Have you ever bought a new car?
I have. Several, in fact.
I mean I have been driving for nearly 30 years. Really? Is this possible? (Picture me counting on my fingers here…) Holy cow. Yes. Nearly 30 years. Wowzers. Gross. Ok. Now that my age has caught up with the rest of me, let’s get back to discussing my car.
The car I drive now is a Lexus purchased 8 years ago by my ex husband & I. At the time, it was 4 years old. More math. That makes my car 12 years old. When we bought the car, it was for several reasons. It was safe, it has a great resale value, fit the needs of our family, and was cheaper than a new car from any maker.
So I began to think that maybe it is time to begin looking for a new to me car. I set up an appointment for yesterday after work. The car I was looking at would also be safe, have great resale value and was cheaper than the Lexus 8 years ago. And was a Mercedes. I promise, although it appears it, I am not pretentious. Money doesn’t matter much to me, but shiny things are fun. And I do love a pretty car. And don’t forget, I said it would cost LESS than my current car cost me 8 years ago. I enlisted the assistance of wise counsel. A couple I trust from church was asked to help with the process. He met me there and did the test drive with me, asked the right questions.
I began to falter on my choice at one point. I said “why do I need this car? What about that car?,” pointing to a Malibu. The salesman walked away for a moment and Lance looked at me and said “I have the thought that you are questioning if you deserve this car.” SLAM. Right in the face. Ouch.
Thus began an hours long mental debate.
Sometimes someone says something to us that smacks of truth. I like to be that person for others. Verbal smacks are kind of my trademark. Just ask the besties. Getting them is a stinger. I wasn’t hurt by his words. I just had never thought of the concept of deserving a new car. I mean, it’s a car. I have to have one. Does it matter if it’s a Malibu or a Mercedes? No. Not really. But by the time I got home several hours later, I was a little crazy inside.
What is my motive for the Mercedes? What am I trying to prove? Who am I proving it to? Why not a less glitzy car? I began this exact conversation with my roomie. I got choked up when I got to the proving something to people part. I realized that buying a Mercedes had several elements involved. Yes, it would last forever. Yes, it would hold its resale value. Yes, it would be very safe. Yes, it has All Wheel Drive, which I prefer for winters. AND it would be my “I CAN survive!” to all the people who have pushed me down, then backed a tank over me to make sure I stayed down.
Is the Mercedes worth pushing my budget to have? I truly do love the car. Financially, I would be fine. Decisions, Decisions. So I went to bed. It’s where I do my best avoidances.
I woke up this morning. Had a revelation?? Nope. Well, sorta. I realized that whether I drive a Malibu, a Mercedes or a 12-year-old Lexus has no bearing on my worthiness. My self-worth is not tied to a car. My self-worth is not meant to be tied to those horribly broken people who have hurt me, intentionally or unintentionally. My self-worth needs to be cleared of these wounds. I find that as I heal, I am more and more able to identify these triggers. I am able to take the grace I extend towards others & grant myself some of it. It’s not in a cup. I’m not going to run out by giving myself a little.
Now, for a little of my Jesus Freak. I can’t place my self-worth in myself. How’s that for skitchy? I know. My self worth has to come from a place of seeing myself through the eyes of God. Which surprisingly is how I try to see others all the time. Why would I change glasses when looking at myself? Why do I view others through the glasses with hearts, flowers and boundless love but when I look at myself, the glasses are full of disgrace, condemnation, and ugly? Is that what God would want me to do? No. In His eyes, I am perfect, flawless, beautiful and shining bright. Some would think “what a tremendous expectation to try to live up to.” Not at all. What it means is that regardless of my car choice, clothing choice, life choices, He will ALWAYS see me at perfect, flawless, beautiful and shining bright. That is actually freedom. That is embrace-able, it is healing.
Oh, and about the car? Still not sure. I just know that whatever I do decide will be in MY best interest. Not in the interest of proving jack to anyone else. If you don’t like my car, don’t get in it. If it matters that much to you, it’s probably in your best interest to find another way around anyways.
Don’t get me wrong, some opinions matter. IF I am making a life choice that is dangerous, or planning to switch careers, move across the country, join a cult…seeking the opinions of people with wisdom is always a great idea. However, placing my value in their opinions is a terrible idea. People that love me will value me because I’m me, not because of my stuff. Just like I value them because they are them. Stuff is stuff. It breaks, gets lost and goes away. People are hearts, souls, and irreplaceable. People are precious.
Love your self. Love your peeps. Love the uglies. And give yourself a little grace. It’s a beautiful gift.