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I am glad that I thought through this situation this morning.  Even more, I am glad that I prayed about it.  Of all that has happened the past year or so, my relationship with God has changed.  I am a whole lot more aware of how God is working in my life and in the lives of others, take a little more stock in that than I might have before, and it is showing in how I pray.  I pray purposefully, aware that God is right there with me, and it’s about as close to continuous prayer than ever in my life before.  It doesn’t mean that I am a spiritual genius, only that I am more aware of God’s involvement than I have ever allowed myself before.  Believe me, I am thankful that I am.  It changes my perspective, puts optimism in a day that would have dragged me into oblivion in years past.  I would like to think that I am a different person now.. and that is a very good thing.

Divorce has changed things as well.  Ironically, that too is a reason for optimism.

My son is still on break from college.  What does that mean?  It means that he is a typical 18 year old college boy — he sleeps until noon or later.  I know that I need to be intentional with him, know what I need from him, be persistent with him.  My son lives with his mother, not me, so I can’t just demand his attention.  In some ways, I need to respect his way of doing things, understand him, remember how I was at his stage in life.  Oddly, I have his mother’s ear more now than when I did while we were living in the same house and married.  Knowing that, I took advantage of it today.

I texted my ex wife, let her know what I needed.  To her credit, she asked me exactly what I needed for her to do.  What was my plan?  I let her know that I wanted our son to contact me, let me know his availability and come to me at my office.. today.  I would then go with him to the mechanic, help him with the paperwork and communication, then go back to my office while my son waited for the news on the costs and extent of the repair.  It would teach him, I knew, and was much better than me doing it for him.

That is what happened.  My ex wife roused our son, he called me,  I told him the plan.  He came to my office, I checked out his car, then he followed me to the mechanic.  He waited while I worked.  The mechanic gave the estimate (exorbitant — nearly $900 for what should have been a simple brake pad and rotor job).  My son called me, asked me what to do.  He was panicking.  I told him that we would pay the small inspection fee, I would contact the person we bought the car from, take it to him.

I called the guy we bought the car from.  His business is buying cars, rehabbing them, then selling them to dealers.  He assured me that he would fix my son’s car for far less.

To my son’s credit, he paid the inspection fee at the mechanic, came back to my office on his own.  We talked it over.  We actually talked it over.  None of this would have happened the same way a year ago.  I told him what I could afford and why I couldn’t afford doing everything the mechanic had suggested.  I explained what my own money situation is (strained, using money saved for other purposes).  He agreed to meet me tomorrow morning, when we would take his car back to where it was purchased, where it would be fixed.

His mother texted me when I got home from work.  Call me, she requested.  I did.  She offered to help.  After I picked myself up off of the floor, I thanked her.

There are reasons to be optimistic.