My dad had a habit of given us stolen vehicles as gifts. I could probably name at the very least 7 cars that we had that didn’t necessarily belong to us and it was a strong possibility that someone was looking for them. When I was 16 he gave me a brand new Toyota 4×4 truck. My dream car at the time. I hadn’t prayed for much up to this time but I for sure prayed for this truck. I was on cloud nine. I remember driving it to our neighborhood pool and showing my friends what I had just gotten for my birthday. My mom kept telling me over and over that the truck wasn’t really mine. She kept telling me to ask my dad for the papers. I would absolutely not believe her. In my head I knew that she was right but my heart was so in love with this new truck, I just didn’t want to believe it. I thought that maybe just this once he had really done it the right way a bought me the truck. He didn’t. When I was in school there were lots of us that lived in the same neighborhood so we all took the same route to school. I was pulled over by the police on my way to school, in front of my friends. I was in my cheerleading uniform and was surrounded by police because I was driving a stolen vehicle. Who knew you could test drive a car off the lot and never return…my dad knew, that’s who. I don’t know why but the police let me drive the car back to the parking lot. They followed me to the car lot and had me hand the keys back over. I’ll never forget that the keys still had a green rubber key chain with the car lots logo on it. My friend picked me up. I have no idea what happened about the truck after that. My dad had some weird connections so somehow no one got in trouble for the care being stolen. I cut off my relationship with my dad shortly after that. When I turned 18 my stepdad told me that he wanted to take me to breakfast before he went to work. Oh thrilling, just what I wanted to do on my birthday. Once we got on the road he told me that he had to make a stop to look at someones air conditioner. He left me sitting in the truck while he went in to the ladies house. The day was getting more and more thrilling as time went on. A few minutes after he went in, he came out. He was holding something in his hand. He handed me a car manual and a set of keys and said ‘I think that there’s something in there for you”. Just them the woman opened her garage and there was my car. A simple, well built, wonderful car. I absolutely did not believe that it was really mine. My mom had to convince me that it was mine and it was never going to get taken away from me. I didn’t want to take it. I was scared that the gift that I was given was going to get taken or that I would only get to use it for a short time. I didn’t think that I was good enough to have it and I knew for a fact that I didn’t deserve it. It seriously took me several months to accept that the car was really mine and that no one was going to take it away and I certainly wasn’t going to be pulled over by the police. Why would this man be this generous to me when I had nothing to offer him? I already loved him like he was my father. I introduced him as my dad, I told him everyday how much I loved him and he knew that I was sincere. That’s all he ever wanted from me. Does that remind you of someone? God has a gift that we don’t deserve but that was given to us for free and will never ever be taken away from us. Did I mention that it would NEVER be taken away from us. Why don’t we just willingly and wholeheartedly accept this gift from Him? We feel like we are not good enough to have it. Well hello! We aren’t good enough to have it, we don’t deserve it, we cant earn it. Its a gift. It is a selfless gift that God wants us to have. All we have to do is believe in His son and love Him. Just like I was scared to accept the gift from my stepdad, I was also scared to accept the gift from my heavenly Father. For many years I thought that if I confessed my life to Him I would lose my rebel child status. If I held on to my rebel child status then I could use it as an excuse for my behavior. If I accepted Jesus then I knew that I would be held accountable, YIKES! He wants you to live a life that glorifies Him. I think I can do that. He wants to take care of you and love you. He wants you to accept His gift, not because you earned it but because He is so in love with you. When I finally stopped living life my way and gave it to Him instead, He started filling it with the most wonderful surprises. I don’t mean that he gave me a fancy car, a big home or an abundance of healthy kids. I mean that He gave me comfort in my home, peace in my life, forgiveness in my heart, a house filled with a God loving,perfectly flawed family. He gave me all the things that I never thought to ask for. What are you praying for? Do you fear accepting his gift because of the “consequences” that come with it. Not worth it my friend! Accept it. Lets pray “Most Graceful Father, I know that I can never be without sin and never earn the amazing gift that you have for me, thank You for giving it to me anyways. Help me to love the people around me as much as You love them. Give me the words to be able to tell people about Your awesome love for us. Give us peace, strength and comfort in every area of our lives. In Jesus name, amen.” I named the car that my stepdad gave me Betsy. She was a trooper and got me safely home many nights when I didn’t necessarily know how to take care of myself and those around me. She had a “boyfriend” named Jimmy (my cousin had a little jimmy suv, get it) and they once wrecked into each other, long story for another time, she was just not the same after that.