A Timely God Wink…

I’ve spoken before about how I believe that God winks at us from time to time with special blessings that tend to come when we most need them and usually aren’t easily explained when they happen either, which is precisely what occurred for me a few weeks ago with something related to my vehicle.

I drive a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid that I bought brand new back in December of 2006 straight off a small Toyota dealership that for the most part was in the middle of nowhere. It has been with me through three states of living including Virginia, Massachusetts, and now Ohio. It’s also been good to me, as much as I’ve been good to it, even in light of it enduring a number of minor accidents over the years where all but one was out of my control. I’ve always kept up with my maintenance and vowed I would hold onto this car for as long as it was still drivable because I’ve come to appreciate holding on to things that still function for their intended purpose, rather than always having to buy something new and junk the old.

My Hybrid has 230,000 miles on it now and up until just recently, I really have never had any serious maintenance issues throughout its entire life, other than the things that have arisen from normal wear and tear. Much of that of course is due to the special care I have always given it and so when I walked out of my house one day to head to a meeting and noticed a small black spot on my driveway, I made the assumption it was probably coming from my partner’s car and not my own and quickly forgot about it.

When I awoke the next morning though and noticed another darkened spot below where I had parked the previous night, my stomach churned uncomfortably. I immediately attempted to identify what the dark substance was and where it was coming from, but wasn’t able to, so I abruptly changed my plans for the day and drove it over to AAA where I asked them to inspect it. They identified the leak was transmission fluid but said they couldn’t look into it any further that day due to a lack of mechanics on site. That’s when I decided to head to another local repair chain called Tireman where there I sat waiting in fear of how bad this issue might be. A few hours later, I was informed the leak was coming from something called a CV seal and that replacing it would cost me around $200. I breathed a sigh of relief and waited patiently for the fix to be completed, yet I’d soon learn the repair didn’t resolve the issue. Over the course of the next few days, Tireman would attempt to use several other replacement seals and change out another part as well, all to no avail. I was told I was going to have to take it to a transmission shop, but that it would have to wait on them getting another seal, as the others were now unusable.

So, while my car sat at Tireman for a few more days waiting on that part to be delivered, I discovered from Toyota the transmission on my Hybrid was designed in such a way that it couldn’t be rebuilt and my only option was to buy a used one or a new one, which would range between $2500 and $5000. Upon learning that, I began to cry profusely.

I know that some of you may be thinking right now while you read this, that this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but, maybe if you were enduring chronic pain day after day, unable to hold a job and relying on others to help you get by and experiencing one setback after another on a regular basis, facing something like this would be a big deal. The fact is, life hasn’t been easy on any level for me for a good long while and this car issue simply threw me over the edge.

That’s why I resorted to the only solution I saw as the tears were flowing from my eyes, which was to pray to God for help. I know many might think that God doesn’t care about things like this, things that are easily labeled as trivial, but it says in the Bible itself that God knows and cares about the very number of hairs on our head. Thus, if indeed God knows and cares about something that insignificant, then why wouldn’t God care about something like my car repair woes as well?

So, I prayed.

I prayed for God to fix my vehicle’s leak, but that if that wasn’t God’s will and that if God had another solution, I’d accept it.

Forty-eight hours later, I received a call from Tireman, expecting them to tell me my vehicle was finally back together, but still leaking and ready for me to come pick it up and take it to a place that works on transmissions. Except, that wasn’t what they told me…

“Your transmission is no longer leaking Mr. Dawson…”

 I couldn’t believe my ears and asked them to repeat that again.

“Mr. Dawson, after we put your car back together, the transmission was no longer leaking. And honestly, none of us here have any idea why?”

It wasn’t too longer after, that I was able to confirm this with my very own eyes and even then, because of my utter disbelief that something actually went my way for once in life, I took it to a Toyota dealership to have them run a full diagnostic. And there, they’d find nothing wrong with my vehicle either, other than seeing the usual wear and tear.

So, I leave this with you to decide. Was this one of those God winks where God simply wanted me to know in a very direct and unique way that God had heard my prayers? I think that’s ultimately left for each of us to decide, but with a car that’s working again, leak free, and no explanation why, I’m choosing to believe that God indeed did wink at me and provide a miracle when I most needed one. Thank you, God.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Healing Begins With You And Me…

Is it just me or does everyone seem to be on edge these days? It’s almost as if we’re all waiting for the next tragic thing to unfold and because of it, it honestly feels like each and every one of us is on an extremely short fuse right now, one that doesn’t take much for us to ignite into something far worse. And frankly, I’m so tired of feeling this way and anything that only adds to this feeling.

Things like all the constant fighting and divisions between Republicans and Democrats and everyone in between. Things like all the never-ending gun violence and nothing seemingly being done about it. Things like all the racial battles still waging on many decades later from whence they first began. Things like all the religious divisions that exist where each faction feels as if they are the only valid path to God. Things like all the judgments that keep being placed against anyone who labels themselves under the LGBTQ category. Things like the many men who think they are still superior to women and have the right to treat them as anything less than equal. Things like all arguments between those who are pro-Trump and those who are anti-Trump. Things like all the friends and loved ones who keep dying from drug addiction. And things like all the beautiful souls who keep committing suicide.

