A few weekends ago, I found myself missing a previous vehicle that I traded in—a 2015 cayenne red Nissan Altima. I had purchased a compact SUV several months ago and while there were a few minor nuisances that I wasn’t fond of (aka first world problems), but overall, I was happy with my purchase. I had gotten the SUV because I wanted something that could handle the snow; I also wanted something that could haul thrift store purchases—tables, chairs, etc.—whenever I went shopping with my mom. There were technological features that I wanted—remote start, blind spot warning, all around camera, and all-wheel drive—but I couldn’t afford those. I didn’t do enough research on the new vehicle (re: ratings/reviews) and bought it when I took the Altima in for an oil change. A salesman had approached me about buying a new vehicle and although I was a little nervous (“Am I making the right decision??”), the timing felt right.
But on this particular weekend, several months later, I was bombarded with thoughts about the Altima: “I should’ve never traded it in!” “Maybe I made a mistake getting this other car,” “The Altima was gorgeous! I wish I still had it!” “Maybe I could go to the dealership and trade this new vehicle for a used Altima?” “Whhhhyyy did I trade it? Maybe I wasn’t really “finished” with it yet!” “Did I buy this new vehicle for the wrong reasons?” “I should’ve did more research! It’s soooo sloooow!” I even dreamt I was telling someone I was unhappy with my new vehicle—was this confirmation to get rid of it? The minor “issues” with the SUV were:
- it has less horsepower than the Altima, but I KNEW that before I purchased it.
- It didn’t have a small area for my CDs like the Altima had.
- The center console is smaller (the Altima had a larger/longer one).
- Car note is higher (well, it is an SUV!) but it’s still affordable.
I started looking online at various Nissan dealerships in my area to see if they had a cayenne red Altima for sale with a decent number of miles. I saw quite a few vehicles and all I had to do was call and ask if they still had the one I wanted. But did I really NEED to do THAT? Did I really need more debt? “Weellll…I could work more overtime to save money for a down payment,” I thought to myself. And what would happen if I did trade my SUV for another Altima? What if I started having mechanical problems with the used Altima? Or would I regret trading the new car and then beat myself up, thinking that I should’ve kept the SUV instead?
Despite me trying to think practically and talk myself out of this crazy desire, I STILL wanted the car! I asked God what I should do. I noticed that every time I had these thoughts about missing the Altima, the words “thief,” “deceit,” and “deceive” would come to me so I believe the enemy was up to his old tricks as usual. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like the Lord had said, “Keep what you have and pay it off.” I had a sense of peace following this realization. But then I started thinking about the other car again. “Noooo, I want the Altima! I’m not happy with this new car!”
And the online searches resumed.
Yet there was something that bothered me: I had this car on my mind—I want it, how can I get it, etc.—more than God. I didn’t want to make this vehicle an idol but that’s what I was doing. Not only that, but I was having constant anxiety about this—”What if I make a bad decision? Is God telling me to do this? To not do it? How can this be from the enemy? Aren’t these my thoughts/desires?” I asked God to help me to figure this out.
On that following Monday, I did some thinking and God helped me realize that the enemy was definitely behind this. After I bought the SUV, I did have a couple of thoughts about missing my previous vehicle, but I was enjoying the new one. I hadn’t been thinking of the previous car that much. And then months later, the thoughts/feelings came back with a vengeance. He also led me to Psalm 90 which talks about how He’s been around forever and His kingdom has been established forever. Now I realize that the Lord was saying that my emotions were unstable but He’s not; He doesn’t change. I can’t let my emotions dictate my actions. Did either of these vehicles comfort me or lead me to Psalms in my troubles? Did these vehicles give me wisdom or insight about certain people or situations? Nope. It was the Lord who helped me.
With this realization, the anxiety stopped and I felt at peace when I decided to keep my current vehicle. But guess what? Those blasted thoughts about the Altima are popping up AGAIN. So all I can do is ask God to give me strength not to fall into this trap. I know He’ll come through for me like He did last time.