Monday, January 29, 2007

Flat tire no more

In my emotional state on Friday night I told my friends Wayne & Irene about my flat tire, and feelings of helplessness. On Saturday morning, I borrowed Amy's car to go to work for a few hours and when I came back Wayne had: taken off my flat tire, taken it to a tire shop, purchased a new-used tire, brought it back, installed it, and driven around the block to test it out.

I felt helpless and alone on Friday, but I think, in the end, the experience was good for me. It helped me realize how hard I find it to ask for help in certain situations. There are a lot of people who are willing to help me, if they can, and if I just ask.

It also reminded me that God doesn't neglect me. Sometimes, in situations like that, I feel like He's ripped me off, and that He's not actually coming through for me.

I had to teach a lesson to the Asian Fellowship kids that was based on part of the Sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 5 & 6). I talked to the kids about trusting God to take care of them, and got them to make skits to act out examples of how what we talked about could look in their lives. It wasn't until they were doing their skits that I thought of how it applied to my situation.

To be honest though, I dismissed it; that is until I came home the next day and saw a new tire on my car. Me of little faith. God hasn't failed me yet, why do I act like I expect Him too? He showed me, again, this weekend that even though my dad is far away, and I can't do everything on my own, He is still looking after me. He often takes care of me through the people around me.

It's humbling. I often feel like what I am given by my friends is so much more significant than what I am able to give back. It's humbling and difficult to be in the place of receiving: without earning and without compulsively repaying out of obligation. I think it's important to be able to sometimes be weak, and needing help of others, and also accepting it. It's hard for me, but if I don't learn this point, I'll never fully understand gospel of grace.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Flat tire

It's been quite a day. As I pulled out of my driveway this morning I noticed that my car was sounding kind of funny, but it was camouflaged a bit by the crunch of packed snow. It wasn't until I pulled off the snowy side-street onto the cleared, busy one that it became really obvious. I drove slowly to the nearest place to pull over, and confirmed that I did, in fact, have a completely flat tire. I sat for a few moments in my car and then turned around and drove very slowly and cautiously back home.

Once home, I didn't know what to do. I called my dad in New Brunswick, but he was on his way out. I didn't want him to hear me really upset and make him feel bad about not being able to help me from such a distance, so I didn't say much.

I sat for a while on the love-seat in our living room, just looking out the window at my flat tire. I didn't know what to do. Should I try to get it to a gas station to put air in the tire? It was sitting on the rim, and I was afraid of damaging it, so I sat there, frozen. Most people I knew to call for help were either at work or away.

I thought of one friend nearby who could at least give me some advice, and I was afraid of being an annoyance, but I sucked it up and called anyway. He wisely advised me not to drive on the rim, but to put on my spare tire until I could bring the flat one into a tire shop. He told me that changing a tire is simple, and walked me through step-by-step instructions on how to do it. As I listened, I took deep gulps of air to keep from bursting into tears, and tried to keep my voice from getting too high-pitched. He was busy with work, but said he would check on me later on to see how it went. He sounded much more confident than I was, but I faked it, reluctant to show just how upset and needy I was.

So out I went, faithfully. I found my spare tire, jack, etc in the trunk and my spirits raised a little. "Maybe I can do this thing," I thought. I popped off the centre thing and started working on the bolts. And that's as far I got. I couldn't budge them.

At 1:30am as I write this, my car is still out there, with one flat tire. I've been moody and grumpy all evening (my poor roommates). I cried quite a bit. I usually avoid publicly admitting to crying, but I'm too tired to care.

I know it's just a flat tire, but I wish there was a way to explain how frustrating it is to feel so helpless and needy. I hate feeling like a burden, and wish that I could just do some of these things on my own, but when I try, I find myself making decisions that are inexplicably stupid, or else I am frozen into inaction. I am not a prissy girly-girl. I don't want to be a dumb, helpless girl... but sometimes that's what I am and I hate it. I just wish my dad was here because he'd take care of me.