December began where November left off: with a broken dryer and wet laundry strewn about nearly every surface of my house. Thankfully, a high-rolling co-ed spent two full days and nights out on the town and generated some much-needed income for 303 Sedan. The unfortunate thing is that he paid with a stolen credit card. Yeah.
It's been COLD lately. I mean high temperatures in the teens cold. Not the best time for the heater to break in Sally (one of the town cars). Well, as you may have guessed, it did. Then last week, after we received news from down the street of another lay-off and from California of yet another untimely death, the fuel pump in Mabel (my truck) - the fuel pump we have put off fixing for nearly a year - it died too. Again, not great timing with bills to pay, mouths to feed, Christmas around the corner and virtually NO money coming in.
Nevertheless, I've kept my head up. I've tried hard not to be distracted by what isn't and to focus on what is. I've been optimistic, creative and resourceful. I've had faith. I've believed. And I've watched God provide.
Then today, I lost my wallet.
After two-and-a-half hours of hoping, retracing and obsessing - on an empty stomach in December's bitter cold - the perspective, the optimism, the resilience - it all went out the window. I returned to Betty (our last-car-standing), and I cried. No, I sobbed.
"Lord, I'm all done. I can't do this any more," I wailed through tears and snot and sadness. "I want to believe. I want to hope. I want to persevere. But what else? How much more?"
I can't believe I lost my wallet. I can't BELIEVE I lost my wallet.
I have to believe there is goodness, right? I have to continue to have hope, don't I? If I don't, what else do I have? So in the depths of me I've been clinging to the tiniest of tiny threads. Tonight, I haven't been making and wrapping the last of our Christmas gifts as I had originally planned. Instead, I've been talking to God (and to bankers and to creditors and to customer service folks). Deep down I've been wishing and hoping and praying for a miracle.
Well, about an hour ago he showed up at my front door.
With my wallet.