Independence. We really like that word in American culture. We fought for independence. We fight for the independence of others. We strive for independence as adolescents. We raise our kids to be independent. We celebrate independence.
The opposite of independence is...
DEPENDENCE [or as someone recently suggested INTER-DEPENDENCE].
Yeah, we don't like that word as much. It conjures up negative feelings. It sounds weak.
However, independence isn't a squeaky clean word. There seems to be a flip side to independence. Perhaps we could label it...pride.
As a family of believers in Christ, or perhaps even more basic...a family of human beings, dependence can be healthy. I think that 'healthy dependence (or inter-dependence)' is something we learned while we lived in community in Nicaragua. We were dependent on each other for many things--practically and relationally.
We shared. We borrowed. We lent.
We really wanted to carry this concept back with us from Nicaragua. After all, it is a Biblical concept according to Acts 4:32, which says, "All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had." Of course, God doesn't force us to share. If he did, we'd all look a lot like a toddler aged child who is forced to hand over a toy to another toddler. 2 Corinthians 9: 7-8 says: "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others."
So, real life story here. We only own one car. We have been able to borrow a car from Shelter Pines for the last several months but this week we need to return that car. We started looking at used cars...and car loans. UGH. We can't really afford a second car. However, on the days that Jeff works, the kids and I have different activities and errands that need to be run--namely, homeschool co-op. I honestly considered just Uber-ing on homeschool co-op day.
As I was doing some car loan research, I felt strongly that I should text a friend that I only just met in February (she is a friend of one of my closest friends in Nicaragua) AND I seem to only text her when I need something. So for a second, I thought to myself that perhaps I shouldn't text her at the risk of being that overly needy friend. [This is where prideful independence walks into the room.] Pushing that thought aside, I texted her about our need for a car. She immediately texted back that she did know of a car we could borrow.
Meet O.B. (O.B.'s family names all their cars.)
O.B. is a 2001 Subaru Outback, 5 Speed Manual AWD wagon [believe it or not--I have REALLY missed driving a stick shift!]. My new friend's brother has generously loaned us O.B. for about a month or so! Ironically, this is the type of car we were thinking of purchasing--so now we get to do a really long 'test drive' of sorts.
Will we be able to afford a second car in a month? I don't know. What I DO know is that I felt prompted by God to ask for help from a friend rather than independently forge ahead. God will meet us where we are NEXT month. I learned in January that God provides day by day. I don't need to worry about next month.