It’s all these things that often tempt me to act out in some addiction to escape the constant tension. Yet I continue to resist any of those carnal urges because I know that each of them will only lead to more tension and even more fatigue.

One of the solutions I’ve found to rise above this is to keep to myself, as I don’t want to add to the tension by reacting in unhealthy ways. That’s why there are days when I stay off the television, social media, and even avoid talking to anyone on the phone because I don’t want to say or do something I’m going to regret and can’t take back.

Nevertheless, I find the state of our nation and the world for that matter very depressing right now and I really just want to start hearing some positive news for once. We all need more hope right now instead of judgments and negativity. We all need more love right now, instead of acts of hatred. And we all need more peace right now, rather than wars that begin with our ego’s bashing each other over differences of opinion.

Ultimately, if begins by simply holding our tongues, even when we feel the need to spew off something in anger. If we could just channel our frustrations when they arise into something healthier, such as a hobby, we might find ourselves feeling less on edge.

The healing and tension-reducing truly starts with us doing the work, instead of waiting for laws to pass or someone else to make the change. These changes must come within and as soon as each one of us realizes this, we’ll find ourselves sheathing our swords and putting down our shields, and then coming at each other with open arms and hearts, rather than weapons drawn for battle. That’s how life will improve on this planet and how the tension will reduce, by accepting the reality that the healing begins with you and me…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Yes, I Doubt God…And I Think That’s Ok…

I’m going to admit the truth. I have a lot of doubt in God’s plan for me right now. Given how long my suffering has been, not just for a season, but many seasons, and many years of seasons. Lately, I’ve been questioning why I’m even here anymore and am wondering if any of you have ever felt this way?

I often think of Job from the Bible these days and can totally relate to his story. Having lost his livelihood, his family, and his health, Job spent his days picking at open sores, questioning his existence and cursing the day he was born. And man, can I relate!

Sadly, Job’s friends only mourned with him for a week in his suffering, and then proceeded to offer him all the reasons why they thought he was going through his ordeal. Rather than continue to sit with him and just be there for support, their opinions only made Job feel worse, and boy, can I relate to that as well!

All Job wanted was God to answer him and his prayers. He really wanted nothing more than for God to let him know if there was something he did to deserve his suffering. Truly, he just wanted an answer, some answer, any answer. But he got none and he began to doubt because of it.

Eventually though, in the story of Job, God finally did speak and when God did, God told all the friends of Job how misguided their advice was and then told Job it wasn’t his place to question God. But, because Job kept his faith in God, even through all his suffering and all the misguided advice he got from his friends, all of his losses were restored.

Man, do I pray for that day! I hope and long for the day where I actually find myself smiling from my heart, from joy, and from feeling lighter. But, unfortunately, any smiles for me in life lately are rather fake and forced.

To live the life I have is not one I’d wish upon anyone.

Yet, even in the midst of all my suffering, I continue to believe God has a plan for me, one that includes feeling a lot more joy and peace than the mere milliseconds I’ve experienced of it over the past few years. But yet, I still have doubt and really wish I could remove all of it from me.

So many Christians have told me to go to scripture. But honestly, it hasn’t comforted me much in the six devotionals I read each day that use the Bible.

Friends keep telling me to go help another and I do, but honestly, I feel like I’m just doing it now because it’s the right thing to do, yet I’m not feeling any better because of it whatsoever.

My partner, my sister, and my best friend Cedric all tell me to keep trusting and remain still and have been over the past few years, yet I’m not sure if I have any gas left in me.

If I knew I could go to a better place by taking my life, I totally would. Yet, I fear what’s beyond this life if I took that action, so I never consider it and instead, find solace in Job, as I too have been picking lately at all the sores and pimples and bumps that have been showing up on my body as of late.

Do you think this makes me less of a spiritual human being because I am questioning God’s plan for me? Because I am doubting God?

It is said that all who embark upon a journey to find a deeper relationship with God encounter a vast desert like the one I feel like I’m in right now. But honestly, I don’t know the truth of anything right now other than I long for God’s presence, God’s grace, God’s peace, God’s joy, and God’s anything.

There is nothing more in this world I want than to feel something from God and so I wait, because what the world offered me throughout this life thus far has been waning and unfulfilling. Yet, for all the moments I’ve felt God in my life, or what I perceive has been God, has been far more fulfilling than even the breath I take in my lungs as I type these very words.

Nevertheless, yes, I doubt God and I think that’s ok. I am choosing to accept that God understands this and that it’s part of every spiritual human being’s journey here on Earth at some point or another. I guess right now it’s my turn to be in the dark, but I remain faithful that one day, the brightness will return and when it does, there will be a lot more of God, and a lot less of me…

Peace, love, light, and joy
Andrew Arthur Dawson