I went to Tennessee last weekend for a wedding. This was wedding 4 of 8 for the year (April 2012-Feb 2013). I introduced Kelly and Drew at the Freshman Festival at Belmont 5 years ago, and they got married on Saturday. It was a beautiful evening filled with people that I love, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!
I drove up Friday evening after work, and met my mom and sister at Fido (one of the best coffee shops in the world) in the middle of a monsoon. On our way home, we dropped my car off at the shop. This was planned. My car had been putting off a gasoline smell for the last two weeks or so, but my gas mileage didn't change, and there was never any other evidence of a gas leak, so I put off getting it checked out until I got to Nashville.
The wedding was Saturday night, so I was thinking my car would be fixed sometime Saturday morning, and I'd be good to go. My mechanic called me around 11 on Saturday (they close at noon), and said I wouldn't be able to get my car back until Monday. They had found the gas leak, but couldn't find what was causing it without taking the gas tank out of my car, and they couldn't do that until Monday. This is someone I trust, and I knew it was serious when he said "I can't let you drive it. Someone could flick a cigarette out their window, and you'd be a fireball." So I left it. I drove my mom's car to the wedding and rode with her to church the next morning. No problems. At lunch we discussed my options for returning to Georgia. 1. I could wait until Monday and drive my car back. 2. I could drive mom's car back since she's coming down tomorrow anyway. We decided that it would be best for me to go ahead and come back on Sunday evening so I wouldn't have to miss work. Mom would just pick up my car when it was ready and drive it down this weekend so we could trade. This was a good plan until we left the restaurant. We made it about 5 feet before realizing we had a flat tire and needed to stop. I looked at her and said "Looks like I'm staying until tomorrow!" I made all the necessary contacts and we called AAA to come take care of us. We made it home, and I was able to spend some time Sunday night with more of my family that I would've missed had I gone back to Georgia that day. I'm extremely grateful for that.
Monday morning came. Autumn headed to Giles Country High School to teach color guard at their band camp, and mom headed to work--leaving me at my grandparents' house with no car. I was just waiting. That's been the recurring theme of my life lately. Maybe you've picked up on it in earlier posts. I'm in a waiting phase spiritually, but on Monday, I was waiting in every way. I found out Monday afternoon around 3:30 that the gas leak in my car was a result of a broken fuel pump. Those things are made of plastic, and part of mine was cracked. I drive a Saturn. No one makes Saturns anymore. None of the vendors my mechanic uses had the part that my car needed. He had to call GM dealerships to find the right one, and he ended up finding a dealer who had one model like the one we needed. He couldn't get it to the shop until Tuesday morning. Mom's tires were coming in and being changed on Tuesday morning also. So I was stranded in Nashville for another night. I called my sister in New York because we understand each others' struggles. We talked for a really long time, and she reminded me that I had JUST blogged about how much I missed my grandparents' house. And that's where I was stranded. I should be happy in spite of the circumstances! She also reminded me that this world is not our home, and nothing will ever be perfect until we get to our real home--Heaven. If it wasn't the fuel pump on my car and the tire on Mom's car, it would be something else. Monday night, I was able to spend some time with just my mom. We haven't really done that in years. We made dinner and watched "Pride and Prejudice" and ate ice cream. It was great.
Tuesday morning, I got up and ran in hell. Seriously. The heat index was 101 and the humidity was at 70%. But I was grateful to get to run there again. It's my favorite place. I packed up my stuff and showered and went with my parents to pick up my car. It was really expensive, but through the generosity of my sister and some strategic planning from me and mom, we made it happen. Oh! And, for the first time in about 4 years, I drove between Nashville and Atlanta in gorgeous weather the whole way!
I'm so thankful for my family and friends and good memories and for my car. I try to not take anything for granted because I know that the Cross was enough. I don't deserve salvation, but God gave it to me anyway. Anything above and beyond that is blessing, and I want to be appropriately thankful for everything the Lord gives. This past weekend in Tennessee was a growing and learning experience for me. I feel different being back. It's always nice to gain a little perspective. I'll leave you with snippets of the weekend in picture form.
Clouds on the way to Nashy
With my beautiful MARRIED friends! (and mark...)
The Fellowship at Two Rivers
My favorite place
"Can't count the barns I've passed...painted red, white and black..."