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The FJ and Me

A friend of mine and her husband are down to one car for the week.  They have two young kids and going from two cars to one car can be stressful.  I, on the other hand, have an "extra" car in my driveway--it is our "kids' car" and currently I don't have a 16 year old in the house, so it is extra for a few more months.  So, today, while my friend was out to lunch after church, I dropped our "extra" car (the FJ) off at her house with the keys on the dash (assuming that she'll know by the A&M and Kivu stickers that the car is ours and is only a temporary loan).

I had to laugh as I was driving the FJ to her house because it was the perfect word picture of me right now.  (Backstory. . . . ) We moved to Franklin just over eight months ago and it has felt like I have been on a bad vacation.  It didn't feel like home and it felt like at any moment, we would actually go back home to Colorado and be a complete family (party of 7 and all) again.  It just hasn't felt real at all and I haven't felt settled.  But the last two weeks or so, I have stared to feel settled.  I think we all have started to feel settled.  The kids like their schools, they are involved in some sports and they are making friends.  I am involved in a couple of Bible Studies through the kids' school and I am making friends.  We don't feel like we're on a bad vacation anymore and we know that this is what our family looks like now.  And we feel home and settled.  (We still have healing to do and that's another story, but we feel settled at least.)

So, how did the FJ remind me of me?  Well, here I was driving this "extra" car to my friend's house to be nice  and I was dropping it off with a right front tire needing air, a spare tire that is COMPLETELY flat, an a gas tank on EMPTY, a broken windshield and 109,000 miles on it.  I dropped off a hunk of junk, but it is a hunk of junk that runs and that needs to be driven every once in a while. And it so felt like me.  Physically and emotionally, right now, I have a tire that needs air, a worthless spare, a broken windshield (and I mean cracked all the way across), zero gas in my tank and over a hundred thousand miles on me.  I don't have a ton of great possessions or material things to offer people.  I'm older than I feel like a single person should be and I've got some scars in my heart, but I'm a good car and I need to be driven every once in a while.  (Lame, but that was what I was feeling in that moment.)

But at least I have something to offer.  At least I'm able to be kind and selfless.  At least I am now willing to offer my broken self to new friendships here in Tennessee.  At least I am able to give of myself and my possessions.  At least I'm willing to love people.  It's funny how feeling like an old FJ was so freeing to me today.  I didn't see the low tire and the flat spare and the broken windshield and the empty gas tank and the 109,000 miles as bad things, I saw them as humorous hiccups in what is a kind gesture and it made me thankful that I haven't lost myself and who I am--I'm thankful that I am sill willing to share and help and love.

Ultimately my tires will be full, my spare will be road-worthy, I'll have enough emotional gas to get me where I need to go and I'll have a crack free view of what is ahead of me and, in the mean time, I am going to keep being me and keep putting myself out there without fear of the next pothole. I love our FJ and I love that I have an "extra" car to share today and I love that God showed me hope in a used car.

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