Three and a half years ago a friend of my in-laws was sick and his family was liquidating his assets in preparation for putting him into assisted living. They contacted us to see if we wanted to purchase a van and assured us it was in great condition and an excellent price. As much as we wanted to say "yes" we didn't have the money to buy a van, or anything else. We had just found out we were expecting again (common theme throughout our residency years) and were planning on putting three car seats in the back of our aging, paid for, sedan. We hadn't shared this information with anyone yet and we were planning on doing something "cute" to break the baby news at Christmas time.
My in-laws were scheduled to visit us the next month (November) and we were excited to have them. What we couldn't have known is that they weren't flying but driving 3 days cross-country in this van that they had purchased for us as a Christmas present. After a present like that, we couldn't help but break our news to them early. A van that would comfortably fit our growing family is exactly what we needed. They didn't know how great that need was, but they purchased this van anyway. Some things in life have a way of humbling a person. This was one of those experiences where I have felt that my Heavenly Father knew who I was and what my family and I needed, and he had prepared a way for those needs to be met by someone who also loves us.
Driving home in that same van today I was overwhelmed by what a blessing it has been. Not only was it given without condition, the van has required nothing of us. We put gas in it and we change the oil. It hasn't needed anything else. That is amazing! The van is 10 years old and will have 100,000 in a matter of months. More than amazing it is a miracle.