Back in 2007, I was looking for a shiny new car. I did a wedding for a lovely couple in the parish and he was a Ford salesman. He didn’t try and sell me at all, but I figured I might get a good deal via the favour I’d built through doing a good job of their wedding and everything around it.

We went to see him and he sensibly let me deal with another guy. We started to look at a year old C-max with very few miles. At this point the level to which I was ignoring God increased. It was very much me driving the family towards this path.

It wasn’t so much a wilful disobedience of God, but a slow increase in believing that I was now a mature christian and mature adult and that I needed to be a wise steward, I didn’t need to scrounge from family and look for handouts, but stand on my own two feet.

There were mitigating circumstances, I had a father with a cancer diagnosis, taking on big increases in responsibility at work and a new baby who hardly slept.

There were also damning issues. I was hearing God clearly in some areas, seeing him do great things, he healed, he spoke, church was growing and the things I was leading were being blessed as I became increasingly reliant on him. Yet I wasn’t even speaking to him about these financial choices.

I couldn’t claim ignorance either. I was regularly sitting at the feet of Paul Maconochie, a great leader who was telling me about his amazing journey of giving away his salary every month and seeing God provide.

The door was shut to God’s guidance in this area of life.

We were about to trade in our old car, when it started to rattle. A noisy, persistent, hear-it-louder-than-the-radio rattle. I went to get it looked at.

The big-end had gone and we basically needed a new engine.

Without the trade in value of this car, our new car was out of reach.

I shopped around for a better quote on the engine. I ended up getting a new engine put in via a very dodgy deal. It’s all forgiven and dealt with, but it’s not an act of which I’m proud. The car was traded in without this being mentioned and we got our new car.

The car made life a lot easier. everything from shopping to long trips to see family were a joy. The deal was good and we could afford it every month, my perfect little boy had space and getting him in and out was simple and safe, but I disliked that car.

It wasn’t our car. This wasn’t the plan God had for us. I’m not saying that God has a perfect car for everyone, like Hollywood suggests we all have a perfect partner; but the car became a symbol of my lack of trust and obedience.

The next couple of years were interesting ones. a difficult end to my curacy (assistant/trainee leader of an Anglican church), learning that God doesn’t always get His way, taking on a new job and moving house.

I arrived at the end of 2008 having grown up in God. I had faced and overcome addiction as God healed my heart on the floor in Toronto. He’d led me to prayer and trust through fasting and facing my fears. I was now the leader of nearly the smallest church in Nottingham, in one of the least desirable areas, sharing huge vicarage with another family as a community. God was showing us his power in people being saved and lives being transformed, I was leading imperfectly and yet I was so happy, but that car…

It niggled at me.

I finally brought it to God and worked through all the crap and mess around it.

My loving heavenly dad had it all covered. He began a journey of healing and restoration, but being a good dad, it took trust and lead to me laying down my control, my desire to rule my own life, to be the provider, to solve my own problems. This would mean doing things I didn’t want to do, it would be challenging, exciting, humbling and a little crazy, but it would reveal something.

I could trust Him and He was totally good.