Friday, September 11, 2009

Seemingly Small

I had already begun drafting a post declaring as my #7 favorite summer thing when I got a very touching email that changed my direction.

Since deciding to move back to Texas, I knew the car factor was eventually going to be a major decision. When I was 15 years old (you read that right - 15, didn't even have a license yet - which made me a popular high school freshman, for a few months anyway) my parents bought me a brand new 2000 green Volkswagen Beetle. (I even got it on St. Patrick's Day!) Take a minute here; go back to when you first saw that new Volkswagen body style driving down the was huge! The new bugs were all the rage and I had the first green one in our little town. It was instant recognition, and in a town as small as our's, everyone knew who it belonged to.

That car saw me through some very formative years...awkward teenager with braces, bopping around to the latest Destiny's Child cassette tape; Varsity cheerleading (and allll the window paint that comes with that); college roadtrips and that inevitable "Freshman 15" name it, that car dealt with it. So upon my return this summer, the bug was pushing 10 years old, which is a pretty long and healthy life for a first car! But nonetheless, I decided I was ready to take that lunge into the adult world...and buy a Volvo. I set my nostalgia aside, spent a weekend restoring her to her former glory, and put her picture up on Craigslist - along with a note that said "Would be happy to sell to a good home"(I didn't want some scrub trashing out my car!).

So when the day came (literally 48 hours later) to hand over the keys, I was very pleased to find that I was handing them over to a 20-year old German girl ,who was new to the States, and boiling over with excitement waiting for the nod of approval as her father-in-law inspected it thoroughly. She was so eager that I enthusiastically showed her all the tricks and ticks and watched her drive away without so much as a tear!

People are funny about things. My New York friends never knew this side of me; they probably didn't even know I still owned a car! But people came out of the wood works to say their goodbyes to the bug. A friend I hadn't seen in 6 or 7 years sent her regards via facebook. Some of my closest friends said things like "I'm not gonna lie, I'm going to be a little sad to see it's hard to imagine you in anything else!"; "I didn't even get to say goodbye!"; "We should've taken one last picture with it!". I considered setting up a message board for people to send their condolences; share their stories; connect with others who were having similar feelings!

But then I received a follow-up email from the family that bought her and I was reminded of how God works through the seemingly small and ridiculous things in our lives. The email read something like this:

We are the ones that bought your green beetle and I just wanted to tell you my daughter-in-law loves loves loves it. She is so proud of it and loves to go places. It is really nice and I wanted to thank you. I must ask...are you a Christian, because there is a fish symbol on the back of the car. My husband and I are Christians, but our daughter-in-law is not a believer. She was raised in Germany and does not believe there is a God...we are praying that she will come to understand how God sent his Son for us, and that He is our comforter, protector, cheerleader, everything we need. She asked what the fish was and what it meant and my husband said it was a symbol that showed you were a Christian. At first she wanted to remove it and I said that probably many prayers had been prayed and answered in that car. And I see she did not remove it. Her husband, my son, is a Christian, and is now in Afghanistan in harm's way...can you help me pray for her realization and conviction and most of all acceptance.

I have a very strong faith that everything happens for a reason and that God has intention behind the seemingly small things in life. My somewhat ridiculous love and attachment to a small, green piece of machinery is now a witness to another young girl who will no doubt, have as many prayers prayed and answered in that car as I did.

The new Volvo, already lovingly dubbed "White Chocolate", has some pretty big shoes to fill.


  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this story! Lord, I pray you will draw this little lady to yourself! How wonderfully like You to use a Bug!!! You are awesome and amazing!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us Alyssa. Can't wait to hear the end of the story. Love you.

  2. oh Alyssa...this story brought tears to my eyes! crazy how something so small and seemingly insignificant could have such an effect on someone else's life.

    yay for the new volvo! :)

  3. um, that is awesome. thank you for sharing! congrats on the volvo

  4. I just got all sorts of chills and smiles! What a wonderful story.

    ... See you soooooonnnnn!!! EEEE!