When people talk about how bad the world has gotten, I try to focus on the beautiful people who outshine the bad. I don’t believe the world is all bad; I believe good is bigger. We just don’t talk about the good as often as the bad. So let me share some good. I have three big things that have happened to/for me that have been circling in my heart to share.
Nine years ago, I was working for a local organization but I was having some serious car issues. I kept borrowing my eldest son’s car, but his car was having problems, too. I mentioned to my boss that I wasn’t sure what to do because I couldn’t really afford a new car at this time, but I also didn’t want to give up this wonderful job.
Shortly after that call, his wife reached out to me to let me know her father was actually getting ready to donate his car because he could no longer drive but he wanted to help others with this gift. However, if his daughter knew of anyone, he’d sell the car to them instead, for the same price he’d get in taxes for donating it.
“Can you do $300?”
My mouth gaped as I talked to her. “Can I do…Definitely!”
The morning of the day of purchase, my boss and his wife picked me up and told me there was a slight issue. My heart dropped a little. I knew this was too good to be true.
“The car has been sitting in storage and it developed a crack in the windshield. Dad says that’ll probably cost you about $200 to fix. He’s really sorry.”
Oh. That? No big deal!
When we arrived, her dad was apologetic about the windshield. “How about I just charge you $100 for the car and then you can spend the rest fixing that windshield.”
I know my mouth gaped again. “Are you sure?” I sputtered. Seriously, this can’t be true. And then I thought, maybe the car is just some old clunker. At this point, though, I didn’t care one little bit. I’d have transportation.
But when I saw the car, I had to check myself to be sure all was real. Though it was just over 10 years old, it was in excellent condition. This man had been the only owner. It ran great and looked great. It was surreal, and I drove away that day having paid only $100.
Her dad did have one stipulation. That I’d make sure I used the car to keep helping young women. While the job didn’t last (health issues), I’d like to say I kept that promise. As I drove just this morning from Colorado Springs to Victor to do a session with a young mom as a gift, I thought about what he had said and I hope I’m making him proud.
I still drive that car, and she’s a beast. My $100 gift!
One day, another photo client canceled a photo shoot. It’s the nature of the business, but when sessions are canceled or rescheduled at the last minute, my paycheck for the week goes away. It’s not the best way to manage financial stresses, not when you’re working so hard but can barely get ahead.
I read the cancelation email and then turned to my husband: “OK, I think it’s time to look for a job.” We had talked about it, wanting to at least supplement my fickle income. But my fickle income was becoming more and more of an issue because we wanted to buy a house and a second car and spoil grandchildren (what?).
To say I was feeling a little defeated is an understatement. I went for a short walk and when I came back, I found a text on my phone. Only 15 minutes had passed, but it was a job offer, basically. My current boss was letting me know of a staff opening, saying she didn’t even know if I was looking but… I read it to my husband and just stood there gaping.
A million thoughts went through my head. I need to update my resume…what position is this?…can I do this?…is this real?…I’ve always wanted to work there…I probably need to practice interviewing…God, is that You?
We talked by phone, and then I walked around for a couple of days wondering about the actual interview. When I showed up for the interview, I realized I had a few things wrong. This wasn’t an interview — this was a “the job is yours if you want it” offer.
This seemed too good to be true. And yet, it was happening. I’ve been there 10 months now — 10 glorious months in my mission field! Every time I walk into my office, sit with a client, greet volunteers, and laugh with the babies, I just feel incredibly blessed all over again.
Through a series of unfortunate events, we found ourselves looking for a new place to rent. What was supposed to be exciting news shifted to stressful change.
And it’s the worst time of year to find a new rental. Our small town is loved and people want to come and stay (that’s how we ended up here for 10 years!), so finding an affordable rental is, well, a wee bit the hardest thing ever.
Enter another too good to be true story. My precious friend Kelley Leigh (a writer you should be following) made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say, we are truly blessed.
As I was talking about the possibility before it was a done deal, I said, “I know it sounds too good to be true. But honestly, I’ve been on the receiving end often of ‘too good to be true’ and yet each time it was true! So, I believe.”
I have a $100 car that is still going strong, a job I love that fills me with purpose, and now I have a lovely place to lay my head (and write my book, as per Kelley’s one stipulation!) for a while. All beautiful gifts from beautiful people!
Is that too good to be true? I just think it’s all too God not to be true.
Seek the light, friends. Good people are everywhere, and the circle of giving is a beautiful thing.