that, it was going to be hard to even get to one before it sold.
So the past year has been one of waiting. We are, of course, waiting to see our little one’s face, but we have also been waiting for God to bring us a van.
Last Saturday marked eight months of waiting for a referral. It is discouraging to just wait and wait. It feels like it will never happen. But we went out for root beer floats to celebrate Elijah John Day. This ice cream tradition is a good way to remind us that we are going to see our little one’s face in God’s perfect timing. And of course it is always a good thing to go out for ice cream.
As we drove home, thinking about making pizza for dinner, we caught a glimpse of a sign on a big van parked in front of a church. We turned around and went back to take a look. Sure enough, it was a 15 passenger van for sale- the Emanuel Lutheran Church van. The asking price was around half of what we were expecting to pay, and it was fairly old but had amazingly low mileage. It looked to be in near perfect condition. We called the number on the sign. The pastor answered and said he could meet us there in about five minutes. We took the van for a ride and prayed as a family while we drove, asking God if this was the answer we had been waiting for and knowing all the while that it was. The pastor dropped the price even more, prayed with us, and we left feeling amazed and thankful for the miracle God did for us.
By the way, over the coarse of the year, God did some changing of hearts. As we prayed and time passed, the girls and I came to realize what a blessing a big van would be. So rather than feeling embarrassed, every last one of us was ridiculously excited about the massive 15 passenger van God dropped in our laps. Now the challenge is just learning how to back up in it.