We had a big day on Saturday–although it might not sound or feel like a big day to anyone else. Last Saturday Kaitie got a new car. It’s not really new new, but it is new to her. She now is driving a 2004 Honda Accord instead of a 2001 Toyota Rav4. The Rav had a computer/transmission problem that made it undrivable and unsafe, so we traded it in for the Accord.
The Accord is actually Kaitie’s first car–the Rav was a hand- me-down from me. We only needed one car when we moved to Tampa, so I left the Rav with Kaitie and it has been a good car for her. I liked to think of her in something a little higher and a little bigger, just so she would be safer. I like to think that any way.
Here’s the hard part for me and it might sound silly, but feelings are feelings and they don’t need to be justified, just dealt with– I will miss the Rav. I actually cried when I thought about Kaitie driving off in a different car.
We purchased the Rav in 2006, right before we left Delaware to move to Virginia. Mike had just graduated from high school and begun college, so only Kaitie would be moving to Virginia to live full time with us. So it was the car that Kaitie and I used the whole time we lived in Virginia.
That means it was the car that we drove to school every day and soccer practice a few times a week. We also took it to games and tournaments on the weekends and we drove from New Jersey to North Carolina for soccer. I loved our drives, most of the time it was just Kaitie and me, so we could talk and I could get “Kaitie time,” which was quickly becoming harder and harder to get, since she was so busy and there were so many other people she wanted to talk to. Sometimes a friend went with us and then I could eavesdrop (in a good way since I wasn’t hiding) on the way teenage girls thought, picking up insight and hearing lots of laughter.
Kaitie learned to drive in this car and she took it to school, practice and games on her own–even over to see friends in Delaware. I had dreaded this –because it left me out of the picture. Of course, I knew this would happen, Kaitie is our third child, but it’s easy to make yourself think that a girl will be different–nope! 🙂
The Rav really became her car the year we left Virginia to begin work with Military Ministry. Rick and I moved to Florida, and all of our kids stayed in Northern Virgnia. Kaitie drove to work, to college classes, to church, to Young Life, and out with friends. It was always packed full–people, food, soda cans, clothes—lots of clothes. Full of life and chaos–just like Kaitie.
For Christmas of 2010 Kaite drove the Rav to Tampa all by herself–without a break. The drive is about 12-13 hours and she loved being on the road alone. I was nervous of course; she was fine It was on that trip that we realized the car had some issues–terminal issues.
Kaitie called to tell us about the Accord with excitement in her voice and I knew that if she were slightly younger and less cool she’d be jumping up and down. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears at saying good-bye to the Rav. It was like an old friend that had carried us through so much and was filled with so many memories.
I will miss the car, but mostly it reminds me that I miss my family together and the hopes and dreams and expectations I had for what my grown up life would look like. The car is just way of holding on to the dreams that had to change. My baby is grown up (getting close any way), moving on, and making new plans. I know I can trust the One who loves us most to take good care of her as she trusts her heart to Him. But its always a little hard letting go~
At STF this past week Gary, who was teaching, talked about the difference between moving and moving on. He said when we move we just pack up the old stuff and take it with us. We expect things to be different, but we usually just unpack and stay the same. Moving is like “resuscitation” being restored to a former life.
Moving on, on the other hand is like “resurrection,” and requires a death or letting go– so that God can move us nearer to Jesus. When we choose resurrection, we have to let some things die, give up dreams, desires and trust God with our whole lives. Sometimes He calls us to give up our hopes, dreams and plans and begin moving on to a new beginning! On the other side of this kind of death and letting go is another side of life–resurrected life–in the presence of Jesus, where there is JOY!
So, while I am old enough to know this, I am human enough to need to relearn it daily: All of my life has to be about the relationships and the people who matter so much to me and to God. Not only my family or my friends, but all of the ones who God brings into our lives in other ways–Rick’s Marines, our small groups, the warriors and the heros who need us now. All of us who know Jesus have the words that bring life–resurrected life to those who still need to know our resurrected Savior.
Now I hear that Mike and Steph want to get rid of the This End Up bunk beds we bought before Mike was born–really??? Aaarrrgh!