Actually, the adventure began Thursday morning. It was the first morning this week I woke up feeling rested and ready to face the day. I even got out of the house a few minutes early so I could swing by McDonalds for a morning $1 diet coke.
I headed out and a little ways down the road, my low tire pressure light came on. I figured I'd get my pop and then stop at the gas station to take a look. As soon as I passed the gas station, I could tell the tire was completely flat. So I u-turned back into the gas station parking lot. Luckily for once I had some actual money on me so I was able to get change for the air. At 6am it's still pretty dark here so there was no way to check what might be wrong with the tire. All I could hope for was to fill it and hope it got me to work. Then I could check it later to see if it was flat again. When I went out a few hours later, it was easy to spot the bulge in the tire side wall. Not good.
There are perks to my job - like having a team of mechanics right there. So they took my car and put the spare on so at least I could drive home safely.
I knew I was going to need new tires, but I was hoping to be able to wait until May. Still, I wasn't too upset. I had my tax refund money, which I had set aside for Africa, that I could use some of for new tires. But things are rarely ever that simple for me...
Friday morning, after getting my other errands completed, I landed at the tire store - tired, sinus issues, and shivering. The really cute nice man agreed that all 4 tires should be replaced. No, I didn't want the same expensive tires that were on there.... Yes, these good but cheaper ones would be fine....
Sit and wait for an hour while I was quite entertained by a little 3-3.5 yr old boy, Lucas, and a little girl maybe 4, Chloe. Lucas liked spinning on the bar stools and Chloe went around counting everyone's shoes, hands and heads. She even hugged everyone in the shop when they left. Then another cute, but super nice man comes in with the wheel.
It's never good when they come looking for you before the car is done. The one with the leak... The rim of the wheel was bent good in 2 places.
1. They put the new tire on the wheel, but more than likely it will continue to leak.
2. I buy a new wheel. New at $348 or refurbished at $175.
The car needs to last me another 7-10 yrs or so. Reluctantly, I go with the refurbished wheel. Agree to come back on Monday for them to put that on the car. Watching my Africa fund dwindle away. And so, I go back to waiting for them to finish the other 3 tires.
Did I mention that I am tired and not feeling great?
An hour and half in, cute man comes back with another wheel! (Stupid piece of concrete!) This one isn't as bad. I could get away with it, but I might feel shaking at higher speeds. Next set of options:
1. Leave it and pray it doesn't cause problems and have to come back anyway
2. Buy another wheel for another $175
3. Buy 4 new wheels for $380
Now I want to cry. There goes my entire refund as I purchase 4 new wheels and tires. (and not that it matters what the wheels look like, but I happen to think they are kinda ugly) Then I start to think about how I will probably need to get the breaks done in a couple months too. The money woes begin to choke me a little. Finally, after 2 hours I get to drive my car and its new wheels home to do 4 hours of laundry.
It took a while for the peace to return, but I realized that maybe God didn't want me to have money for Africa in reserve. Perhaps, He wants to stretch my faith that every cent will be raised - and I'll have to depend on him to provide it. He's my one and only option. There is no backup plan this time. I'm going to trust him - he hasn't failed me yet.